On 24 November, the Federal Conference Event Industry 2022 illustrated the urgent need for political and economic action by the industry. The industry, with over 1.1 million direct employees, is still suffering from a brain drain and a lack of trainees. After the new start in May 2022, it again faces huge challenges in the winter half-year 2022/2023. The jointly adopted list of demands was handed over to Michael Kellner, Parliamentary State Secretary BMWK, at the federal conference.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Association of the Security Industry (BDSW), Florian Graf, opened the 2nd Federal Congress of the Event Industry in Berlin as patron on 24 November 2022. The keynote speech was given by Erhard Grundl, Member of the Bundestag and spokesman for culture and media for the Green Party in the Bundestag. In his talk, he explained that the concert sector is still suffering from the consequences of the pandemic and is now also affected by the energy crisis and inflation. “You can tell people are cutting back and Corona has hit the industry hard enough as it is. I hope that a federal funding programme similar to ‘Restart Culture’ will continue because as long as the pandemic is working, money needs to keep flowing.” Rising inflation and the predicted recession are having a profound impact on planning activities for major events. Long-term planning and perspectives are essential. In the context of Corona and the crisis winter, this leads to uncertainty among clients. At the same time, there is critical reluctance to plan and cancellations of events.
Main topics of the national conference
The participants then discussed the burning issues of the sector such as the effects of the pandemic, increasing shortage of skilled workers, liquidity of the sector, securing prospects for sole traders, solo self-employed, solo artists and freelancers, work intensification, sustainability, future prospects and strengthening of the sector. They determined the future focus of the work of the representatives of the national conference. The Council of Representatives of the Federal Conference of the Event Industry is elected annually. The previous councillors Kerstin Meisner, Christian Eichenberger, David Eickelberg, Marcel Fery, Mike P. Heisel and Alexander Ostermeier stood for re-election and were re-elected with 100 percent. Newly elected to the Council of Representatives were cultural manager Martina Fritz, diversity activist, tour manager, producer and organiser Rike van Kleef and event manager Juliane Schulzki.
Policy discussion and keynote speeches
In panel discussions in the afternoon, the challenges of event security, sustainability and the circular economy were addressed. In the latter panel, Tessa Ganserer (Member of the German Bundestag), Rebecca Freitag, Dr Tobias Orthen, Dr. Christoph Soukup and Marko Roscher (speaker fwd: Bundesvereinigung Veranstaltungswirtschaft) gave valuable impulses for a more sustainable event industry, before Dieter Semmelmann (Managing Director Semmel Concerts Entertainment), Markus Illing (Managing Director VOSS & FISCHER), David Ruetz (Head of ITB Berlin) and Ingrid Hartges (Chief Executive DEHOGA) gave an overview of the current situation of the event and tourism industry from the point of view of entrepreneurs and associations.
The politically high-level Polittalk rounded off the Federal Conference on the Event Industry 2022. Chaired by Georg Ehrmann (Managing Partner of Beust & Coll. ), Michael Kellner (Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister of Economics and Climate Protection and Federal Government Commissioner for the Cultural and Creative Industries), Helge Lindh (Member of the Bundestag and Chairman of the Committee on Culture and Media), Anikó Glogowski-Merten (Member of the Bundestag and Member of the Committee on Culture and Media), Maximilian Mörseburg (Member of the Bundestag and Chairman of the Committee on Culture and Media), Michael Biel (State Secretary in the Berlin Senate Department for Economy, Energy and Operations) the current challenges, the limits of economic aid, the medium- and long-term transformation of the event industry and the social goal of sustainability and CO2-free before the upcoming third winter of crisis for the event industry.
The Federal Conference of the Event Industry 2022 has underlined the importance of a cross-organisational platform where industry players can network and jointly formulate political demands.