The numbers from the event industry are devastating

What already seems logical is now frighteningly clear from a major industry survey: one year after Covid-19 also turned life upside down in Switzerland, the local event industry has one foot over the abyss.

In order to provide itself and the authorities with a representative overview of the situation, the Swiss LiveCom Association Expo Event, in collaboration with its partner associations Svtb and Tectum, called on its members to take part in an in-depth survey. Business owners and executives from 153 companies provided binding information - on sales figures, the employee situation, project prospects, the receipt of aid measures and numerous other relevant topics.

In the crisis year 2020, a total of over 17,000 projects were canceled by the event industry. This resulted in a 57 percent drop in sales, equivalent to 3.19 billion Swiss francs. Around 4,460 jobs were lost in 2020. Spread across the entire industry, quite a few companies have ceased operations or completely reoriented themselves. The loss of trade shows, events and congresses leaves a hole of 10 billion Swiss francs in the gross value added.

The results of the survey would indicate how much the survival of most companies in the events industry depends on whether a protective shield for Corona-related cancellations is enshrined in the Covid 19 Act, Expo Event writes in a statement. That's because even with an end to the pandemic, an end to the emergency will be far from in sight for many companies. More than 70 percent of survey participants, for example, have applied for a Covid 19 loan that will take years to pay off. In addition, potential clients are unable and unwilling to provide any certainty about future activities, which will certainly prolong the planning uncertainty that has prevailed for a year now until well into 2022.

Based on the current epidemiological situation and the current Swiss vaccination plan, it can be assumed that there will be a horrendous number of cancellations in 2021 and 2022 as well, as Expo Event writes in the press release. Without the required protective shield, thousands of jobs would thus be at stake - and the short- to medium-term competitiveness of Switzerland as an event location.

The current situation in the event industry

According to a survey in January 2021, the event industry still comprises 1,030 companies, 18,500 employees, 40,000 volunteers (freelancers) and still generates sales of 2.37 billion Swiss francs in 2020 (previous year 5.56 billion Swiss francs). After a massive downsizing in 2020 and without financial support, the event sector is threatened with a wave of bankruptcy with the loss of many more jobs, Expo Event said.

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