Entourage Pro: Insights | The Industry Report 2023.OverviewReport
The report, whilst available free of charge for use by the industry, is subject to copyright and remains property of Entourage Pro Ltd.Any reproduction, references, citations, data and quotations must be accredited to Entourage Pro Ltd.
Who We Are
Entourage Pro: Insights is the research division of Entourage Pro Ltd: The World’s First free, verified freelance global crew network, specialising in, and reporting on, the live entertainment sector.
No nonsense, impartial & detailed reports prepared by the industry for the industry.
In digitising traditional methods of sourcing and engaging with the global community of specialist production crew, Entourage Pro has built the New Way for freelancers to be seen, to be heard and to be hired.
In developing a robust and secure environment for skilled practitioners to exist, Entourage Pro provides the industry with not just a free resource to connect and employ crew but a route-one, direct line of communication with experienced production practitioners and those who are new to the industry. This is a live event production first.
The 2023 Industry Report is a top-level scope based on opinion and thoughts of specialist practitioners currently operating in the live event production and touring industries.
Intro + Overview
As well as sourcing the latest gig opportunities, Entourage Pro provides users and members a platform to share thoughts and ideas about the future and shape of the industry, and how we continue to push boundaries in creating new possibilities. This is not just about products, techniques, training or practises, it’s about ideas - vision, thoughts, legislation and concerns in order to serve the industry, better.
Following a tumultuous 2022, and for the purpose of this report, Entourage Pro: Insights called upon expert members of the live entertainment sector and the harmonised stakeholder components of the wider community, to provide insight and predictions for the year ahead. We gauge sentiment, feeling and expectation. On the back of this, the report reflects that sentiment and provides predictions of those integral to it.
There’s a lot to unravel. You name it, last year had it.
People in the live events industry design the future. They are key to the very foundation of what is the Experience Economy. Generally speaking; they have a certain type of humour/humor, and are by and large, incredibly insightful professionals. Overcoming challenges and obstacles in practical and conclusive ways is testament to the ‘can-do’ attitude of the sector. Prediction and future mapping, a daily occurrence. The Next Big Thing is demonstrated practically through that vision, creation and delivery. Largely speaking opinions are formed on cultural experience and knowledge rather than mere assumption. Entourage Pro: Insights has challenged our network for their thoughts and predictions for 2023.
These incredibly talented individuals’ success is measured by multiple audiences, on a continual basis.
We said we'd give the industry a voice, so let’s hear the Industry speak.
To-date, Entourage Pro has more than 3,700 members, specialising in over 6,500 positions, across 150+ key production roles.
These include audio, lighting, video, staging and each of the 16 disciplines that make up event production.
The Wider Industry
To supplement core member reaction, we also invited elements of the wider music industry to partake in the survey.
These consisted of Entourage Pro users from our rental and supply company networks, festival and event organisers, artist management, manufacturers, promoters and record labels.
Entourage Pro, through its partnership with Showcase Music will from time to time call upon the wider sector to form supplementary opinion. This will give us the opportunity to form a greater understanding of how differing elements of the sector work more effectively and efficiently for one another.
1024 core respondents consist primarily of freelance crew. With every crew member verified by at least one colleague in the production industry.
Additional context supplied from the wider industry.
Cost of Living
...are concerned about the cost-of-living crisis and its impact on the live events industry.
...are very or extremely concerned.
...of crew are not confident in the amount of work available to them this year to exist comfortably.
...of rental houses feel cost-of-living crisis will affect their plans on investing in new kit in 2023.
...of manufacturers have been forced to reconsider how they develop new technology in 2023
...of artist management say the impact of the cost-of-living crisis will affect their nurturing of new talent.
...of festival & event organisers anticipate impact of projected ticket sales for 2023.
...of festival & event organisers will organise more events this year compared to 2019.
...of crew have diversified skillsets into new areas,
of which 50% have undertaken paid work in these areas.
68% of the freelance community felt it necessary to diversify, post COVID.
Some have moved into completely new areas such as 3D visualization, construction, electrical work, education, financial planning, insurance, digital marketing, iOS app development and even farming.
Some found that their primary roles were transferable and have moved into other areas of the entertainment industry. Film and television (broadcast) and corporate events being the main.
Other industry roles included Covid compliance officers and health and safety. Some focused on improving their existing skills and/or moved into audio engineering, lighting design, and video production.
Opportunities in mental health, mentorship and teaching have also been widely explored.
Mental Health, Diversity & Pay
...have experienced restrictions or compromises in their ability to work due to mental health issues.
...have experienced diversity restrictions or compromises in the workplace.
....have been restricted or compromised in their ability to work due to low rates of pay based on experience.
...of crew have experienced mental health issues during a tour.
...of crew have experienced mental health issues following a tour.
...of crew know where to go in our industry to get support.
...of crew have not yet received any mental health first aid training.
...of technical crew felt some level of refresher training was necessary post pandemic.
