The live events industry has been one of the sectors immensely affected by the coronavirus pandemic worldwide. Since the start of the pandemic, mass gatherings were suspended by the government, in order to prevent the spread of the virus.
As of early March, the economic impact of the event cancellations had surpassed $1.1 billion according to PredictHQ, and the number has only increased as more events and more events are abandoned daily.
With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the impact to their business has been unprecedented with multiple global and national events having been postponed or simply cancelled.
Suppliers, rental venues, and events companies had to look for alternative ways to survive for months with no cash flow.
After several months of lockdown, there has also been a drastic decrease in revenue for venues and events. Jobs in the live events industry have been cut off, leading to its workers being unemployed or moving to a completely different industry.
It's estimated 77% of live event workers have lost 100% of their income.
According to The Events and Entertainment Management Association in India, the association claims that of the 60 million staff, 10 million have been directly impacted, and their livelihood is at risk as all major national events are postponed or cancelled due to the pandemic.
To further examine the impact of coronavirus on the live events industry, Events and Entertainment Management Association (EEMA) conducted a member survey with 170 companies.
According to their report, around 52.91% of companies saw their business being cancelled between March-July 2020 due to the pandemic.
SHIFTING TO ONLINE EVENTS
On a more positive side, the use of digital platforms as an alternative continues to thrive.
Fully 82% of companies are working on digital-only events. One in four are planning only all-virtual meetings at present, and another 35 percent say more than half of their events are only online.
A study from Enterprise Event Marketing found that the use of event technology can create a 20% increase in event attendance while reducing related costs by up to 30%.
The industry is rapidly investing in new technologies, but factors like cost and concerns surrounding the way tech integration may impact event experience continue to prevent some professionals from trying new solutions.
With social distancing being practiced, and more people staying at home, most events companies are looking for ways to survive by having the digital alternative.
It is vital for live event companies to see this crisis as an eye opener to innovate, and be open to changes, which will help them to remain relevant and find better solutions.
Despite the hard times and negative impacts, there are other methods for the events industry to continue staying afloat during the new normal such as the digital events.
Live events may temporarily stop, but creativity will still reign.