The events industry has been among those heavily hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Unprecedented hurdles forced event planners to rethink their operational models, event technology sponsorships, and the means to deliver content. Event industry statistics show that while some professional event planners have been put out of business, others have managed to adapt and thrive. To help you be a part of the second category, we’ve prepared these essential stats about the field, so read on!
Event Industry Statistics (Editor’s Choice)
- The events industry was $1.14 billion worth in 2019. (Allied Market Research)
- Live-events business lost over $30 billion in 2020 due to the pandemic. (MarketWatch)
- 93% of event organizers plan to invest in virtual events. (Bizzabo)
- Almost 80% of all events have free registration. (Bizzabo)
- Party and event planning market size in the US is $3.2 billion worth. (IBISWorld)
- Job growth for event planners is 4% higher than the average for other occupations in the US. (Convene)
- The planning and meetings industry supports 2.5 million jobs. (Convene)
General Event Planning Industry Statistics
1. The party and events market size in the US is $3.2 billion worth.
According to the most recent data, the American event planning market size is expected to grow 4% in 2022. However, between 2017 and 2022, the annualized market size growth is set to maintain a negative value of -9.8%.
2. 40% of event planners aren’t happy with the technology available to them.
Despite the event tech being behind its time in many aspects, the pandemic has accelerated the demand in the event industry. As a result, tech evolution followed, and new event management solutions have appeared, along with platforms for video conferencing, which make online events easier.
3. Job growth for event planners is 4% higher than the average for other occupations in the US.
In line with the latest event planning industry statistics, meeting and event planners needn’t worry about job opportunities. BLS stats indicate that this profession will grow at an 11% rate between 2016 and 2026.
4. The planning and meetings industry supports 2.5 million jobs.
This number doesn’t even cover the 1.5 million jobs created indirectly, or 1.9 million induced jobs. As a result, the industry supports $95.6 billion in salaries. To put this into perspective, it’s higher than the GDP of 147 countries.
5. The median annual salary for meeting and event planners was $51,560 in 2020.
According to the BLS event industry statistics, event planners at the bottom 10% have a median annual wage of $29,240. Alternatively, the top 10% earn $88,360. The top industries for this occupation were:
- Administrative and support services – $53,980;
- Religious, civic, professional, grantmaking organizations – $53,220;
- Accommodation and food services – $44,540;
- Arts, recreation, and entertainment – $44,310.
6. 89% of event organizers love their profession.
Working in the event management industry is a pleasure for the largest number of those surveyed. Alternatively, 10% felt indifferent, while 2% claimed they don’t like their job, event industry statistics show.
Event Industry Outlook
7. In 2019, the events industry was worth $1.14 billion.
The event planning market is a vast one, set to grow even further thanks to the rise in virtual events set off by the pandemic. The industry is further set to grow at an 11.2% CAGR between 2021 and 2028 and reach $1.55 billion. Events include different gatherings for business, entertainment, community causes, and many other reasons. The most popular are conferences, exhibitions, corporate events, music and art performances, and festivals.
(Allied Market Research)
8. 67% of organizers believe that hybrid events are the future of the industry.
In line with event management industry statistics, hybrid events will outlive the pandemic. They allow flexibility but at the same time provide a larger reach. What virtual events lack is the in-person connection, something that hybrids allow. The top event management companies are rising to the task of providing the perfect hybrid event experience. Further, based on the recent event industry reports, 97% of respondents expect more hybrid events.
9. The live-events business lost over $30 billion in 2020 due to the pandemic, event industry statistics show.
According to Pollstar, a concert trade publication, the live events management industry suffered a lot during the initial lockdowns. The industry for live events was bound to hit a record of $12.2 billion in 2020. However, it lost $9.7 billion. The $30-billion figure meanwhile comprises loss in ancillary revenue, including ticketing, merch, transportation, restaurants, hotels, and all other related economic activities.
10. Business events contribute $1.5 trillion to the global GDP.
Business events support a total of $2.5 trillion of business sales and 26 million jobs, event industry statistics indicate. In fact, if the overall business events sector was a country, it would be ranked 13th on the list, above Australia, Indonesia, Mexico, Spain, etc.
(Events Industry Council)
11. 48% of surveyed marketers said their companies dedicate 21% of the marketing budget to in-person events.
Nearly half of all respondents surveyed claim that their companies involved in the event market allocate a significant part of the budget for in-person events. Some 50% of organizations spend 21% of the total budget to host, while 33% allocate 21% of their budget to sponsor different events.
12. 49% of event marketers replaced their in-person events with webinars because of the pandemic.
