The Event Industry in India has grown from INR 2,800 crore in 2012 to a little above INR 4,300 crore in 2015 and that’s massive. It’s also not a complete picture. The Great Indian Event Industry has been seeing a lot of activity in the largely ignored democratized events segment since 2012. Despite its fledgling status compared to industry giants, the democratized events space has been growing exponentially with an estimated current growth rate of 32% as per our data.
Most analysts are aware of democratized events gaining traction. But the truth is such events are notoriously hard to pin down. Democratized events constitute events organized by individuals or groups for hyperlocal consumers, generally interest or community based. At Explara, we have seen a steady increase in cases that started from a zero revenue, socio-interest based event model to minimal and sometimes even high revenue based event models. And this evolution hasn’t been gradual.
Data, Data, Data
An extended analysis of over 34,000 events created over the past 3 years has revealed that an increasing number of events (current growth rate hovering around 32%) providing identical experiences and catering to similar interests with minor variations in organizational logistics that were listed as free, interest based gatherings are now transitioning to paid, ticketed events. And getting sold.
The sold to listed inventory ratio isn’t going to scorch any accounts soon at 0.38, but it’s getting there. And fast if this intriguing article by Forbes is any indication of sweeping trends- which it is. The key takeaway is that this cottage industry of the Events world is up and scrambling along.
Why you haven’t heard of this before
So what makes these events hard to track? For one, they don’t make the headlines. In fact, most of these events are almost exclusively listed and completed through stand alone platforms. It’s glaringly obvious. Repeated free events that have maintained a consistent standard on a particular platform have built a community around themselves. These regulars have their own regulars who don’t mind spending a little in return for great experiences.
There are a fair number of such platforms, each of these platforms has a rough idea of the market share distribution and we can safely say, by extrapolating from our numbers and factoring in other DIY based platforms that democratize events, that the market cap of the Indian event industry just got a huge boost. Adding growth and the projected size of the event industry in 2016-2017, that makes it just over INR 900 crore.
Where is it headed?
Meetup, the popular social meeting app has transformed the way a lot of people eke out a living today. Leslie, a prolific Meetup user had this to say in response to a query, “What was part time is now my full time, albeit seasonal, job. I can no longer afford to give anything away for free so every fun event on my busy calendar requires payment – moonlight paddles followed by a campfire dinner, historic guided tours, river paddles and lessons. I don’t know how my new job will do but today I have 1,701 members and hoping for the best. My income is reported on my taxes and I have a business license.”
Democratized events are going to reshape the events industry. Event entrepreneurship is on the fast track to break out of the ‘niche career orbit’ and we believe the results will be apparent by 2018.
It’s going to be an exhilarating ride.