The results of a new survey into the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic have been published in Italy.
The Italian Survey of Conferences & Events found that event venues averaged a decline in revenues of 79% across 2020. It also found that the events industry was hit harder than the catering, aviation and travel industries.
Based on findings from the Italian National Institute of Statistics, revenues for 2019 fell by 37.2% for catering services, 54.9% for accommodation services, 60.5% for aviation and 76.3% for travel agents and tour operators.
The survey was conducted by the Graduate School of Economics and International Relations of Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, and promoted by Federcongressi&eventi.
It also found that in 2020 69,880 events were held in person across Italy, down 83.3% from 2019.
Based on the sample of respondents to the OICE, 42% of venues held one or more hybrid events. The venues that hosted the most events of this type (67%) were conference centres and trade fair conference venues.
Expectations regarding reopening dates have already been largely disappointed: 67% of the venues contacted between December 2020 and January 2021 expected that they could again host conferences and events by the end of the first half of 2021.Of these, 17.8% hoped to reopen in the first quarter.
As regards assumptions concerning a return to the levels of events hosted pre-Covid-19, the majority, 63.8%, estimated it would take 1-2 years and 26.8% 3-4 years.
Federcongressi&eventi president Alessandra Albarelli (pictured) commented: “The serious crisis in the sector, confirmed by OICE data, will soon also be reflected in the financial statements of all the companies involved in the conference and events value chain, and not just those of the venues.
“After over a year of closures and inadequate support, the government must as a matter of urgency define the criteria for the measures that have been envisaged up to now, set up a dedicated fund for the industry for 2021 and plan the recovery for a sector that generates significant economic activity for the regions.”