Event Organizers

Australian event organizers explain how they can rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic

An Australian survey of event managers revealed the type of support festivals and events believe they will require to survive cancellations or postponements of events, as required by the COVID-19 ban.

The survey was jointly conducted by Til ma Group, a regional tourism company, and EVENTS Academy, an event management trainer. Most respondents were event organizers hosting events with fewer than 500 people in rural or regional communities. The survey was completed by 95 Australian event managers as of Sunday, March 22 at 5pm.

36% of respondents said they would cancel their 2020 event, or postpone it until 2021. 20% will postpone the event for later in 2020. 28% are still waiting for more information before they decide on their next steps.

55 percent of respondents don’t believe their event will survive, and only half (55%) think it will. A third of respondents are uncertain about their event’s future. 5% predict that their event will be cancelled and never held again.

70% of those who cancel or postpone events can lose as much as $100,000. 22% of the event attendees will be unable to attend, while 5% could lose as much as $1 million. Some events may even lose several million dollars.

Before the event is held, there are many costs that need to be incurred. Events could have spent the bulk of their budget, but not yet earned any revenue depending on how far along they are in event planning. Event cancellation insurance purchased by events will not be compensated if the event was cancelled due to a pandemic.

The economic impact on host communities from the effects of bushfires or severe drought, in addition to the direct loss of events, is another factor. They are particularly dependent upon the economic and social stimulation that events provide. 63% of respondents to the survey estimate that their community will lose as much as $1 million due to the loss of their event. 29% of respondents believe it could be up to $5 million. One event manager estimates that communities in the Outback region will lose up to $13million due to their attendees traveling through them.

39% of respondents said they would refund tickets purchased before the purchase to protect their customers and their reputations, despite uncertainty surrounding refund laws.

Half of event organizers (57%) think a Government support package would be the best way to help their event bounce back from the COVID-19 crisis. 28% believe that a combination Government support and broad support from ticket holders, such as ticket holders keeping their tickets up until the next event, would enable them to bounce again in 2021.

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