Deepak Choudhary on Why the Event Industry will Rock in 2017

Industry Watch | January 4, 2017 | Guest Article

Deepak Choudhary Event Capital

By Deepak Choudhary

We are living in interesting times. 2016 was tough. Despite the relative business downturn due to the surprise announcement of demonetisation by our PM, I think everyone will agree that 2016 was a mixed bag for the event management industry — with an increase in events and activation spends by corporates as well as government bodies to the recent Delhi High Court order injunction against music licensing bodies with EEMA's efforts.

Organised Event Industry Will Grow 

The year 2016 has laid the foundation for growth of the organised event industry through the constant push on cashless economy by the government, growth of e-wallet platforms like PayTM, Freecharge, etc. and also the increased number of tickets sales through online ticketing platforms like BookMyShow, Insider, etc. 

According to the recently released EEMAX Global report, the total size of the event and experiential marketing industry for the last audited year stands at INR 6250 Cr of which the organised sector represents INR 3750 Cr. Quite interestingly, the top 25 agencies of the total organised sector account for INR 2183 Cr, which means 59% of the organised market is split between these companies.

This is set to change now. As the industry matures to accommodate the change to a less cash economy, I feel that the increase in cheque transactions will benefit the medium and large sized event managers across India, resulting in an overall growth of organised events in India by over 20%.

Adding to it, the report predicts that spends towards experiential marketing are greater than spends towards digital, albeit marginally at 13.6% and 11.9% respectively. The report also predicts the total spends towards experiential to increase to INR 7281 Cr in the current fiscal year as a result of an estimated industry growth rate of 16% to 17%.

GroupM’s report on sports marketing had recorded a growth of over 12% in sports sponsorship for 2015-16. And, in 2016-17, the sports marketing industry was only expected to mature. With the growth in on-air and on-ground viewership of sporting properties like PKL, ISL, etc., Indian sports business is on the cusp of a fantastic year and this is expected to again give growth to the organised event sector. 

The Demonetisation Effect

Thanks to demonetisation, a majority of consumers are now forced to use online payments and that has definitely benefited players like PayTM, etc., who have also entered the online ticketing market. Competition has always only helped any industry to grow. With more players in the market, in the coming days, we can expect growth in offers to ‘Minimum Guarantee’ to IP owners for tickets sold. 

With the cash crunch, there has been a major shift in the level of artists sourced for events, especially weddings. Since weddings are occasions that will not be cancelled, in the past couple of months smaller artists have benefitted, getting more bookings than what they usually receive.

Even though the immediate reaction to Demonetisation by corporates was to cut down spends in November and December 2016, most corporates still have to use their funds and will have to spend on events before end of March 2017. This presents an opportunity for smart event managers to innovate and offer experiential marketing solutions to corporates which are tamed to their budgets and requirements.

The Union Budget 2017 is advanced to the first week of February, and the expected populist measures like reduction in income taxes, the consumer mindset will definitely change in the months of February and March. With the availability of increased disposable income of consumers, this will result in increased spends on retail and entertainment, thereby ensuring that corporates will have a chance to achieve their targets for the financial year ending March 2017.

Smart Cities, Elections and Infrastructure 

The Government’s impetus on developing 100 smart cities in India is going to have a tremendous impact on the event management industry. With the government and private players investing in new cities, the event industry is only set to benefit from the developments. 

Large event specific infrastructure projects like the development of the largest convention centre in Mumbai by Reliance, the portable event infrastructures to be introduced by IMG Reliance are just a couple of examples of what is in store for 2017.   

Elections have traditionally been a huge money-spinner for event management agencies, and 2017 will witness elections in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa and Manipur. Moreover, the closely contested municipal elections are scheduled in various parts of the country, including in Maharashtra.

Event IPs Set for a Surge

The EEMAX Global report had predicted a positive growth for the event IP industry in India, even though the contribution of the live event IP business to an event management company’s revenues were quite minimal compared to their overall revenues. With the maturing festival scene in India, this is set to change in 2017.

In 2016, large global live event IPs like Global Citizen Festival, Electric Daisy Carnival, Sensations, Amsterdam Dance Events made a mark in India and many more are expected to debut in India in 2017. Moreover, Indian live event music IPs like Sunburn, NH7 Weekender, Enchanted Valley Carnival, Bollywood Music Project had a successful run in 2016, and almost all of them are expected to grow their geographic presence in the coming year.

Deepak Choudhary is an event industry enthusiast who is always on the lookout for interesting event Intellectual Properties that can be Owned, Licensed or Acquired (OLA) - A model that he has devised for Event Capital, a company that specialises in empowering event IPs. All views expressed here are personal and do not reflect the views of any organisation.

Deepak Choudhary, Founder & Director, Event Capital talks about the continued growth expected in the organised event industry, even in the wake of demonetisation and the move to a cashless economy.

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