EEMA projects losses to the industry due to COVID-19

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All in the industry would agree that we are in unprecedented and worrying times, as the Coronavirus pandemic places lives in danger around the world as well as having a wider impact on economies and society. 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.

Say No to Panic, Say Yes to Precautions. No Central Government Minister will travel abroad in upcoming days. I urge our countrymen to also avoid non-essential travel. We can break the chain of spread and ensure safety of all by avoiding large gatherings – PM, Narendra Modi

Across the world events have been hit, postponed or simply cancelled. Not only that, product launches of Indian and global brands, promotions and activations, business conferences, business travel, 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.

According to the latest report by Event and Entertainment Management Association (EEMA), “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.

“We have to be with the government. But there is no denying that the entertainment industry is the worst hit. Among other things, we need to find a solution to the panic that is being spread through mediums like WhatsApp forwards,” said Rajeev Jain of the Event and Entertainment Management Association (EEMA).