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PLASA & #WeMakeEvents Release Report On The State Of The International Live Production Industry

Available for free download, report presents data based on a survey of more than 1,300 people in over 40 countries and offers insights into how the industry is recovering from the pandemic along with highlights and challenges that remain.

PLASA and #WeMakeEvents has published a report based on an international industry-wide survey conducted in November 2022 that was completed by more than 1,300 people in over 40 countries who work in professional production, and it’s now available for free download (here).

The survey data presented in the report offers insights into how the events, entertainment and installation industries are recovering from the pandemic as well as highlights and challenges that remain. The report, which builds on a survey conducted by PLASA and #WeMakeEvents in 2021, will be provided to government departments and financial institutions to help raise the profile of the live sector and gain meaningful long-term support.

According to the report, the industry has mostly “bounced back,” with companies with over a million turnover seeing positive growth. However, those with under one million turnover are still generally making up ground, while the vast majority of companies that took on debt during the pandemic are still paying it back.

Further, delays and shortages still remain across the board, with 90 percent of manufacturers facing component delays and three-quarters of non-manufacturers facing delays in finished goods. Several reasons are cited, with Brexit leading the way.

The workforce also remains affected, with employment down 10 percent and three-quarters of employers struggling to fill roles, and as a result, companies are delaying projects. Approximately half of employers do not think that graduates have the necessary skills, although a third indicate their need to hire apprentices in order to fulfill work.

The suvey data also shows that the big exodus of freelancers may be over, with 90 percent of freelancers reporting they are back in the industry, either full or part time. Moreover, although a third report working 40-plus hours a week, the average working week may have slightly shrunk, and more are working from home. However, long-term security for freelancers appears to have reduced, and there is much less international travel.

Overall, turnover and demand has increased. This year’s findings stand in contrast to last year’s report, which showed huge challenges and not much confidence for recovery.

PLASA chair Adam Blaxill states, “I think we are all pleased to see strong signs of recovery for the events, entertainment and installation industries, which were hit so hard during the pandemic. Resourceful companies and hardworking freelancers have met the rising demand from the public for amazing live events and are being rewarded for it. That said, we’re still not totally out of the woods, ongoing supply chain disruption, along with the more recent rises in energy costs, coupled with the cost of living crisis are still posing big challenges. But I have complete faith that our industry will push through and not only survive but adapt, innovate and flourish along the way.”

PLASA membership Skills and technical director, and #WeMakeEvents steering group member Nicky Greet, adds, “A big thanks to everyone who contributed to this survey. It’s so important that we have robust data that we can use to demonstrate to government and financial institutions the economic value of the supply chain to events, the challenges, and why we as an industry are a good investment.”

Download the free report here.


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