New European-wide research commissioned by Epson reveals there will be a stronger than ever appetite for attendance to events once lockdown measures are lifted. 83% of consumers intend to go to the same or more events, in a bid to ‘make up for lost time.’
The research was designed in tandem with Professor Steven Taylor, a psychologist who has studied the impact of pandemics on human social behaviour. The Epson study, which surveyed 2,500 event-going consumers across Europe (UK, France, Italy, Spain and Germany) revealed:
- Europeans will find themselves swept up in a ‘roaring 20s’ wave of joyful enthusiasm for organised events, such as festivals, gigs, live entertainment and visitor attractions.
- Demand for attending events will be stronger post-pandemic than before restrictions began. Over half (56%) of respondents said they would go to more events in the future, because ‘life is short’ and they want to ‘make up for lost time’
·89% said they miss attending organised events; 92% said they were looking forward to attending new events once restrictions lifted
- Six in ten (61%) of respondents said they will ‘appreciate the people they love more and/or have renewed appreciation of bonding with friends and family over shared experiences’ once the pandemic is over
- 56% said they will ‘take every opportunity to live life to the full and/or go out and have fun’ after lockdown
- The ‘life is short’ sentiment resonates strongest amongst Baby Boomers, the Silent Generation (63%), females (61%) and is highest in Italy (61%).
“The survey indicates that the overwhelming majority of people are eager to resume their pre-pandemic social lives, which includes attending live experiential events,” Professor Steven Taylor commented. “This underscores the fact that people are resilient and that most will bounce-back to their pre-pandemic levels of socialising, regardless of how they are feeling right now.
“People will want to get out and socialise and this move will happen rapidly. In fact, I’m expecting that there will be a short-lived period of hyper sociability, a kind of mini roaring ’20s as people just bounce back. Live events will play a large role in this.”
However, for people to embrace this ‘live life to the full’ attitude, the events industry needs to be prepared to meet higher levels of demand for memorable experiences.
Neil Colquhoun, Vice President of Professional Displays, Epson Europe, said: “The events industry needs to prepare itself for an unprecedented surge in demand once lockdown ends. It is probable that the bounce back will be even stronger than people might imagine.
“The events industry has suffered badly during lockdown but this research shows there is light at the end of the tunnel. We can expect a serious party mood post-pandemic and organisers of events and attractions will now be readying themselves to make the most of the surge in demand.”
#WeMakeEvents was established in April 2020 to support the businesses and individuals across the entire Live Events supply chain. As a voluntary organisation, its aim is to raise awareness for an industry that’s in significant need of support to meet the demand highlighted in this research.
Peter Heath, Managing Director of PLASA (Professional Lighting and Sound Association) and founding member of the #WeMakeEvents Steering Committee added, “After being separated from doing what we love for over a year, it’s no surprise that people are keen to create lasting memories at live events again. It’s hugely reassuring that once productions return, the public will be ready to show support. But to realise this potential, we need to ensure there’s an industry to even come back to.”
“We’re excited at the positive signs of the sector being able to reopen later this year. However, there’s no guarantee that gigs and tours will definitely happen. In the mean-time, we’re witnessing a £70bn industry having to sacrifice its position as a supplier of specialist skills, that has made UK events the envy of the world. The 700,000-strong workforce, ranging from sound, lighting and video technicians, to transport, logistics and rigging, has received little to no financial support or recognition from the government in over 12 months.”
“It will still be months before we see the capacity for meticulous event planning return. Even operating at low capacity will see a large proportion of the supply chain have to take up more stable work elsewhere. We have to continue working hard to raise charitable funds for those people out of work and their families to ensure there’s an industry to return to. Without these skilled technicians and other event specialists, the artists who entertain at festivals, tours, theatres and other live events can’t perform for us. We’re supporting all efforts to help the sector to return as soon as possible and can’t wait to be at a live event again!”