How the Coronavirus is Affecting the Event Industry

24 March 2020

What do the NBA, Carnegie Hall, Disney World, and Coachella all have in common?

They are either being closed down, suspended or delayed.

That is just four of many events and businesses that are being affected by COVID-19. The new coronavirus is making a huge impact everywhere, which includes the event industry. According to Eventsforce, at least 49% of event planners have stated that the virus has impacted their events. The virus is spreading between close contacts, due to small droplets that appear after a person sneezes, coughs or speaks. While these droplets are too heavy to travel very far into the air, they can settle on surfaces and be picked up from there. That is why it has become so important for people to quarantine or to stay isolated.

Many businesses, including fast food restaurants are shutting down. Concerts, shows and movie productions are canceling too. Now 10 major tech conferences have cancelled as well, which includes Mobile World Congress, Google I/O, Facebook’s F8 event, SXSW, Electronic Entertainment Expo, etc. The economic loss of these cancellations has surpassed $1.1 billion. This number includes hotels, airlines, restaurants, and transportation. It does not include the amount the companies would have made during the events. The biggest loss comes from Mobile World Congress at $480 million, followed by SXSW at $350 million.

Eventbrite, a global ticketing and events business previously stated that it too has been affected by the pandemic. This news comes in after the CDC released a statement recommending gatherings hold a max of 50 people over the next 8 weeks. Movie theaters have started to follow these guidelines as several mainstream companies now only seat a max of 50 in their theaters. This includes festivals, parades, concerts, sport events, conferences, etc. The type of events that ticketing companies like Eventbrite create revenue from.

For those events that have not been canceled or delayed, the WHO (World Health Organization has released a nine-page document to offer considerations for general and corona-virus specific precautions for the hosting of large events.


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An Alternative Experience

With social gatherings slimming down and becoming non-existent in some regions of the world, businesses are starting to shift their outlook to the online realm. Facebook F8 and Adobe Summit will continue with their online components and on March 19th, HTC will hold the world’s first fully virtual industry conference. HTC will have a line-up of team-building experiences, speakers, and great networking opportunities.

Virtual reality is offering a simple solution to travel bans and mass gathering restrictions all around the world. It is a solution in a world that is dealing with a pandemic that is quickly leading to a crisis.

Benefits of VR Hosting:

  • No travel
  • Removal of attendance limits
  • Ability to replay sessions that have been missed
  • Saves money
  • Zero risk of spreading infection
  • Suitable for different learning styles

With more and more businesses and events cancelling daily, it looks like virtual reality may be a popular choice for allowing income to still flow and businesses to still run until things are better again.

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