Interview Synopsis

Comexposium – coronavirus recovery scenarios

  • Credit
  • Consumer
  • Europe

France-headquartered Comexposium hosts over 135 B2B and B2B2C events across an array of sectors in over 30 countries. With some industries worse affected by COVID-19 than others, and waves of the virus affecting continents at different times, there are many moving parts as the events landscape gains post-pandemic momentum. Third Bridge Forum spoke to a former executive at Comexposium about the myriad factors that will determine the fate of the company and the broader global events sector.

Events industry success after COVID-19 a “complex jigsaw”

First on the agenda was an outlook for the H2 2021 global events calendar, with the picture the most positive in China and the bleakest in Europe. “Most people that I talk to, whether they’re event organisers or venues, are talking about September, October to have events running,” the specialist said.

The revenue-generation implications of recovery in different parts of the world were also discussed. “The big question on revenue generation is how big will shows run. My estimate would be a show like Sial China is probably running somewhere between 50% and 70% of where it would be in terms of revenue, because people won’t be able to travel.” Comexposium’s revenue-generation opportunity in 2021 versus 2019 will “depend on the big shows in Europe”, according to the Interview.

In terms of the H2 2021 pipeline, “it’s something like 180% of normal”, the specialist said, noting that Q2 and Q3 are the most popular times for events. Later in the Interview, it was observed that “SMEs are particularly the customers that are wanting to come back and wanting to get back on that stage and do business”.

The expert also explained why they anticipate that most of the bookings that take place this year will have been rolled over rather than new. Asked whether this presents a cash flow concern, they added: “In theory yes, but I think it’s unlikely. Remember, this is a hugely cash positive business.”

Looking ahead to 2022, the biggest concern, according to the expert, is whether clients will accept tough terms and conditions that essentially make their booking non-refundable. “I suspect there are many more people going to (a) be reading their terms and conditions and (b) perhaps more reluctant to sign for a show in 12 months’ time until they can guarantee how the world is going to look.”

Overall, the situation for the global events industry is “a complex thing to unpick”, according to the expert, who doesn’t anticipate it “being as secure as it was, at least for a few years, because people will remember where they’ve been.”

To access all the human insights in Third Bridge Forum’s Comexposium – coronavirus recovery scenarios Interview, click here to view the full transcript. 

The information used in compiling this document has been obtained by Third Bridge from experts participating in Forum Interviews. Third Bridge does not warrant the accuracy of the information and has not independently verified it. It should not be regarded as a trade recommendation or form the basis of any investment decision.

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