There is an industry in Italy that cannot be seen, but produces everything we see, with amazement, every year, and which has a turnover equal to the GDP of a region. It’s called the “event industry”, it occupies 40% of hotel nights (de facto guaranteeing their survival), brings millions of turnover to Italian coffers, winning everywhere in the world, supports the business of all the brands on the market, produces creativity and technological innovation.
A sector, that of live communication, which develops 10 billion euros between corporate events, fashion and congresses, including related industries for catering, scenography, techniques, logistics, services … 50,000 first-tier employees who become ten times as much in all the supply chain. Unless we want to add the entertainment sector of amusement parks, sporting events, the culture sector (416,080 employees, a number that accounts for 6.8% of the country’s economic activities with 96 billion euros: Symbola Foundation research 2019) .
Sanremo is an event. Design Week is an event like the launch of a car. The European Football Championships are an event, as was Expo Milano 2015, which changed the face of a city, Jovanotti’s Tour or an exhibition. It’s just that, as always, Italy and the institutions have not been able to see it even if more than 28 million Italians participate (source ADCgroup). These realities have never been able to take advantage of layoffs (companies often have a limited number of employees).
They have never had subsidized loans for investments in technology and research. Never concrete help to conquer foreign markets and bring “Made in Italy” to the world, as Filmmaster, Simmetrico, Next and the other 40 agencies with a strong international propulsion that have given life to the “Club degli Eventi” have always done with success . But also many freelance professionals, freelancers and cooperatives that operate across all these sectors.
Everything now threatens to collapse within a few days. Because of a virus, of course. But also for a crisis management that has produced a terrorist communication to the international markets. Canceled events and lack of planning means prolonging this malaise for another six months, even if the epidemic ends tomorrow, sanctioning the death of many companies. And, in cascade, of all that sector which certainly has its backbone in Rome, Milan, Turin and Florence, but which branches out in a capillary manner throughout the national territory, including small realities, services, agencies.
Without events, without investments and without flow of participants, Italy closes. And the time has come to realize this, asking the Government and the competent ministries, I am thinking of Economic Development and the Economy, to recognize the state of crisis, identifying in common agreement with the trade associations, finally reunited, immediate and targeted interventions. Seeing what you all see, an industry that generates business, but has always been invisible.
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