A letter sent to the European Commission on 22 September 2020

Dear Ms. Executive Vice-President Vestager,

The event industry has been devastated by the effects of the coronavirus. All of the market segments: business events, cultural events, and public events have not been able to generate revenue since the beginning of March 2020. The necessary regulations to protect the public: hygiene and social-distancing requirements, make the planning and implementation of events non-economical. Furthermore, participants are currently hesitant to attend any event format.

Business events alone generated around 274 billion Euros in direct spending with 462.5 million participants in 2017 while providing 2.713 million jobs in Europe[1]. The cultural event sector (excluding publicly funded cultural events) generates around 127.6 billion Euros in revenue while employing 1.234 million people.[2] These sectors were the first to be affected by the crisis and they will be the last to recover. Even the most optimistic studies and forecasts predict a possible return to “normalcy” in the market at the earliest at the end of Q2 2021.

The event industry in Germany is desperately in need of further support. There is no way that artists, freelancers, micro, small and medium-sized enterprises or larger companies can economically survive such a long period without an opportunity to generate revenue. We would greatly appreciate a positive decision for an application by the German Government for further state aid and a higher limit within the state aid framework based on the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU): Article 107; (3): (b) aid to promote the execution of an important project of common European interest or to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a Member State”; and: d) aid to promote culture and heritage conservation where such aid does not affect trading conditions and competition in the Union to an extent that is contrary to the common interest.

We would also support such applications by other Member States as we are an international and borderless industry and our friends and colleagues in Europe are all experiencing the same difficulties.

The event industry associations are ready to work together with the EU and all Member States to achieve the policy objectives laid out in the Green Deal. We support the necessary transformation to a circular economy, supporting the transition through research, innovation and digitalization. In a statement made on May 8th 2020, you remarked: “It must also be in the common interest to intervene, for example to avoid social hardship and market failure due to significant loss of employment, the exit of an innovative or a systemically important company, or the risk of disruption to an important service.”

The event industry, after years of growth, is now in a perilous and precarious situation – without any fault of its own. At least 3.9 million jobs are at stake within the European Union. We ask for your support for further state aid and a higher limit within the state aid framework for this very important economic and cultural sector in the EU.


Prof. Jens Michow, Managing Director and President, BDKV
Timo Feuerbach, Managing Director, EVVC
Jan Kalbfleisch, Managing Director, FAMAB
Marcus Pohl, Chairman of the Board, isdv
Karsten Schoelermann, Member of the Board, LiveKomm
Linda Residovic, Managing Director, VPLT

[1] Global Economic Significance of Business Events, Events Industry Council, Oxford Economics, November 2018Global Economic Significance of Business Events, Events Industry Council, Oxford Economics, November 2018 (exchange rate: $1 = 0.84313 €; 21.09.2020 | includes: Poland/Romania/Czech Republic))

[2] Creating growth Measuring cultural and creative markets in the EU, EY, December 2014 (exchange rate: $1 = 0.84313 €; 21.09.2020)