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“Live will absolutely come back!” KDM Events on Covid-19 recovery

The Covid-19 crisis is set to reinforce the value of live events, according to KDM Events MD Brad Davies.

And Davies also told M&IT that live events are “absolutely” going to come back in the medium and long term.

“I think the crisis is going to reinforce live events,” said Davies. “Putting a time frame on it is impossible. Clearly there’s going to be a change to more virtual events, but there are only so many Zoom quizzes you can do.

“If people are going to work from home more often, that is going to lead to more staff gatherings, team building and offsite meetings. Over the medium term live events will absolutely come back.”

Davies added that the return of the rest of the economy would be key to business events returning.

“I think live events will make a slow, gradual return – but they will return to normal. The schools and pubs and cinemas are crucial, though. No one will go to a meeting until they’ve got used to doing things socially again. That’s what drives normality. Having kids back in school, that return to the office will help as well.

“We think we feel positive from the autumn, but it will be so last minute. I can see there being events with lead times of one or two weeks. Availability is not going to be an issue.

“It depends which part of the sector you’re in – incentives and exhibitions are not going to be easy. But I don’t see any reason why from September you’re not going to have meetings for 20-30, maybe up to 50. It starts to build from there.”

Davies’ confidence that live events will make a return to normal is backed up by KDM Events’ purchase of assets relating to two agencies that have gone into liquidation, Team Spirit and Right Angle Events.

“With both companies, all employees had already been made redundant prior to the furlough scheme being announced,” said Davies. “We came along more than a month after that happened, we never had an option to keep staff on. We are considering looking at ex-employees though, that’s something we are considering. There’s not too many roles going in events at the moment.”

KDM Events, winner of M&IT gold award for Best Event Provider for the past four years, has offices in London and Staffordshire. It closed for business due to Covid-19 in mid-March and is hoping to open up again in July and August.