3 Sep 2021

National Events Industry Survey – The Victorian Results

by Save Victorian Events

This week Save Victorian Events released the top line results from our second detailed survey of the Event Industry. We had a very strong response to the survey from right across the industry.

All of us in the event industry already know how difficult things are, so we don’t need a survey to remind us. Hence we were apprehensive about even sharing the results, as we’ve all already had enough doom and gloom.

The reason for this survey is to quantify what we already know and are experiencing in the event industry into facts that are easy for governments and the mainstream media to understand, as they still have a fairly limited knowledge of our industry. And to pressure governments to finally act! We are already very actively using this data already to do that.


So we are sharing the results to encourage all in the event industry to make sure that your local, state, and federal members of parliament are aware of these numbers and what they mean in real terms to the event people and businesses in their electorates. Conversations with local MPs really do have an impact. 

This link will bring up the names and phone numbers of your local MPs in a few seconds:

So here are the Victorian results:

Loss of Earned Income

From April 2020 to May 2021, Victorian Event Industry businesses on average have earned only 19% of the income they would earn during normal times (excluding government support). 

From May to August (during the recent and current lockdowns) they’ve on average earned just 14% of their normal income.

They are forecasting they will only earn 18% of normal income for the remainder of this year.

These are average figures, so some businesses have earned more, and many have earned significantly less that this.

Cancelled Events and Projects

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

The losses of work from the lockdowns have been huge, with:

– 29% of businesses losing between $50k and $200k

– 35% of businesses losing between $200k and $1m

– 20% of businesses losing over $1m

Loss of People

The impact on the people who work in our industry in Victoria has also been huge. And these are the people our industry is built on. Businesses are now down to on average:

– only 40% of their permanent staff

– only 16% of their highly skilled freelancers, contractors and casuals

Loss of Event Industry Businesses

Only 27% of Victorian event industry businesses think they are likely to be able to survive until the end of the year.

47% of businesses are not sure if they will survive or not.

26% think they are unlikely or very unlikely to survive the year.

Sadly, these results match what we are hearing from so many of our event colleagues.

So these are the top line results. We’ll happily talk people through the more detailed results and the underlying insights. And will happily share them with the other groups that are working in support of our industry, as there is just one Australian event industry and we all want as many as possible to get through this crisis.

We did collect results for other states and will be sharing those results with the relevant groups in those states to use. It didn’t seem right for us to be commenting on the situation in other states.

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.

We now need to change the governments’ mindsets from thinking that events might happen again one day, to what are we going to do TODAY to get events actually happening again later this year. We can all play a role in pushing for this.

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

While our focus has been Victoria, we believe we are all facing very similar problems, and we all work right around the country.

There has never been a time when events have been more needed: to bring communities together again, to help businesses successfully get through their biggest changes in their histories, to rebuild confidence in the economy.

But there has also never been a time when its been more important for all of us to work together as one Australian event industry to push for the change and support necessary so we can successfully get to the other side of this crisis. If we can all work together we are much more likely to get the outcome we need.

The survey results we’ve published today are horrific. They are a call to action. But together we can get through this crisis.


Published monthly since 1991, our famous AV industry magazine is free for download or pay for print. Subscribers also receive CX News, our free weekly email with the latest industry news and jobs.