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THURSDAY, September 28, 2023

After dull Songkran, events organisers eye recovery in second half of 2022

After dull Songkran, events organisers eye recovery in second half of 2022
TUESDAY, April 19, 2022

Two leading entrepreneurs said the event organising industry had remained quiet during the first half but one of them predicted a recovery by the year-end while the other was pessimistic and expected more contraction.

Chief executive officer of Index Creative Village Plc, Kriengkrai Kanchanapokin, said he believed the events organising industry bottomed out last year, and this year would see a recovery mainly because of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Summit in November.

But Upatham Nitisukcharoen, chairman of Rightman Co Ltd and president of Event Management Association, expected the event industry would contract 50 to 60 per cent.

Both said the industry had failed to pick up during the Songkran celebrations because businesses declined to hold major events due to the complicated Covid restrictions.

Kriengkrai said the Covid-19 pandemic and the economic slump, which was aggravated by the Russia-Ukraine war, had prompted business operators and various brands to decline to hold events during the first and second quarters.

He said the Bangkok elections had failed to help the industry because election candidates chose door-to-door campaigns instead of holding big election rallies.

Kriengkrai expected the industry to start recovering later this year after the government downgrades Covid-19 to an endemic and when Thailand hosts the Apec Summit in November.

Kriengkrai said the Index Creative Village still gets income from organising the Ancient City Light Festival from March 16 to May 15. And the company has been selected to organise the 2022 Thomas & Uber Cup badminton championships from May 8 to 15.

“The event industry will not contract further because no events were held last year and it has already hit bottom. This year, it has started seeing some growth from last year’s negative growth,” Kriengkrai said.

Upatham said major businesses failed to hold Songkran events this year, causing billions of baht to disappear from the industry.

“For the second half of year, the industry is expected to remain in the slump because the rainy season is the low season for events organising,” Upatham said.

“Worse still, the Omicron spread has not eased yet and it affects consumer confidence. Consumers dare not come out to live their normal lives, so brands and service providers are withhold spending for events,” Upatham said.

But he expected the industry to receive some money from the Bangkok elections and preparations by political parties to contest the next general election early next year.

Upatham also expected the government would spend billions of baht for organising events when it hosts the Apec Summit in November.

He, however, does not expect the spendings on elections and for the Apec Summit to offset the loss of event organising money during Songkran.

“The event organising industry’s slump will be prolonged. We cannot see when the Omicron spread will end,” Upatham said.

“So, the overall picture of the event organising industry in 2022 would contract some 50 to 60 per cent,” he said.