Working in the Event Industry is Not Easy, But it Makes You Happy

Working in the Event Industry is Not Easy, But it Makes You Happy

Business confidence is low and has hardly increased since the start of the corona crisis in 2020 and the subsequent energy crisis in 2021. The caution, as a result of the low confidence in the market, is also noticeable in the events sector, which can be a brake on investments and the recruitment of staff.

Compared to the end of 2023, the number of permanent employees increased in less than 14% of event organizations during the first quarter of this year. The same evolution can be noticed in the collaboration with freelancers. At 55% of the organizations there is a status quo and at more than 5% there is even a (major) decline in these important collaborations for the sector. This is evident from the results of the second quarterly survey that Event Confederation conducted together with research partner iVOX in April 2024 among 115 event professionals in Belgium.

The staffing challenges lie not only in having sufficient confidence in a positive future to be able and willing to pay for additional staff, but also in finding good staff. 78% of event professionals indicate that there is a shortage of personnel in the sector. Moreover, more than 50% of professionals believe that job security is an exception in the sector. Having multiple jobs in this sector is no exception, according to 72% of professionals. Furthermore, only 60% believe they are paid correctly for the work they do.

Returns under pressure

The returns of entrepreneurs are also under pressure, just like those of event professionals. For example, profits increased last quarter at only 19% of event organizations. In terms of turnover, we saw a decrease in 17% of organizations last quarter compared to the last quarter of 2023. For the current quarter, 10% of event professionals expect a decrease in their turnover compared to the previous quarter. In addition, the many additional regulations, such as mandatory reusable cups at events, the impact of which the majority of event professionals (54%) doubt on the climate, do not contribute to cost reduction.

But there is hope. Our event professionals are slightly more positive about the turnover expectations for the second quarter of this year and we notice a slight expected increase of 21% on average at 30% of the organizations. Nearly 57% of event professionals also think that more people will visit events in the coming months than in previous months.

Job happiness

Despite these challenges and concerns, the research results also show that working in the events sector is satisfying, which is one of the most important drivers of job happiness. 93% of event professionals indicate that working at events makes them happy. What's more, 97% are proud to work in the events sector and more than 78% emphasize that they are already looking forward to a summer full of events.

"These latest figures make me happy," says Christine Merckx, manager of Event Confederation. "It is not easy to get started in our sector, but for many it is a passion and 'a way of life'. Unfortunately, it often requires (too) many compromises. Our professionals also deserve recognition and an optimal legislative framework. After all, we still remain a vulnerable sector and that should not be allowed. Events are too important, not only economically and internationally, but also socially. "


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