LiveCom Alliance European Industry Survey 2023 shows the industry’s resilience and sets out an outlook for event professionals in an era which exposes the revaluation of live.

LiveCom Alliance proudly presents the sixth edition of the European Industry Survey. This year’s study was not only intended to capture the major trends, challenges and economic impact drivers of the live communication industry. The main purpose was to define a pre- and post-covid benchmark, combined with the ‘19 and ‘20 editions.

This study, the third consecutive edition conducted by the renowned German R.I.F.E.L. Institute, systematically explores the current state of the live-communication industry across different European countries. The survey covers different themes, such as structure, characteristics, revenues and employees. The results of the European Industry Survey 2023 are based on a sample of 233 companies that represent a total of 1.095 live-communication companies and agencies. All these national members are united in eight out of the ten member associations, equivalent to member countries, of LiveCom Alliance.

Industry resilience

Respondents have an average economic impact of € 10,5m turnover, an average workforce of 55,2 employees and an average number of projects of 263 per year. Figures attest to a resilient industry; a slight decrease in comparison to (pre-covid) 2019 in turnover (-10,3%), a minor increase of employment (+0,5%) and more substantial increase of projects (+26.5%).

Challenging market conditions

This pre- and post-covid benchmark shows our industry’s challenges too. Turnover may be almost back on pre-covid level, achieving sufficient returns proves challenging. Numbers show a striking higher average number of projects combined with a minor increase of staff in a tight labour market. Furthermore, the industry is dealing with a substantial rise in costs due to inflation and world’s instability. In a labour intensive industry this explains conditions are still challenging.

Optimistic forecast for 2024

The good news is that respondents expect a substantial increase of employment (+19,0% full-time positions and +60,1% part-time positions). Customers’ live communication budgets are expected to grow by 26,3% of the respondents (and 46,9% expect no changes vs 26,8% expect decrease).

Key trends and topics

When it comes to the trends, respondents emphasize sustainability and artificial intelligence are the most critical trends for 2024. However, new business development, new work culture and individualization are also important topics.

Staff skills

According to the respondents, the three central skills to master future work are creativity, interpersonal and relational competence and self-management competence.

The survey showcases the resilience of our industry, being almost back on pre-covid level and making a huge effort to deal with the number of projects working in still challenging market conditions. Simultaneously, we experience a significant revaluation of live, recently proven by a Dutch study among chief marketing officers. Sounding numbers shows 64% of the cmo’s acknowledge live communication as a crucial part of the marketing communication strategy, 71% of the cmo’s recognize a face-to-face moment more valuable than an offline or online media touch point and 65% of the cmo’s consider events as a major marketing trend. Promising prospects for our industry.

The full report published by LCA in conjunction with R.I.F.E.L. Institute offers valuable insights and concrete data that benchmark the live-communication industry on a pan-European level. It publishes accurate and relevant figures on for instance agency payroll breakdown, turnover breakdowns, freelancer rates and clients’ forecasting insights. The complete report is available here.

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