The Center of Expertise for Public Impact of Karel de Grote Hogeschool conducted a survey among the Belgian event sector during the corona crisis. During our event ‘Online events are here to stay’, lecturer/researcher Joris Verhulst spoke about this research, its results and the future of events.

The research on the future of events

At the request of Visit Flanders and Event Flanders, together with all major event federations, a survey was held at four moments in 2020 among organizations in which at least 50% of the turnover comes from the organization of and/or supply to events.

The financial impact of COVID-19 on the industry

In March 2020, organizers reported a 52% loss of revenue, rising to no less than 75% in December. These figures are reflected in the layoff figures. Because in addition to freelancers who are not or hardly used, 45% of organizations were forced to say goodbye to colleagues in 2020. The uncertainty remains, because 50% of companies expect (again) layoffs in 2021.

What are event organizers doing?

During the second wave of contamination, 80% of organizers were rescheduling live events. That percentage decreased to 60% in December and in the same period about 50% was busy organizing online events. Because at that time it was not yet clear when live events would be allowed, only 40% were busy organizing live events at that time.

The future of events

Event organizers are planning live events again from the second quarter of 2021 and that continues on an upward trend to the third quarter. The number of online and hybrid events is slightly reduced, but remains. In 2022, 25% of the events will be organized online and hybrid events is even 33%. As a result, we can say that online and hybrid events will continue after corona.

When asked literally to the industry, 63% of organizers say they are convinced that online and hybrid events will continue to be organized in the future.

You can download the full research report here. How do you see the future of events? We are curious! Share your vision with us at