FRANCE – Monitoring Events Agencies in France, cautious optimism for 2011

Philippe Fournier.jpgANAé, the French Association founded with the intent of representing qualified agencies working in the events sector, conducted for the sixth consecutive year – in collaboration with Bedouk Meetings & Events Media – market research of the events industry. This research, that studies the economic impact and the main trends of the sector, has demonstrated some recovery in the market of events in the year 2010 and encouraging prospects for 2011. The sample involved 300 French agencies 50% of whose turnover had to be based on the production of events, with an annual turnover exceeding 300.000 euro, and founded before 2008.

The research referring to the year 2009 showed a decrease of 13,5% (around 2 million euros) in turnover compared to 2008. Agencies were downsized: some were forced to close, others were acquired by larger groups.

In 2010 the events world is in slight recovery, but the crisis persists. The trends of 2010 show the market, once again, concentrated around companies. 83,5% of events are commissioned by companies, 8% by the public sector and only 7,5% by associations.

06The main sectors that use the event as a communication lever are the financial-banking-insurance sector (46,5%), followed by the industrial sector (37%), large retailers (31%), and finally the chemico-pharmaceutical (25,5%). After a 2009 marked by a reduction in the scope of events, 2010 was characterized by a breakdown in the “size” of events similar to that of 2008. 44% of events realized involved a number of participants between 50 and 200 (+10% with respect to 2009), 20% from 200 to 500 (+3% with respect to 2009), 12% of events involved over 500 participants and 24% less than 50.

The most requested types of events are corporate events (31%), followed by internal events (17%), fairs (10%), congresses (10%), public events (10%), and finally, consumer (7%) and cultural (5%) events.

A cornerstone of the research is that France continues to be the preferred destination for events organized by French agencies, reluctant to move within Europe or overseas. 74% of the events take place in France (60% of which in Paris), followed by Spain (decreasing), the United States, Italy (decreasing), and Morocco (growing). The choice of France as a destination is also due to the fact the 89% of events commissioned to French agencies come from French companies or companies based in France.  

2011 looks optimistic: turnover is increasing, although margins are shrinking dramatically. The 2009/2010 trend of holding luxury events will persist in 2011. For this reason, agencies will have to double their efforts to preserve their margins, earn clients’ trust and grab the status of ‘partner’ coveted by those who work in the sector.

Resting on the topic of agencies being seen as company partners, the data is not very comforting. Only 34% of revenues of an agency derive from the confirmation of appointments not part of a race, 39% of turnover derives from new races in which the events agency had to participate despite the company already being a client and 27% derives from new races in which the agency had never participated before. Unfortunately the main criterion that leads to the choice of an agency is still the cost, followed by creativity, the know-do and proactivity.