Based on a sample of respondents to the OICE survey, 42% of venues held one or more hybrid events: the venues that hosted the largest number of such events (67%) were congress centres and tradeshow venues. Comparing the collected data with previous years, it can be assumed that about 4,900 hybrid events occurred last year, equivalent to 6.6% of the total of 74,780 face-to-face and hybrid events.
Perspectives: when will we return to full activity?
Expectations for a recovery period are already quite disappointing: several venues contacted between December 2020 and January 2021 expected 67% to be able to host conferences and events by the first half of 2021. 17.8% expect to reopen as early as the first quarter. Speaking about chances of returning to levels showed in the pre-Covid-19 period, the majority, 63.8%, estimated a time horizon of 1-2 years, and 26.8% of 3-4 years.
"The serious crisis in the sector attested by the OICE data will soon emerge also from the financial statements of all the companies involved in the congress and event chain, and not just the venues. After more than a year of shutdown and inadequate upturns, it is of the utmost urgency that the government define the criteria for future interventions, a dedicated fund for the sector in 2021, and an urgent recovery planning for a sector that generates key additions for all our territories ”, says Alessandra Albarelli, President of Federcongressi & eventi.
Professor Roberto Nelli, scientific director of OICE, also commented: “The crisis has strongly affected national venues, regardless of their type or geographical area. The average percentage of revenue decline related to congresses and events is almost 79% everywhere, with the only exception of our islands, where the crisis abruptly interrupted the virtuous growth path started in recent years, with a deecrease of 84%".