Live Events and Corporate Events

Part
01
of two
Part
01

Live Events: US Market Size

Before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the live event industry in the United States was a USD 34-billion industry. It is projected to lose at most 80% of its revenue this year, however, because of the COVID-19 pandemic. If the industry were to lose 80% of its revenue, it would record a market size of USD 6.8 billion by year-end. The current number of live event attendees is not publicly available, but figures from live event platform Eventbrite show that the number of tickets sold in the country on its platform had dropped from around 16.9 million in Q2 2019 to 2.8 million in Q2 2020, and from around 17 million in Q3 2019 to around 4.8 million in Q3 2020. Most live event professionals do not expect a return to pre-COVID-19 levels by 2021.

Market Size in Dollars

  • An article published by BizBash, a Georgia-based resource for event professionals in North America, shows that before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the live event industry was contributing around USD 1 trillion to the United States economy. According to this article, the industry is now projected to lose at most 80% of its supposed revenue because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Though the article shows the contribution of the industry to the United States economy in terms of direct and indirect spending, it does not provide the size or revenue of the industry. A study commissioned by Elite Core Audio, an Arkansas-based event equipment provider, shows, however, that the live event industry in the United States is a USD 34-billion industry.
  • If the live event industry were to lose 80% of its supposed USD 34-billion revenue this year, it would record a final market size of USD 6.8 billion.
  • The projection that the industry would lose at most 80% of its annual revenue appears consistent with the results of a recently completed survey. Based on a survey conducted in late July 2020 by Live Design, a New York-based resource for professionals in the live events industry, 71.96% of businesses in the industry have lost more than 75% of their revenue since March 2020.
  • According to this survey, only 8.41% of businesses in the live event industry expect their business to return to pre-COVID-19 levels by 2021. The rest expect their business to return to pre-COVID-19 levels no earlier than 2022. Nearly 30% of the respondents expect full recovery by 2024 at the earliest.
  • Eventbrite, a leading industry player that provides a platform for planning, promoting, and producing live events, reported that its net revenue in the United States had dropped by 40.82% from USD 59.780 million in Q1 2019 to USD 35.377 million in Q1 2020, by 89.53% from USD 58.687 million in Q2 2019 to USD 6.250 million in Q2 2020, and by 78.62% from USD 59.364 million in Q3 2019 to USD 12.691 million in Q3 2020.

Market Size in Terms of Attendees

  • The current number of live event attendees in the United States could not be located in the public domain, but some sources offer helpful insights. For example, an article published by Reuters indicates that less than 50% of American adults plan to attend live events such as concerts and sports events before a proven coronavirus vaccine becomes available. An article published by Billboard also indicates that in 2019, 62 million fans in the United States attended concerts that were promoted by Live Nation, several millions attended concerts that were promoted by AEG and independent promoters, 68 million attended Major Leage Baseball events, and 36 million attended Minor Leage Baseball events.
  • Based on these figures, it appears that before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, there were at least 68 million people attending live events in the United States.
  • A number of sources also offer a glimpse into the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on live event attendance. Eventbrite's quarterly reports, for example, indicate that Eventbrite's paid ticket volume in the United States dropped by 18.9% from around 17.567 million in Q1 2019 to around 14.254 million in Q1 2020, by 83.2% from around 16.878 million in Q2 2019 to around 2.833 million in Q2 2020, and by 72.1% from around 17.026 million in Q3 2019 to around 4.751 million in Q3 2020.
  • The quarterly reports of event promoter Live Nation also show that Live Nation's number of 'fans' or event attendees in North America dropped by 35.6% from 8.965 million in Q1 2019 to 5.773 million in Q1 2020, by 82.3% from 15.844 million in Q2 2019 to 8,000 in Q2 2020, and by 65.8% from 2.777 million in Q3 2019 to 208,000 in Q3 2020.
  • The figures in the preceding tables show that live event attendance had dropped by as much as 80% in the second and third quarters of 2020.

