How has Covid-19 affected the event industry?
The Covid-19 has caused almost total devastation to the events sector worldwide. At a European level, we have been able to verify first-hand that there has been a total paralysis of activity in all companies in the sector. This standstill is not only internal (due to the cessation of business activity) but is logically marked by a clear stop in customer requests.
It has fully affected the whole cycle: whether they are producers, agencies or any type of event organiser, they have cancelled or postponed all events until after the summer. 100% of the event organizing companies have been affected, but the most serious thing is that most of them have been forced into situations of RTE, layoffs, closures, etc.
Tendencias de recuperación
The trends speak of reinvention: the use of online platforms for meetings, hybrid events… The products that will attract the most attention from the public will be, on the one hand, the events related to talent development, business objectives and business coaching; and on the other hand, the CSR line.
There is talk of fighting for hybrid events: to be able to do big events in which a part of the attendees are physically present in the event (with the appropriate security measures), while another part does it online. This product line will be one of the trendsetters in the early stages of de-climbing.
In this sector, the magic is in being together, so the forecast is that sooner than we think we will return to the face-to-face events, with dynamics of a lifetime and, with this crisis that we are going through, Corporate Social Responsibility is going to have a fundamental role from now on.
As for the CSR product line, Es.Cultura has been preparing for this without knowing it, and is a pioneer in this line of solidarity events. The changes come together with a series of internal improvements in terms of sustainability: recycled materials, savings policies, zero pollution, etc. In addition, we are working on communicating the company’s business soundness, which is now 25 years old, with two economic crises behind it, and we are doing everything we can to continue and make sure that we all move forward.
At a later stage, a need will arise in both public and private organisations to carry out communication campaigns on awareness, hygiene, safety… which will be based on the concept of street events (street marketing, roadshows, etc.). This is a trend that will emerge and an opportunity that the sector must also take advantage of.
What can event companies do?
The fundamental thing is to fight so that the client does not lose interest in the event; that he does not consider cancellation and that at all costs he opts for postponement. The main reason for this is not to throw away an event that has already been planned and worked on, and that as soon as there are plans to open, to continue with the project. As we say, the forecast for resuming is September or even postponing until 2021 if necessary.
On the other hand, we must take advantage of this to adapt to the new situation. Online technology provides us with many tools and possibilities.
Teleworking is another essential factor in maintaining production and this requires a commitment to the company and to customers.
Events: key elements in the recovery of society
Without a doubt, events are the most powerful tool that companies have for corporate communication. Despite all this, we are left with the consolation that companies will continue to have the need to communicate. Communicate not only their objectives and processes as they have been doing for years, but now they will have an added reason, as a result of this crisis, to transmit the union, hope and encouragement to their workers, in addition to all the internal renewal they have had to do in these months. In the end, all this is an excuse that companies will have to meet and it is an opportunity for the events sector that will have to be there for them.
Our human nature and our culture call to be together, and that is exciting for all of us. We do not want to return to the normality that we knew, but to return to a better one.