The event equipment hire market has experienced growth since 2011, boosted in 2012 by the Olympic and Paralympic Games and by good weather in 2013 over the key events season, and there has been steady underlying growth since then, according to a new report published by AMA Research. The market is forecast to increase by a further 2% in 2017 to reach a value of around £600m. However, growth has been restricted by its highly competitive nature which has tended to increase pressure on prices.
The UK has a well-developed infrastructure of event destinations, venues and service suppliers, with estimates of around £40 billion annual income from UK events, which provides good opportunities for the event equipment hire market. There is no universally accepted definition of the ‘event hire’ sector, but AMA’s definition includes the key product groups of; staging & structures, portable buildings, audio-visual, power generation and climate control, interiors, traffic & crowd control, security, signage & portable access solutions and access & other plant hire.
It is estimated that the exhibitions & trade show sector accounts for the largest share of the event market, with an estimated 55-60% share. Other key sectors include sports, music, festivals & cultural events, corporate hospitability, charity events and hobby festivals. It is difficult to quantify the product mix as no two events are alike, but it is estimated that the largest equipment hire sectors are ‘staging, structures & seating’ and ‘portable buildings & sanitation’ – with a combined share of around 50% of the market according to AMA estimates. Other important hire sectors are power generation & climate control, audio-visual & lighting, signage, traffic & crowd control, security & portable access and interiors.
In terms of supply, this is a highly complex and fragmented market, with very few total event equipment hire companies. However, some sectors are more fragmented than others - for example, there are hundreds of companies supplying toilets, while sectors such as audio-visual equipment, power generation and staging are much more concentrated. ‘Cross-hiring’ is also a significant feature of this market, where hire companies’ own equipment levels are exceeded and they hire equipment from other companies as required.
Key trends in the market include increasing visitor expectations (reflected in a wider use of AV) and a greater focus on comfort and safety (marquees, environmental control, walkways, sanitation, power requirements) etc.
“Overall, the event equipment hire market is expected to experience growth to 2020, although opportunities for individual hire companies are likely to vary depending on their product portfolio, network and local events” said Andrew Hartley, Director of AMA Research. “Whilst future growth rates can be significantly affected by changes in the climate in any given year, the underlying rate of growth is set to be positive”.
The market will continue to be highly dependent on performance in the overall events sector. One-off events, such as the Olympics in 2012 and the Queen’s 90th birthday in 2016, can significantly impact on the event industry, and upcoming events that should have a positive impact on the market include the 2017 World Athletics Championship in London and the 2019 Cricket World Cup. The market is always prone to prevailing weather conditions in the peak Spring / Summer periods, but underlying trends remain positive given the general popularity of outdoor events and growing customer expectations for a ‘better experience’.
The ‘Event Equipment Hire Market Report – UK 2017-2021 Analysis’ report is published by AMA Research, a leading provider of market research and consultancy services with over 25 years’ experience within the construction and home improvement markets. The report is available now and can be ordered online at www.amaresearch.co.uk or by calling 01242 235724.