We are an alliance of the most influential associations in the event industry from over 14 countries in Europe and act in the interest of over 20,000 companies with more than 500,000 employees and more than 200,000 apprentices.
Events industry is a business sector that creates live events.
This industry includes massive business turnover:
involving B2B (clients & relations focussed);
B2E (internal & employees focussed);
B2C (consumers & fans focussed) live events;
The event industry has emerged in the last decade as the modern, complex "engine" of a progressive world. Our mission as an industry is to drive the advancement of the innovation and experience economy. We connect experts from retail, hospitality, entertainment and sports, health and education, science, technology and the creative industry. We play a key role where face to face and face to place is most required - in the emerging sectors where the highest rate of growth and innovation is taking place.
We not only create communities, but we grow, we engage, activate, and monetize communities via live events. The economy in each country is highly dependent on a functioning event industry. We have an unique position where we can drive not only economic recovery, but economic transition and economic renewal.
In total, the Event industry in Europe generates EUR 172.6 billion in direct GDP, supporting 2.9 million direct jobs. EUR 1.33 trillion of world GDP is supported by global business events, which would rank the sector as the 13th largest economy globally.
Although the business events sector is important economically in terms of supporting GDP, jobs and expos, it doesn't have the same level of importance politically. We want our industry to be recognized by national and regional governments for its value now and not in hindsight after we are beyond saving from the outcome of COVID-19.
Business events alone involve more than 1.5 billion participants across more than 180 countries yearly and generates approximately EUR 0.95 trillion of direct spending (510,4 million participants and EUR 309.38 billion direct spending in Europe in 2017). Every year Europe hosts over 500 million participants at business events.
We all appreciate, we are a global industry but in terms of the decisions that are being made around the future of our industry, most of these are made locally. In our countries the authorities who organize Live events are very different: from the ministry of culture, ministry of tourism, to the ministry of foreign affairs. This disunity condemns us to the lack of common solutions, help and strategies for the development of the industry at an European level. Moreover, the event industry does not have a representative in any country's government, or in the highest levels of power. As the 13th leading industry, we still don't have a voice.
Live events should not be sitting alongside tourism and culture. Their proper place is within the economic engine of countries and cities.
At times like this when the recovery is so critical to our organizations, our society, our economy overall, the power of business events is something that can be central in reaching this goal. Governments should be looking for drivers like this that grow the economy.
We call upon the Council of the European Union and National Governments to swiftly implement the following urgent measures:
1. Fixed cost contribution
Bridging program for everyone: all company sizes, all cost types, all crisis months. To be set up without restriction, from solo self-employed up to medium-sized and big companies with up to 1,000 employees. The funds must be usable for all verifiable cost elements.
- a contribution of 75% of fixed costs > this means that the companies still bear 25% of the damage that they have suffered through no fault of their own or
- the subsidy is a contribution of at least 2% of the last annual turnover per month.
2. Adaptation of loan programs
Adapt current loan programs. Additional liquidity support must be created, as the current credit programs alone will drive companies into massive over-indebtedness and deprive them of any possibility to invest. Due to the extended duration of the ban on events, the liquidity requirement is so large that banks are not willing to take on the necessary commitments, as the time for the return to health of the business model is uncertain.
The demanded measures in detail:
- Extension of credit terms up to 15 years
- Extension of the grace periods: per crisis month +1 year alternatively flexibility the start of repayment by 2030
- Mitigating the excessive rating requirements
- Abrogation of the going concern principle, alternatively 100% indemnification
3. Suspension of EU aid framework
The EU aid framework must be suspended. The limitation prescribed there prevents real help for hard-hit industry companies. 800.000 € is not enough for companies with more than 35 employees. All previous programs have not been sufficient to support the companies of the event industry and thus save millions of jobs. The event ban represents a professional ban. This leads to mass corporate death and destroys millions of jobs.
- the suspension of the EU aid framework for the COVID-19 crisis phase in the Events Industry
- the opening of the ceiling for direct aid of EUR 800.000 per company to be able to effectively help large employers in the event industry
- the introduction of a hardship clause to help our particularly hardhit industry to provide direct aid and save millions of jobs
4. But the most important demand: Required rescue dialogue for the event industry
Unfortunately, local governments have so far either not taken up our offers of talks or have done so insufficiently. We need to find a way to express that value and the true importance of our industry in political terms, not just economical terms. We have repeatedly pressed for talks to be started within the framework of an industry dialogue, to discuss the dramatic situation of the event industry in Europe and together with local governments to find solutions and ways to prevent the mass deaths of companies and the loss of millions of jobs as well as the preservation of thousands of training contracts. There is a mismatch of culture between what the governments feel they need to guarantee and what entrepreneurs need to survive.
For a productive rescue dialog we demand Inclusion of event industry representatives in the European Economy Commissions.