The entertainment technology industry has bounced back from the pandemic, according to a newly published report.

The report is based on a survey of 1,3000 people in over 40 countries carried out for trade association PLASA and the #WeMakeEvents campaign.

The research, conducted in November 2022, found that companies with a turnover above £1m were seeing positive growth while those below £1m were still making up ground. However, the vast majority of companies that took on debt during the pandemic are still paying it back.

Furthermore, delays and shortages across the board still remain, with 90% of manufacturers facing component delays and three quarters of non-manufacturers facing delays in finished goods. Several reasons are cited, with Brexit leading the way.

Skills and work also remain affected, with employment down 10%, and three quarters of employers struggling to fill roles. As a result, companies are delaying projects. Approximately half of employers do not think that graduates have the necessary skills, although a third indicate their need to hire apprentices in order to fulfil work.

Promisingly, the big exodus of freelancers may be over, with 90% of freelancers reporting they are back in the industry, either full or part time. Moreover, although a third report working 40 + hours a week, the average working week may have slightly shrunk, and more are working from home. However, long term security for freelancers appears to have reduced, and there is much less international travel.

Overall, turnover and demand has increased, with the industry showing resilience and hope for a more predictable future. This year’s findings stand in contrast to a report published last year which showed huge challenges and not much confidence for recovery.

PLASA chair Adam Blaxill commented: “I think we are all pleased to see strong signs of recovery for the events, entertainment and installation industries, which were hit so hard during the pandemic. Resourceful companies and hardworking freelancers have met the rising demand from the public for amazing live events and are being rewarded for it.

“That said, we’re still not totally out of the woods. Ongoing supply chain disruption, along with the more recent rises in energy costs, coupled with the cost of living crisis, are still posing big challenges. But I have complete faith that our industry will push through and not only survive but adapt, innovate and flourish along the way.”

PLASA Membership skills and technical Director and #WeMakeEvents steering group member, Nicky Greet, adds, “A big thanks to everyone who contributed to this survey. It’s so important that we have robust data that we can use to demonstrate to government and financial institutions the economic value of the supply chain to events, the challenges, and why we as an industry are a good investment.”

The full report can be found here:


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