The coronavirus forced many marketers to switch to online channels. According to event management industry statistics, almost half of all organizers replaced some events with webinars, while 12% replaced most. Other than that, 16% of them said they weren’t sure, while 16% had no plans.
13. 93% of event organizers have planned to invest in virtual events since the pandemic started.
Post-COVID19 reports show that almost all event planners want to dedicate a portion of their budget to virtual events. Aside from opening up the room for wider audience reach, virtual events helped them cut costs and proved to be an excellent tool for lead generation.
14. Almost 80% of all events have free registration.
Sponsorships allow many to keep the ticket prices free of charge or low, thus securing better reach. In 2021, only 20% of registrations included a fee, event planning industry statistics confirm. Running an event is expensive, despite the need to use them as a good PR channel, so sponsorships play a vital role.
15. 71% of event planners cited designing live events experiences post-COVID19 as a skill they need to pursue.
A recent event planning market research revealed some interesting information about the upskilling preferences of event managers. Event marketing statistics show that a large number of planners (64%) want to work on designing digital event experiences. Next on the list are the monetization of future events (34%) and business continuity (31%), according to event planning industry statistics.
16. Around 97% of B2B event marketers said physical events majorly impact their business outcomes.
Apart from influencing business processes, live events have a significant potential for lead gathering. Moreover, event planning industry analysis shows that 87% of B2B marketers believe in-person events play a critical part in their company’s success. Hence, nearly 63% of marketers plan to continue with in-person events going forward.
17. 99% of speaker panels could be characterized as gender-inclusive.
Most events include as many females as male panelists. The situation is different in the context of ethnicity. So BIPOC and Black speakers are represented 86% and 67%, respectively, in line with event industry statistics. Yet, 35-40% of events don’t have even one Black speaker.
18. Internal team and small meetings account for 32% to 43% of all events combined across all regions.
The events market includes different types of events. The most common one for all regions is internal team meetings or smaller meetings. In North America, next on the list are product launches with 14%, followed by board meetings with 14%. Conferences and trade shows account for 12%.
19. The average size of event sponsorship is $12,000, event industry statistics show.
However, the sponsorship packages vary from $500 to over $100,000. A positive side is that approximately 75% of sponsors are always looking for partnerships. Event companies, on the other hand, either outsource the sponsorship activities to the agencies, while 23% will handle all of it in-house.
20. The UK event sector is £42.3 billion worth.
It’s an equivalent of $56.10 billion. This amount refers to the direct spending by the event management industry, statistics show. It represents an 8% rise compared to a previous report.
21. The annual spending on conferences and meetings in the UK amounts to £19.9 billion, or $26.3 billion.
Different categories of events saw different amounts of spending. So, for instance, after conferences and meetings, the largest spending went to exhibitions and trade fairs, £11.0 billion ($14.5 billion). Next are incentive travel and performance improvement with £1.2 billion ($1.5 billion) and corporate events £1.2 billion ($1.5 billion). Outdoor events, as well as festivals and cultural events, are followed with £1.1 billion each ($1.4 billion). Music and sporting events registered spending of £1.3 billion and £2.3 billion respectively ($1.7 billion/$3 billion), event management industry statistics show.
Despite the deep impact the pandemic has left on event planning, it seems that this segment is on the road to recovery, with virtual events gaining ground and industry players embracing digital presence. However, the duration of the pandemic remains the key to stabilization. This might happen after 2023, once the world has regained some semblance of normal, event industry statistics suggest.
Event Industry FAQ
How much is the event industry worth?
The main driver of this industry worldwide is the increased number of conferences, music concerts, sports events, corporate meetings, and other similar events. The event industry was worth around $1.13 billion in 2019. In line with the predictions, it will grow at an 11.2% CAGR between 2021 and 2028, set to reach $1.5 billion, according to event planning industry statistics. (PR Newswire)
How much does the events industry contribute to GDP?
Business events support a global economy with $2.5 trillion in business sales. Other than that, they help create 26 million jobs and contribute $1.5 trillion to the global GDP. This much GDP generated makes this industry one of the largest economies in the world (13th globally). (Events Industry Council)
How much is the event industry worth in the UK?
The UK event sector is worth £42.3 billion (equivalent to $56.5 billion). Moreover, it supports 570,000 jobs across the country. Event participants and delegates spend around £6.4 billion ($8.5 billion) on registration fees annually. (Eventbrite)
How many people are employed by the events industry?
In line with the event industry statistics, the industry employs over one million workers, many of whom are self-employed freelancers. The forecasted job growth for event planners is 11% in the US between 2016 and 2026, says the BLS.