The Silver Lining of COVID for the Events Industry

September 23, 2021

We know what you are thinking - how could COVID possibly have a silver lining? Well, let’s take a look at what the industry used to be and what it has become. When a global health emergency was declared, the entertainment industry was immediately impacted with events cancelling everywhere. The NBA suspended its season, the Olympics were postponed, the PGA was cancelled, the NHL paused, Major League Baseball was delayed, Coachella was postponed, the Met Gala was postponed, along with so many more major world events.

“Several companies across multiple industries have already declared bankruptcy or were forced to lay off significant portions of their staff.  Naturally, one of the worst affected by the pandemic was the events industry” [source]. Sadly, many businesses could not survive shutdowns and the slash in revenue. For those that did, they overcame the hardest period in their history.

So how did companies in the events industry survive? They adapted and innovated.

Creative pivots happened during the pandemic as companies discovered ways to stay connected during the most isolating months. New experiences were launched as an option to maintain community.

Virtual events created the option for remote interactions, and many companies went above and beyond to develop new platforms and features for virtual attendees. Interactive chats, virtual avatars, watch later content, virtual games during event breaks, live polls, and more features were integrated into the virtual experience. LinkedIn notes, “Contrary to popular belief, virtual events have shown higher registration and attendance rates than their face-to-face counterparts. In general, virtual events are more accessible and efficient for attendees, which do not need to travel ad-hoc and browse the event in the comfort of their home” [source].

Hybrid events have now been born from the positive response to virtual events. This new approach appeals to both socialites and homebodies. Having both options has generated the ability to increase ticket capacities and revenue sold with the dual model. Showpass, Canadian ticketing provider, introduced Showpass Sessions, a streaming integration for any styled event, which allowed organizers to increase available ticket quantities by 3x the original capacity.

Novel event styles were established during this time like balcony concerts from Showpass. “This exciting entertainment concept gives concert-goers a safe new way to experience live music, utilizing hotel rooms with balconies overlooking centralized pool deck, atrium or courtyards, where hotel guests can enjoy live entertainment from the comfort of their own private balcony and then stay the night” [source]. Event businesses had to reinvent the venue model and get creative to continue connecting during COVID.

Another silver lining that has come from the shutdowns is the increase in attendance once events came back! The desire to get out and interact with friends and family is even more heightened since the events hiatus. “The recovery of the event ecosystem is happening faster than expected. Events professionals see the number of events and event attendance reaching and potentially surpassing pre-pandemic levels in 2019” [source].

Research and Development

During the events hiatus, some companies had the ability to consider the future of the industry and invest time in R&D to make new features that would benefit the buyer’s experience. Showpass did exactly that and focused on streamlining processes to devote resources to making experiences bigger and better for their community.

Here are some examples of what events looked like before the shutdown and the advancements Showpass has since implemented.

The new enhancements were intentionally created by Showpass to put customers first and make the return of events that much smoother and enjoyable for everyone. Read more about some of these features here: Pre-Authorized Debits (PAD), Queue It, Donations.

It is incredible to see the advancements made by the events community. Showpass is diving into the future of event technology and is ready to continue innovating ticketing.