As the live events industry embarks on its strong return to activity, the question of how organisers and suppliers can cope with rising costs will be posed to industry professionals at next month’s Event Production Show (EPS).

During the final main stage session of the EPS conference, leading industry figures will discuss the rising costs of fuel, supplies and materials – whether these will be passed on to ticket buyers and if event organisers are willing and able to take the hit.

Access editor Christopher Barrett will be joined by Organise Chaos operations director Clare Goodchild, Production Services Association general manager Dave Keighley, Vision Nine festival director Kevin Moore and LS Events senior project manager Laura Armstrong.

Keighley says, “It is interesting to see how shows and tours will manage this year with these ever-increasing costs. The biggest problem is for shows going ahead in 2022 that have been postponed from 2020 and 2021 as these shows have already sold tickets based on costs calculated 2019. Does this mean some shows will go ahead even if they could do so at a financial loss?

“Shows budgeted in 2021 and 2022 can now be done with understanding of the current process and I guess this means ticket prices will go up.”

As well as issues such as the impact of cabotage on trucking and bussing, Keighley says he is looking to discuss the shortage of trained and competent technicians, as many have left the industry or moved into other sectors of live events away from music.

Keighley adds, “How are we going to replace these people and how do we encourage them to return? The industry needs to focus on apprenticeships but this a longer-term fix and will not help in the next two or three years.”

Goodchild says, “We are all working within a changing landscape at the moment; our supplier pool isn’t the same as before pre-Covid, the availability of infrastructure and staff Is reduced, and the political environment has changed with Brexit and inflation.

“The past two years have taught us that we can overcome these issues better when we work collectively as an industry, so hopefully this panel will give us a chance to discuss the challenges and solutions we are all facing.”

Looking forward to the show, Goodchild adds, “It is always a pleasure to be invited to speak, but it also gives me a chance to catch up with suppliers, other organisers, and friends from the industry. It is always a super-productive and enjoyable week, and I am excited to be back there.”

The panel will take place on day two of the Event Production Show, on 9 March at ExCeL London. Register to attend the show here.