Impact Of COVID 19 On Event Industry And The Future

Published by Arushi Jain on

As the nation battles with the mayhem caused by the novel coronavirus, not only is the physical and mental well-being of individuals getting affected but the economy is also facing the brunt of this menace. The event industry is no stranger to this trend, with the announcement of the lockdown, the sphere of outside entertainment came to an absolute standstill. Thousands of events that were cancelled from early February as the spread of the virus started to accelerate globally.
The Events and Entertainment Management Association (EEMA) recently conducted a member survey with 170 companies that were affected by COVID-19.The report highlights the loss of business, the revenue impacted, employers affected and the funds required in the long run to attain stability. Recently, EEMA had filed a petition appealing to the Government of India to intervene with measures to support the lives of the 60 million indians that the event industry employs – directly and indirectly.
Some of the major ideas of the report:

1) Around 52.91% of companies resulted in 90% of their business being cancelled between February-July 2020.

2) 63.1% companies i.e. around 107 companies suffered from a revenue loss of up to 1 CR.

3) Around 7 companies envision  a 50%-80% retrenchment of their current workforce and 35 companies between 25%-50%.

4) The ideal working capital/loan expected to keep afloat for the next 6 months is around 2-5 CR for 39 companies and 1-2 CR for 118 companies.

5) Around 97 companies will need to raise capital or debt from institutions or shareholders.
The 170 member survey represents over a 1,00,000 of companies that were affected by this pandemic and EEMA has urged the government to consider some steps like the immediate pay-outs of all income tax refunds, which have been due for a while, and the due payment from the central and state governments to event companies for work done or work-in-progress.
IMPACT ON VARIOUS EVENT INDUSTRY SECTORS
1.Social
Organising religious conferences, weddings, parties, festive gatherings will now be a challenge and there will be a mandatory requirement of multiple approvals which may involve a lot of paperwork hence leading to a restricted version of the originally planned event.

2.Business
The impact of the cancellation of the business events was significantly extreme. In fact, the events that were scheduled for the end of the year have already been postponed to 2021. All corporate meetings, AGMs, partner meets, product launches, tech and non-tech conferences, seminars and association meets – all these are broadly categorized as “Business Events”.

3.Exhibitions and Trade Fairs
Exhibitions and trade fairs alone sum up to 60,000 events in leading 11 countries. These events generally observe a huge gathering of buyers and sellers across all domains and provide heavy business to the venues and convention centres. These vendors will be the most affected due to the coronavirus lockdown since a major portion of their earnings is through sponsorships and exhibitor participation.

4.Sports, Entertainment and Tourism
Events that are organized to support tourism and regional business have called off their current year’s editions, and therefore the most up to date example of which is the Expo 2020, Dubai that was previously scheduled in October 2020.This sector also witnessed the cancellation of the Tokyo Olympics and other events like the Football leagues internationally.
FUTURE OF EVENT INDUSTRY
It is rightly said, “When the going gets tough, the tough gets going.” Similarly, the event sector made space for varied innovative ideas like hosting events in such a way that viewers can enjoy their favourite artists performing right from the comfort of their homes. As per an analysis presented by Ernst and Young (EY), 94% brands aim at exploring the world of digital IPs for the goal of improved consumer attraction and retention in the new normal.
Listed below are some ways in which the industry is driving home the new normal:

● This time it’s the virtual world that connects people who are sitting at their homes waiting for these hours to pass. Virtual events are a sigh of relief as they emerge victorious within the battle against geographical barriers.
● Event industry is using several platforms for hosting activities, which offer features such as live as well as pre-recorded content, simultaneous running of varied breakout sessions, space for sponsors to showcase their products and services amongst others.
● The current times have noted the rise of advertising methods which are highly consumer-centric, dynamic and engaging. With consumers being restricted within their homes, their usage of social media has increased.
● In the wake of this present trend, several organizations are resorting to their online platforms to generate awareness, drive traffic and promote upcoming virtual events also enhancement of viewer participation.
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