In the juvenile sector, they are called “revenge events”. The end of restrictions linked to the health crisis has led to an explosion in bookings for parties or business seminars since the beginning of April. “After two years of deprivation, companies are going into a frenzy which prompts them to organize events to bring their teams and clients together. The idea is to re-establish social connections, which have disappeared during periods of confinement and which are struggling to reshape themselves with the development of remote work,” he explains Lionel Mallard, event market expert and consultant in strategy and marketing.
Excellent news for Ile-de-France site managers after more than twelve months of closure. In May, about 85% of activity resumed compared to 2019, creating a bottleneck that is further marked as the workforce is no longer what it was before the crisis.
According to the expert, between 20% and 30% of those working in the events sector have disappeared during Covid after a large number of professional retraining. As a result, current people lack skills, and 60% of employees have been working in this sector of activity for less than a year. “ This means that they cannot run an event on their own and time must be devoted to their training,” defines Lionel Mallard.
In addition to staff shortages, the profession has changed during the crisis. Companies have replaced face-to-face meetings with digital ones, which require different experiences. “We were initially afraid that fashion for digital events would take physical control, but that is not the case in the end. On the contrary, there was an awareness that these meetings bring a lot of things to the team,” said Pierre-Louis Rocaris, co-chair of the French Federation of Events Dealers. (UNIMIF).
The digital component has led to a talent war over some of the key professions in the online marketing field. “We are short on digital product managers, event scenography designers, and community managers,” continues Pierre-Louis Rocarez.
Before the crisis, September and October were almost fully booked before the summer, while today reservations are still scarce. A lesson learned from the pandemic is not to expect too much. No more bookings three to six months in advance, it’s time for spontaneity.
“It is not uncommon to organize a Monday-Thursday event, companies see an opportunity and take advantage of it, but this requires us to be very flexible,” described Stephanie Gisole, founder and director of Di Mezzo, director of three atypical venues in Paris and one near Lyon, which can accommodate from 20 to 150 People, especially large groups stationed in La Défense (Hauts de Seine).
“After two years of deprivation, companies are in a frenzy.”
Lionel Mallard Strategy and Marketing Consultant.
All reception venues experience this new way of consuming events. Same strategy at the Maison de l’Alsace on the Champs Elysees in Paris. “We have a large number of last minute reservations, without even visiting rooms, with always high demand on Tuesdays and Thursdays,” says Marie Guerra, director of communications and surfaces at Maison de l’Alsace.
In addition to last minute regulation, timing varies. Events are more frequent for some companies that can afford them. CAC 40 companies, who have a decent event budget, are not shy about enjoying it, especially in terms of organizing seminars. “The standard format for two days and one night has not changed yet, however the frequency can go up to once a month,” says Benjamin Abitan, deputy general manager of Chateform Group.
“Previously, a simple dinner was enough. Today, these longer events make it possible to resolve the human resources issues that have become critical with Covid. Some employees sometimes did not meet! Continues. With forty places in France, especially Parisian castles and palaces, In 2021 the group reached a sales volume of 2019, i.e. more than 230 million euros, over ten months instead of twelve. With 2000 New customers since September, Châteauform has recruited 600 employee and plans to hire another 200 in the coming months.