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COVID-19 impact survey

State of the events industry

At Feast It, we've seen firsthand the effect the pandemic has had on the small businesses we work with. We recently surveyed 500+ of the UK’s best event suppliers to find out how restrictions have impacted them. The response we received was incredible.

We’ve picked out our top takeaways and findings from the results to give you a glimpse of the state of the events industry in 2020.

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Impact by supplier type

With large scale events like festivals and conferences cancelled as well as wedding party sizes limited, it’s unsurprisingly marquee and tent suppliers who’ve been hit hardest, with 56% of respondents stating losses of £100k+.

Losses by Vertical

Impact by region

Feast It suppliers in the South East reported the highest loss of turnover with 34% of respondents stating £100k+, followed by 30% in the South West. The numbers paint a clear picture of why 61% of businesses don’t believe they’ll survive until March next year.

2021 survival by region

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With growing uncertainty on how long restrictions will last, many events businesses are struggling to operate or can’t operate at all, with 85% stating they don’t believe they’ve received adequate government support throughout the crisis.

Impact by supplier type

Without much-needed support, job losses have been inevitable. 40% of catering, marquees and tent and multiple-offerings suppliers stated they’ll lay off between 1-5 employees by the end of the year. Another 30% of marquee and tent suppliers expect to lose between 6-10 employees.

Government support

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While we understand the situation is changing rapidly, a clear roadmap of how events will return would give our industry a light at the end of the tunnel. 35% of our survey respondents indicated this would help them most with their business. Having clarity, along with extended financial support, will help steer business owners into making decisions about their workforce and their livelihoods.

Adrian Luckie, founder of Mama’s Jerk, a Feast It supplier providing Jamaican-style catering, put this into perspective: “Our incredible industry has effectively been banned. We’ve been given no clear direction on how we can make it through this crisis and all that we’re looking for at this stage is clarity on how we can survive.”

While we appreciate the immediate need for our industry to play a part in saving lives, the findings of the survey are clear. There’s a genuine danger that there won’t be suppliers available to create future events and new memories for customers when the world goes back to normal. Feast It will continue to shine a light on this situation and campaign to the government to provide support for this incredible industry.