Events: A sector worth revisiting
Events have rebounded in 2022 and whilst the sector is not back to 2019 levels yet, longer-term growth is expected. Covid and the subsequent recovery has supercharged change, with companies being forced to adapt to changing requirements and baking in digital into their offering. This has meant business models have evolved and there’s an increased focus on sustainability and the environment. These trends should make the events sector more attractive to private equity in the long term given the diversification of revenue.
- Multi format / format agnostic communities
- Technology and digital transformation
- Tradex diversification
- Data and information
Challenges facing the events markets
- Business model transformation
- Supply chain and inflation
- Lingering concerns around travel and attending large scale events (health and environmental impact)
- Delegate behaviours and their willingness to attend / pay with a digital by default expectation
What investors should be looking for
What fear and greed for the end market is the event tapping into?
Fear and greed are the motivators for event attendance. A coherent understanding of market trends and drivers provide the foundation for the content and format of a successful event. Don’t be too distracted by addressable market, it’s about what drives people to pay to attend.
How will the event content evolve to stay fresh, useful and exciting for its delegates?
COVID-19 disrupted the events calendar and organisers will need to demonstrate how they will attract previous delegates back and entice in new ones. Quality of delegates and relevance of content are the virtuous circle which needs to be continually refreshed through a deep understanding of the trends and interests impacting delegates.
Many events are now ‘digital by default’; how does this particular event navigate those challenges?
Digital has a greater prominence in the thinking for organisers, and is likely to be an expectation from consumers. Hybrid done well enhances the visitor experience and increases participation and revenue streams; done badly it is a distraction.
How do they differentiate themselves from their competitors?
There is often plenty of data available in the public domain about the size, attendance and content of events. Understanding what differentiates the events and drives choice requires a more nuanced approach.
What is the quality of relationship with delegates and exhibitors?
Both are essential to the success of the event and their needs and expectations clearly articulated.
What plans do they have for the community and content that support the event?
Events are not just about the event itself, but rather the community and access to quality content delivered in multiple formats. There should be credible plans for alternative revenue streams, such as online events, data, communities and memberships to create value longer term.
Deals in the events market
Speak to Matt if you’d like to discuss opportunities in the events sector.
Matt McNally, Director