Events and activation industry in India set for strong growth

15 January 2018 4 min. read
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On the back of increased digitisation and marketing expenditure, the Events and Activation (E&A) industry has been growing at a rapid rate, and will continue to do so in the future. A new report from global accounting and advisory firm EY predicts that the industry will surpass the Rs. 10,000 crore mark by 2021.

Digital advancement is changing the face of most industries in the world, as a digitally mature population is exposed to an entirely new world of business. In India, the substantial population is increasingly entering the digital domain, and will continue to do so, estimated to reach 850 million online users by 2025.

Big four professional services firm EY has been monitoring the impact that such a transformation is having on various industries in the country, particularly those which directly operate in the digital domain. In recent months, the firm released a report predicting that the Media and Entertainment industry in India will double in size to Rs. 2.27 lakh crore by 2021.

Revenue of the Organised Events industry

Now, in a report titled ‘Experience Next,’ the firm has explored the progress of the E&A industry in India. According to the report, the industry has been growing at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15% over the last five years, which is expected to increase to 16% in the next few years. By 2021, this CAGR will take the industry from its current value of Rs. 5, 631 crore to more than Rs. 10,000 crore.

Moreover, the report states that these figures represent only the organised events in the country, which comprises 50% of the total industry. In addition, the figures exclude the induced revenues that might be generated from these events, even seemingly direct benefits such as telecast rights of an event.

In essence the report places its focus on the activities of event management companies, members of which were the primary respondents of the survey. The most popular type of events to organise among these firms were ‘managed events,’ being organised by 89% of the firms. However, the popularity of these events appears to have dropped since 2014-2015, when 94% of the firms were engaged in them.

Most popular events and their revenue potential

‘Activations’ were the second most popular events, placing in the service list of 70% of the firms. ‘Intellectual property events’, while popular amongst roughly half the firms (48%), have been declining in popularity since 2011, when they were organised by 53% of the firms. The impact of digital over the last few years is striking, as ‘digital events’ were organised by 33% of the firms this year, compared to absolutely none in 2011.

As the revenue from the industry grows over the next five years, the managed events segment has the potential to generate 53% of these revenues. The segment currently accounts for 119 events per firm, representing 56% of all events. Activations had the second highest revenue potential at 22%, generated from 33% of the total events, at 69 events per firm.

Although intellectual property events represent only 2% of the total, with only four events per firm, they appear to have tremendous revenue potential, projected to generate 17% of the industry revenues. Meanwhile, digital events, which have risen to 19 events per firm (9% of the total), have the potential to generate 8% of the industry revenues.

Client base of respondents

In terms of clientele, the corporate world provides the most business to event firms. Corporates represent 75% of the total clients for the firms, of which 19% were MNCs and 36% were Indian. The government and public sector were the second largest employers, at 11%, while High Network Individuals comprised 9%. Associations constituted the remaining 5% of the clientele.

Commenting on the findings of the report, Ashish Pherwani, Partner at EY India and Leader of the M&E Advisory segment, said; “The Events & Activation industry is growing at a fast pace and is expected to further grow exponentially due to its ability to adapt and grow with innovative technology. With focus on newer avenues such as sports leagues, rural expansion, digital activations, increased Government marketing initiatives etc., we see events industry surpassing overall growth rate of M&E industry.”