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‘Events & Activation To Soon Become A Billion Dollar Industry’

Events and entertainment industry continues to grow at a faster rate than most of the other sub-sectors of entertainment

On the 10th anniversary of the Event & Entertainment Management Association of India (EEMA), Ernst & Young released a white paper that profiles the events industry using various parameters. The report was unveiled by Ashish Pherwani, Media & Entertainment Advisory Leader Ernst & Young, LLP in the presence of Sabbas Joseph, President, EEMA.

According to the findings of the report, despite facing challenges, the biggest one being demonetisation, the events and entertainment industry continues to grow at a faster rate than most of the other sub-sectors of the media and entertainment industry.

Commenting on the report highlights, Pherwani said, “The good news in the industry white paper is that the industry growth rate gone up since we did the last study. Earlier, it took three years for the industry to get a growth of 1,400 crores  and now another 1,400 crores have been added in just two years and if it continues to grow at a similar rate there is no doubt that it will soon be a billion dollar industry.”

The report, which is based on a survey of 64 event management companies and 31 marketers, suggests that the events and activations industry is expected to grow from Rs 5,631 cr in 2016-17 to Rs 10,000+ cr in 2020-21. The organised events industry is growing faster than the 11 per cent — 13 per cent CAGR of the Indian M&E industry. The key growth drivers for the same are digital activation, sports leagues, rural expansion and government initiatives followed by IPs, personal events, product launches, expansion of mini-metros and BTL spends.

The report further points that digital events are poised to grow at 20 per cent over the next few years, given that 90 per cent of marketers believed it to be important to them. It also states that industries like auto, mobile handsets, media and entertainment, FMCG and durables will drive the growth through new product launches.

When it comes to rural marketing, 95 per cent of the survey respondents agreed that rural events and activations would gain increased importance over next 2-3 years, given the next 300 million consumers are expected to come from non-urban areas.

As the sports industry in India evolves, the associated sectors, primarily the entertainment and events and activation industries will also witness phenomenal growth. According to the findings of the EY report, “With technologies such as augmented reality and virtual reality spearheading the digital evolution in sports, along with the rise of online gaming, the events industry can expect more opportunities in terms of digital events. These innovations with in-stadia experience will also provide more avenues for event agencies to enhance their knowledge and execution capabilities.”

The report also indicates a growing shift in the role that industry players are expected to play. According to it, the Events & Activation industry players are now expected to offer a complete 360 degree, multi-platform service experience to their clients. Right from ideation to promotion, marketing and on-ground execution, backed by data driven consumer insights, analytics with new age technologies such as AI and augmented reality embedded into their offerings.

Ashish Pherwani, Partner and Media & Entertainment Advisory Leader, EY India says, “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.”

Sabbas Joseph, President, Event and Entertainment Management Association says, “Event management has now transformed into experience creation with amalgamation of technology, innovative ideas and creative content. The Indian economy has undergone a lot of changes in the recent past and the Events and Activation industry has come out unscathed. This demonstrates the industry’s strength and ability to get things done under any circumstances.”

In conclusion, the reports highlights that the events industry is at the cusp of experiencing the next level of growth in India. It also states that this growth can be brought in by the support from the government both at the state and central levels. Finally on the acquisition front, the report expects specialist agencies to be acquired by full service ad agencies to complete their marketing portfolio. It also predicts investments in event technology companies, particularly around digital audience engagement, digital activation, sports data management and event amplification.

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magazine 1 oct 2017 businessworld EEMA

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