While layoffs continue to make headlines in various sectors, the events industry is also preparing for an economic downturn. More and more companies in the event industry are announcing layoffs, staff reductions, and consolidations on a weekly basis. According to Brandt, the industry should have taken preventive measures before this point was reached.

Discuss with Will and Brandt how we got here and how you can deal with layoffs and consolidations in the events industry. Although they cannot predict the future of events (as we will find out after), they have been discussing this topic for months and are ready to provide useful advice and support.

How did we get here?

Brandt begins today’s discussion by emphasizing the seriousness of today’s topic and citing the recent layoffs in the industry. Bizzabo announced a 30% layoff. Hopkins has gone through several rounds of layoffs. At the beginning of the year, there was a decrease of 12%, and now another 30%.”

“All of this surrounds the conversation we’ve had over the past few months about mergers and acquisitions in the event tech community. I was nervous that this would happen,” says Brandt. “Every time mutual funds come in, these investors want their money back at some point. When we get out of recent times, income figures are falling, and the fastest way to add money to the bottom line is to lay off employees. People are expensive.”

Will makes an important point. Many companies that make layoffs are private, which means that some data about the company and layoffs are not publicly available. But that’s not the only concern he has. “I have seen a strange mix of certain positions and styles that they reject. I’ve seen a lot of marketing people get fired, but I’ve also seen operations people. This is not good, because it means that they are underutilized, the operation is not going well, or is not profitable,” explains Will. “I worry when I see marketing people get fired because it usually means they believe the market isn’t there, that there isn’t enough demand to do it. So it can feel like the demand might be going down.”

Brandt finds it hard to believe that companies were not better prepared for this decline after such rapid growth. “I’ve never had the illusion that this online platform boost is anything but a bubble,” he says. “I am grateful for the boost it has given this side of the industry. We catapulted ourselves 10 or 20 into the future. There is a silver lining on the horizon. It’s just a little frustrating to me that no one saw this coming. As someone who brews in this room, it’s frustrating to see so many people lose their jobs because someone thought this was an endless party.”

Dealing with layoffs and consolidations in the events sector

You can’t always ensure your job security, but there are things you can do to position yourself in the worst matter scenario. Here are some recommendations and resources that Will and Brandt believe will help you endure layoffs and get out of them better.

Reshuffle staff

Will’s first recommendation focuses more on companies in the industry. There are companies that need event staff. He believes it will help the entire industry if these companies hire laid-off workers in other parts of the events industry.

“We have gone from an explosion of growth to a decline in growth, to now shaky ground. It’s not a confidence-building industry to be a part of,” Will says. “I think there is an opportunity to rebuild something. The best thing we can do now is for the companies that have struggled to find employees to pick these people up. I think my hope from all this is that a lot of experience and learning will be gained here. And now this experience is spreading to the entire industry, rather than just being with the one who has the most VC money.”

Brandt agrees. “I wanted to finish with a few positive things. This is one of them. All people who are fired, unfortunately, try to stay in the industry,” recommends Brandt. “There are a lot of people working right now. It could mean moving from the digital world to the personal world. It could mean switching from customer service for an online platform to customer service for a hotel. I advise you to stay in the industry.”

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