The Effects of COVID 19 on the South East Asia Events Industry

The Effects of COVID 19 on The Sout East Asia Events Industry - TRAVELINDEXBangkok, Thailand, May 8, 2020 / TRAVELINDEX / Preparing the events industry for a future after COVID-19 PouchNation collects events industry insights and evaluates the outcome during the first episode of a series of webinars. PouchNation, a leader in digitising mass participation events and venues through the use of NFC technology, launched a series of virtual event industry conferences. During the pilot session industry leaders gathered to discuss the results from an in-depth survey circulated amongst 267 respondents from within the event industry in the region.

Koen van Geene, Director of Special Projects and Country Head for Thailand and Myanmar, commented “Since inception some 6 years ago, PouchNATION has positioned itself to be a serious regional player in the Southeast Asain Event’s Space. In the light of the global pandemic, we had been in discussions with our clients regarding ideas, initiatives, and the concept of “the new normal”. More than ever we believed that across the industry all types of stakeholders should join forces in an effort to revive the event industry. This resulted in the initiative to conduct a series of surveys and webinars. Following the first survey, we invited a select panel of industry heavyweights to brainstorm in an interactive webinar on how we, as an industry, can come back stronger by implementing new SOP’s and technologies. We had over 3,000 views to date and the feedback has been very positive”.

Key findings from the topics discussed include:

The survival and “safety net” measures organisations have put in place to adapt to the current situation, include areas of business diversification as well as percentages of reductions across staffing levels, salaries and overheads. As per the survey responses, 82% of all businesses experienced reductions in all the aforementioned.

• Vision of how to revive the events industry and looking towards the future
One of the significant comments made was “We, the industry, tend to understand event complexities better than some regional or local government bodies. We should take it upon us and be proactive in creating new and workable SOPs which are acceptable to all stakeholders as well as patrons. This is not the time to sit back and wait for official bodies to come back to us and stipulate how things are going to work in future. We should work with them and lead from the front.”

• Special strategies to see your business through this global downturn

• Return to business predictions and projected timeline for the return of events

Our main takeaways here are that the majority of respondents expect ‘small events’ (upto 500 pax) to return Q3 of this year. With larger events (5,000-10,000pax) to return Q1 2021. Finally, another very interesting statistic is that 28% of all respondents don’t expect to see a return of 20,000+ events until Q3 2021 or even later.

• A projection of sponsorship and corporate partnership, as well as discussion on revenue channels. Showing, based on survey results, 2021’s large sponsorship budgets are predicted to overtake 2019’s spent sponsors budget. The general consensus from the webinar panel aligned in the belief that certain sponsors have unspent budgets and are keen to get their names “out there” again as soon as possible.

• New measures, Standard Operating Procedures and technologies. Creating and agreeing on “the new normal”, for the events industry. Social distancing is not practical for festival-type events, therefore technology can help. Other proposed solutions included (self)temperature checking, on-the-spot/ instant testing, GPS contract tracing, and strict requirements for masks, health and travel declarations.

As a result of the current downturn in events, PouchNATION too diversified their products and services offering. There has been a good market response to their 2 recently launched verticals. 1) Digital Events – providing an alternative for EOs to stream events online. PouchNATION Content is confirmed to be broadcasting events in Malaysia, Vietnam and Philippines from next week onward. 2) Advanced health screening wristbands – in the wake of COVID-19, this new product will be combining PouchNATION’s traditional NFC wristband, and all its features, with newly added body temperature sensors.

The full survey analytics is available for download here:, and full recording of the session for those interested.

PouchNATION’s next virtual conferences are scheduled 3pm (SG time) topic as follows;

Wednesday May 20 The Effects of COVID 19 on Hostel & Budget Travel Industry Wednesday June 10 The Effects of COVID 19 on Overall Hotel Industry, and later on The Effects of COVID 19 on MICE Tourism, date to be announced.

A pre-event survey will also be circulated to gather the topic attracting the most interest.

About PouchNATION
PouchNATION is a leading offline-to-online solution for events and recreational venues in Asia with offices in Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and Thailand. PouchNATION provides clients across Asia with a simple, speedy, and secure way to manage crowds, process payments, collect data and much more.