Victorian event businesses see income dive 80 per cent amid ongoing cancellations

The damage done to the Victorian events sector by ongoing lockdowns has been laid bare by a new survey from Save Victorian Events.

Unsurprisingly, incomes have taken a massive hit with event businesses seeing an 81 per cent drop in income from April 2020 to May 2021. From May to August this year the figure is even worse, with businesses earning on average just 14 per cent of their normal income.

The recent lockdowns have resulted in 34 per cent of Victorian event industry businesses having all their events and projects cancelled for the rest of the year, and a further 61 per cent having most cancelled.

One in five businesses have lost over $1 million worth of business due to the lockdowns, while over a third (35%) have lost business worth between $200,000 and $1 million and 29 per cent have lost between $50,000 and $200,000 worth of business.

The impact on the people who work in our industry in Victoria has also been huge, with businesses now down to on average only 40 per cent of their permanent staff and only 16 per cent of their freelancers, contractors and casual staff.

Only 27 per cent of Victorian event industry businesses think they are likely to survive until the end of the year, with almost half (47%) of businesses not sure if they will survive or not. A quarter (26%) think they are unlikely or very unlikely to survive the year.

“All of us in the event industry already know how difficult things are, so we don’t need a survey to remind us,” said Simon Thewlis, from Save Victorian Events.

“Governments are now starting to talk about what can be possible once we get to 70% and 80% vaccinated. This is at least a start, but we know it is now a long and difficult road ahead.

“But the bottom line is that our industry needs real, substantial financial support and needs it now. We deserve vastly better support than we have received from the Federal and Victorian governments.”