Oh, how much we all miss live events. No matter how much you miss live events, you can’t possibly miss them as much as the people whose entire livelihood is based on live events. The latest thought-leading RISE series by ISE, turned its “Spotlight” on live event experiences and the “reinvention” that will mark their return.
Sean Wargo, senior director, market intelligence at AVIXA, kicked off a multipart look at the sector with a dose of reality, “… live events out of all solution areas was among the hardest hit in terms of revenues for the ProAV sector. We’re looking at about a 25% decline. And — actually — in final analysis, we think that things may be much worse.”
Yes, it most likely is much worse but it’s important to acknowledge that, out of the sectors in our industry, live events have been hit worse. The sector has responded with impressive solidarity, invoking public pressure to inspire government action — as well as the ingenuity to adapt to virtual and hybrid events.
How long before we see this exciting segment return to pre-pandemic levels? Wargo said “… although it’s one of the fastest growing areas in 2021 … 2020 was down to $23 billion. It really takes a while for us to get out of that low period … it’s really not until that ‘24 period, 2024 period where we really see revenues, surpassing the peak that was 2019.”
And the rate of recovery was really different by region. APAC and even Europe are starting to see a return. Notes the AVIXA market intelligence director, “We expect therefore for ‘21 to be a bit better for EMEA, APAC while the Americas still kind of comes back online. So, 10%, 11%, possibly even 15%, 16% growth there as revenue returns. Once again, the story being about a long tale of recovery.”
Recovery is also linked to the types of technologies offered by providers, and those are largely back-end systems. Wargo concluded, “… a large percentage of investment is in IT infrastructure to support hybridization of events.”