Survey: Event sector recovers

The events sector is slowly recovering from the pandemic, as the figures from the latest survey by Expo Event Swiss LiveCom Association and Tectum let us hear. Although revenue and profit forecasts have not yet reached pre-pandemic levels, despite significant increases, they give cause for cautious optimism for the future.

While the first quarter of 2022 was still dominated by the measures to combat the corona pandemic, sales figures in the trade show and event industry literally exploded in the summer of 2022. At the end of the year, however, volumes fell again as energy shortages and the conflict in Ukraine put the brakes on business once more. This leads to sales figures which, although still only 70 percent of those before the pandemic, give the sector a more hopeful outlook for the future, as a survey by Expo Event Swiss LiveCom Association and the Swiss association of marquee builders and temporary structures Tectum shows.

Hype on digital events subsides

Due to the pandemic, digital events experienced a real boom, although this has now subsided slightly, as the surveyed figures show: Last year, an average of 80 to 100 percent of the revenues of the companies surveyed were generated by physical events, while the remaining revenue came in equal parts from hybrid and digital events.

This suggests that live events will continue to be preferred by the market, even though digital formats are here to stay and will continue to play an important role in the future.

Shortage of skilled workers and energy costs still key issues

Nevertheless, the industry continues to struggle with major challenges: Although the total number of people employed has increased slightly, the shortage of skilled workers is leading to higher wage and recruitment costs. Price increases of 15 to 20 percent are therefore expected due to the combination of persistently high inflation and massively higher material and energy costs. Whether and how this will affect the order situation is currently still open.

Christoph Kamber, President of Expo Event, nevertheless remains cautiously optimistic: "We are pleased and grateful that the figures and sales are pointing upwards again. Nevertheless, we still have some sticking points to solve in the future. It has been shown once again that uncertainty is poison for our industry and immediately triggers significant sales losses on the event organizer side. However, we are facing this challenge courageously, optimistically and, of course, with creative and convincing solutions. If 2023 goes by without any further substantial restrictions, we hope to return to pre-pandemic revenue levels."

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