Loss to events & experiential industry in India estimated at Rs 3000 Cr due to COVID-19; ten million jobs at risk

The pandemic has put businesses on pause, forcing an unprecedented loss and a challenging time for vendors and supply chains.


The outbreak of the coronavirus has impacted the world of live events and experiential marketing in a massive way. This unexpected health scare is threatening the $1trillion events industry worldwide.

Across the world events have been hit, postponed or simply cancelled. In India big events like - IIFA 2020, India Gaming Expo, FDCI India Fashion Week, GoaFest, PU Tech, ITB- India, India Fintech Festival, Ultra Festival, India-South Africa cricket matches, marathon events, the India Today Conclave, the META Theatre Awards, among others have postponed due to the scare.

Not only that, product launches of Indian and global brands, promotions and activations, business conferences, business travel, MICE, exhibitions, trade shows have also been  cancelled or postponed. The impact on hotels, event management companies, service providers, catering companies, the infrastructure and technical supply chain, on the millions employed in the industry is unimaginable. No industry resides more in the physical realm than hospitality, experiential, tourism, events, sports and experiences.

According to the latest report by Event and Entertainment Management Association (EEMA), a body of over 800 top event agencies across India, “The impact of COVID -19 on the events and experiential industry would be to the tune of Rs 3000 Cr for the first two months, at a minimum, as projected in a survey of 100 MSMEs in the sector. This is in part due to cancellations of existing projects and contracts. Cancellations of conferences, State and central Government endeavours, international MICE events, events and entertainment segment, cancellation of valid visas and the person-scare which has impacted the industry.”

The report further states that the pandemic has put businesses on pause, forcing an unprecedented loss, impacting livelihood of millions employed, inability to pay taxes, inability to pay Banks and financial institutions to honour commitments, and a challenging time for  vendors and supply chains.

“Brands are resetting their plans, expectations, markets, delivery systems, marketing focus and logistics. This will force the experiential industry to lay off employees, reduce salaries, delay mandatory payouts and worse still shut companies. And if the situation prolongs, it will have a huge impact on the event economy, global and local enterprises, employment, and business environment triggering a new business and economic order. It has also put at risk the livelihood of over 10 million professionals who depend on this segment,”  the report further stated.

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