New European-wide research, commissioned by Epson, has revealed that 83 per cent of people questioned are planning to go to the same or a greater number of events once lockdown restrictions are lifted and 56 per cent of consumers said they would go to more events to “make up for lost time”.
The survey of 2,500 consumers, designed with the assistance of a leading psychologist and expert Professor Steven Taylor, a specialist on the impact of pandemics on social behaviour, found that the “life is short” sentiment resonates strongest amongst Baby Boomers (64 per cent), the Silent Generation (63 per cent) and females (61 per cent). More than two thirds (69 per cent) also said social events are “good for my soul and make me happy”.
The absence of in-person events has had a real impact on the public, with 63 per cent left feeling bored, sad and frustrated by not being able to have those experiences during lockdowns.
To make up for this, more than half (54 per cent) spent this time sharing memories of past events with friends and family, and a further 51 per cent have admitted to watching concerts and events online or on TV as a substitute for attending them in real life.
Professor Steven Taylor commented: “It’s clear that the overwhelming majority are eager to resume their pre-pandemic social lives, including attending live experiential events.
“People are resilient and most will bounce-back to their pre-pandemic levels of socialising – regardless of how they are feeling right now. Currently, people are in a state of pandemic fatigue. They feel stressed, and some are even suffering low levels of depression, which introduces a level of negative bias when thinking about their future plans.
“While some people will be anxious the first or second time they go to an event, their anxieties are likely to dissipate quickly. This is what happened in the past and it will happen again. In fact, I’m expecting that there will be a short-lived period of hyper sociability, a kind of mini ‘roaring 20s’ as people just bounce back. Live events will play a large role in this.”
Neil Colquhoun, vice president of professional displays, Epson Europe, said: “With consumers clearly missing the experience of attending events, many are looking forward to making up for lost time once lockdown ends. The events industry needs to prepare itself for an unprecedented surge in demand – it is probable that the ‘bounce back’ will be even stronger than people might imagine.
“The industry has suffered badly during lockdown, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. We can expect a serious party mood post-pandemic and organisers of events and attractions should now be readying themselves to make the most of the surge in demand.”
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