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Sunday 29th March, 2020

State of the Industry Survey Results 2020

There is no way to ignore the impact COVID-19 has had on every venue, supplier and buyer in recent weeks, and so neither could our annual industry survey. These are some of the toughest times the event industry (and indeed, the world) has ever seen, not only seeing business postponed or lost, but having to significantly adjust our own way of life simultaneously. 

Having as much information as possible on what the rest of the industry is doing is beneficial for us all. There are no rules in the handbook for how to navigate circumstances like these, so sharing our experiences, actions and thoughts is the most valuable thing we have. 

For this year’s State of the Industry survey, we asked our members about some of the short and long-term impacts they’ve seen at their venue to help us benchmark some average levels of disruption. 

The Results

  • 80% of respondents said they saw client spend increase or stay the same in 2020, compared to 2019, with 73% also saying they’d seen an increase in confirmed business for the year.
  • On average respondents have already seen their venues’ financial targets adjusted by 38% for the year.
  • For those events that had been called off, venues have seen an average split of 42% being cancelled and 58% being postponed. However, some venues reported up to 80% of events being cancelled whereas others had just 5%.
  • In general venues are seeing events being postponed either 3-5 months in advance (40%) or 6-9 months in advance (53%). Just 7% said events were generally being postponed 10+ months in advance.
  • Unease about the impact COVID-19 could have on business long term has been felt by the majority of respondents with 80% saying they were concerned about it.
  • However, a larger majority (87%) felt the events industry was pulling together effectively to get through this current crisis.
  • When asked whether they felt positive about the long term, the sentiment was not overwhelming. 27% outright said they did feel positive about the long-term. However, some expressed a lack of confidence with so much uncertainty about the future, others saw it being the very-long-term when things would turn back around. Some were also worried that so many postponements would create availability issues later on in the year. 

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