Research Strategy

The current number of live event attendees or live event tickets sold in the United States could not be located in recently published articles and reports, including those published by market research firms, trade associations, industry players, and news outlets. Live event attendance figures could be seen in older sources, but they do not seem relevant anymore considering the COVID-19 crisis. Insights about Live Nation event attendees and tickets sold on the live event platform Eventbrite were provided in their stead.
Part
02
of two
Part
02

Corporate Events: US Market Size

The size of the United States market for corporate events this year would have been USD 250.71 billion if there were no COVID-19 crisis. New market size estimates considering the impact of COVID-19 are not publicly available, but a survey shows that most business event professionals in the country expect to see a 75% drop in their fourth quarter revenue relative to the previous fiscal year. Pre-COVID-19 attendance figures indicate that before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, there were about 252.6 million corporate event attendees in the country in a year.

Market Size in Dollars

  • A report published by Allied Market Research in May 2020 readily provides the size and projected growth of the United States market for corporate events such as conferences or seminars, trade shows or exhibitions, incentive programs, and company meetings. However, the figures provided in this report appear to be based on a pre-COVID-19 United States. Allied Market Research has a separate report on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the market, but unfortunately, this report is paywalled.
  • According to Allied Market Research, the size of the corporate event market in the country was USD 211.57 billion in 2019. The size is expected to reach USD 322.45 billion by 2027 at a CAGR of 18.50%. If there were no COVID-19 crisis, the size of the market this year would have been USD 250.71 billion or USD 211.57 billion multiplied by 1.185.
  • The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the country's corporate event market has been staggering, however. A survey of over 800 business events professionals, the majority of whom do business mostly in the United States, shows that 73% of business event suppliers expect to see a year-on-year decline of more than 75% in their fourth quarter revenue.
  • Based on this survey, business event planners are not as affected as only 36% of them expect a year-on-year decline of over 75% in their fourth quarter revenue.
  • Business event professionals expect some level of recovery in 2021, with most of them projecting a slightly lower revenue decline, 25% to 75%, relative to their pre-COVID-19 revenues. Since virtual meetings have shown that meetings can be carried out without traveling and meeting in person, business event professionals expect a shift towards holding in-person gatherings or hybrid events for small groups and organizing virtual events for larger groups.
  • According to the Texas-based Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), the impact of these virtual events has so far been limited, however. The percentage of revenue that B2B exhibition organizers in the country have been able to gain or retain through virtual events has been, on average, 13% only.
  • A 75% decline in annual revenue would mean a market size of USD 62.68 billion by the end of 2020, and a 50% decline in annual revenue would mean a market size of USD 125.36 billion by year-end.

Market Size in Terms of Attendees

  • The current number of corporate event attendees in the United States could not be located in the public domain. The Events Industry Council, however, provides a reference point for the number of corporate event attendees in the country.
  • Based on a report published by this organization in November 2018, the number of participants in the country's business events industry in 2017 was 252.6 million, and the average spend per participant then was USD 1,287.
  • The impact of COVID-19 on these figures is not publicly available, but considering the direct relationship between revenue and the number of participants or attendees, it is likely that the percentage decline in the number of attendees is more or less the same as the percentage decline in the industry revenue or size.
  • A 75% decline in the number of attendees would mean around 63 million attendees by year-end, while a 50% decline in the number of attendees would mean around 126 million attendees by year-end.

Research Strategy

Insights that were recently published by trade organizations such as the Events Industry Council, the Center for Exhibition Industry Research, and the Professional Convention Management Association, market research firms such as Allied Market Research, and media outlets such as NBC News and The Exhibitions Channel were reviewed. Resources published by business event management software providers such as Cvent and EventPro were also consulted. Those considering the impact of COVID-19 were given special attention, as it is widely known that the impact of the pandemic on the industry has so far been substantial. Unfortunately, there was not enough information in the public domain to reliably triangulate the current market size and number of attendees. The exact impact of COVID-19 on pre-COVID-19 estimates for the market size and number of attendees could not be reliably ascertained. Additionally, no information could be found on the number of tickets sold. Tickets are more relevant in the live events industry.
Sources
Sources