The study paints the first comprehensive post-pandemic mood picture of the event and live communications industry. "Our industry has changed significantly over the past two years as a result of the crisis. The effects are still great, but the majority of our members are meanwhile looking ahead with confidence for the live format," sums up Daniel Wyss, board member of Expo Event Swiss LiveCom Association.
Expressed in figures, the consequences of the pandemic are as follows: In 2020, the sales of the companies surveyed collapsed by more than half. A large number of orders were not carried out during the past two years - for projects under 50,000 Swiss francs, there were an average of 50 projects per company, and four for projects over 200,000 Swiss francs.
Live remains the favorite - hybrid formats catch up
Hybrid formats in particular have gained strongly in importance. At 47% of the companies surveyed, this event form showed the strongest growth rate in the last two years. Many companies have supplemented their business model with various online technologies: live streaming was the most popular. Other technologies included audio and video production as well as image and video portals.
Although the share of digital and hybrid events has increased sharply, offline events still generated 56% of revenue.
Virtual, hybrid and other event formats, such as pop-up events or Corona-compliant micro events with certificate requirements, accounted for between 13 and 16%. Regardless of execution mode, public and employee events generated the majority of revenue. To a lesser extent, special trade fairs or specialist congresses as well as public trade fairs or general meetings were to be found in the sales portfolio of the last two years. For the next few years, however, companies are again counting on the live format: 61% predict that the immediate encounter will see the greatest growth. Again, the live experience is closely followed by hybrid solutions with 55%.
Training and recruitment get a boost
For half of the respondents, the number of employees has decreased by an average of three people over the last two years. Only 12% recorded an increase in employees.
However, most are now expecting growth again. In addition, apprenticeships and internships are an integral part of the HR strategy of the companies surveyed. Thus, 88% stated that they generally have offers for interns or apprentices. Around one third are currently training apprentices.
The shortage of labor was identified as the greatest challenge in the coming years. To actively counteract the brain drain, most respondents are focusing on their attractiveness as an employer and investing in training and work culture.
Success through diversification and partnership
43 percent of survey participants have used the last two years to open up new business areas. The spectrum of diversification is wide: streaming and consulting, among other things, were increasingly used. It has also become apparent that challenges can be better overcome together - which is why two-thirds of respondents were working with a partner or actively seeking cooperation. Overall, nearly half of the companies were also actively engaged in promoting sustainable events. In this regard, 46% made their clients aware of sustainable events and offered the corresponding services. In addition, there were a number of other measures to improve sustainability such as internal projects, use of sustainable materials or investment in sustainable infrastructure.
Good report for the associations
The work of the associations themselves was also well received by members. 84% of all companies expressed themselves as satisfied to very satisfied with the work of Expo Event, SVTB and VSSA. Crisis management during the pandemic also came off well: 91 % of respondents said the association had done a good to very good job.
The Event Trend Study Switzerland was conducted - already for the 5th time - as a member survey by Expo Event Swiss LiveCom Association, by the Swiss Association of Technical Stage and Event Professions SVTB and by the Association of Swiss Stadium and Arena Operators VSSA. A total of 179 companies participated in the survey period from January 17 to February 11, 2022.