Germany’s event industry rallies in Night of Light campaign
Thursday, 25 June 2020
bundestagberlinnightoflight-touseThe German Bundestag was also lit in red I Photo: Night of Light
Germany - The plight of the German events industry due to the COVID-19 crisis was highlighted during a campaign that saw thousands of buildings across the country illuminated in red on the night of 22 June (Monday).
The Night of Light campaign attracted more than 8,000 participants, including production houses and manufacturers, who used lighting and projection tools to light the facades of more than 9,000 buildings in over 1,500 locations.
The initiative aimed to spotlight the struggles of the events industry, with the red light chosen to symbolise the ‘red alert’ level that the industry is under due to state-wide restrictions on large-scale live events.
Germany’s event industry comprises more than 150 sub-sectors and is one of the country’s top employers, with around a million direct employees. It generates a combined turnover of around €130bn, according to a Research Institute for Exhibition and Live-Communication study.
But having been shut down since 10 March due to COVID-19 - and with restrictions on large events now extended into October - the industry’s whole supply chain is under threat, with Night of Light stating that the sector would require further state aid to survive the next 100 days.
The campaign has estimated the majority of firms are projected to lose 80%-100% of revenue during the eight-month period and has also stressed that the government’s current loan scheme would be insufficient to support businesses in the long run, as whilst loans can cover operating costs, they would add to the growing financial burden on companies and hamper their recovery.
“You can put the event industry on a respirator, but eventually, the oxygen supply will run out,” commented Tom Koperek, the initiator of the campaign and board member of marketing agency LK-AG Essen. “The overwhelming number of supporters and participants [of the Night of Light campaign] clearly shows that we have a huge problem. We hope that the politicians are ready to join us in a solution-oriented dialogue.”
Accompanying the Monday night event, Koperek joined several event industry specialists to debate the industry’s present and future. The discussion, which was live-streamed and is available online, also featured Marek Lieberberg (MD of Live Nation), Jan Kalbfleisch (MD of FAMAB and initiator of the current study Macroeconomic importance of the event industry), Kristina Vogt (chair of the Conference of Ministers for Economic Affairs), Georg Broich (MD of Broich Catering & Locations and President of LECA), musician Vera Klima and Christian Seidenstücker (board member of JOKE Event AG and co-initiator Back to Live).
Meanwhile, at the Adam Hall Group’s Experience Centre near Frankfurt, local promoter BigCityBeats supported the event by playing DJ sets that were live-streamed from 8pm to 1am CET. 

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