...of technical crew felt manufacturers do not offer sufficient access to product training courses.
....of manufacturers felt that some level of re-training was necessary for crew.
....of manufacturers felt they offered sufficient access to product training.
...of crew worked on a production delivered solely for live streaming in the past two years.
...of crew had worked on live streaming productions prior to 2020.
...of all rental companies are still experiencing a shortage of skilled/qualified workers.
...In 2021 we counted losses of up to 40% of practitioners. In 2023 this number is nearer 30%.
..of all respondents have seen changes in the wake of the pandemic that would directly benefit the industry by being made permanent.
From the data, we found that freelance crew members want to see several of the changes become more permanent for the industry. These changes include better understanding and respect from the public and politicians, better working conditions and pay, better hygiene and health protocols, more job opportunities, and more training options.
They also want to see better work hours and higher wages, especially in comparison to those working in broadcast rates (given many now have first-hand knowledge). Additionally, they want greater mental health support and a renewed focus on work-life balance.
There is also a desire for more flexible working conditions and the ability for crew members to step away from a tour for health reasons without fear of reprisals.
Finally, there is a desire for increased livestreaming (certainly hybrid and augmented live) events, as well as more firm health and safety procedures.
...of crew have had issues specifying kit due to the current supply chain issues.
...of crew have been compromised in delivering shows to their standard level, due to kit availability.
....of manufacturers believe it will take 6-12 months for supply chain issues to normalise.
...however, believe it will take more than 12 months.
...will have to delay the launch of new products this year.
...will continue redesigning elements of their products.
61% of all respondents see trade shows, industry events and conferences as valuable for growing business and maintaining visibility.
On average the industry will visit...
58% of crew see trade shows, industry events and conferences as valuable for growing business and maintaining visibility.
On average crew will visit...
Of the 42% of crew that don’t see them as valuable for growing business and maintaining visibility, 34% still attend 1 or more during the year.
A huge 66% of respondents feel that overall, the industry doesn’t provide an early enough introduction to available careers in live entertainment. Clearer entry points and a closer relationships with schools, academies and Universities is needed.
Advise Crew would give to newcomers:
- Work hard and listen to others
- Be yourself, don't try to be someone you're not
- Start at the bottom and don't be afraid to ask questions
- Make connections and be professional
- Continuously learn and improve
- Don't be afraid to switch companies or areas
- Do the job you applied for and lower your expectations
- Get on a training scheme
- Enjoy the work and don't be afraid to try new things
- Find a good teacher and work hard
- Reach out to others in the industry and never stop learning
- Leave any arrogance at the door
- Be versatile
- Be on time, learn and work hard
- Don't think you know it all, keep a low profile and learn
- Be open-minded and don't limit yourself
- Ask lots of questions and offer to help
Best advice they have been given:
- Be humble and soak up knowledge from those around and above you.
- Don't be afraid to fail, but learn from your mistakes.
- Show up, work hard, and be grateful.
- Work as a team and help others find opportunities.
- Believe in what you do
- Keep a low profile, be nice to people, and don't give up hope.
- Diversify and have more than one skill set.
- Find a mentor and have a career plan.
- Don't act, ask questions if unsure.
- Be flexible and easy to work with.
- Stay safe, leave personal issues at home, and drop the attitude.
- Trust the process and keep plugging away.
- Buy gear that makes you money.
- Remember to smile, invoice, and move on to the next show.
- Stay humble and never stop learning.
- Always expect the unexpected.
- Be here to serve the guys on stage.
Biggest Challenges for 2023
According to The Industry Report 2023 the biggest concerns faced by operatives in the live entertainment sector, are primarily financial and logistical. Equally, finding the right balance in personal and work life is deemed to be paramount. Finding consistent work via regular clients is a concern that most people have identified as a vastly difficult proposition. This is primarily due to a substantial number of crew member’s contacts either leaving the industry, or being in higher demand than usual.
Getting a fairer deal, is also high on the list. A sense of reward and value in meeting roles and experience is being highlighted.
Additionally, dealing with budget cuts and inflation, as well as finding and booking the right gigs, are raising concerns.
There are challenges related to equipment supplies, crew availability, managing a busy workload, and unpredictability. Stress can also be a factor, as pressure to deliver quality work and maintain a healthy work-life balance, whilst the threat of losing a ‘regular gig’ is seemingly more prevalent.
Finding enough work to pay bills and sustain a living standard is also a challenge for some, predictably as the industry continues to recover from the impacts of the pandemic and the continued hindrances of Brexit.
Overall, there is a dominant sense of uncertainty and unpredictability that remains in the industry, as many struggle to keep up with the changes brought about by the pandemic, whilst grappling with how best to navigate the industry's future. Despite these challenges and personnel losses, there is an overall sense of the desire to continue doing what they do best and maintain their passion for the industry while finding success in their careers.
The industries resilience, adaptability and optimism signals that we can come out of a post-pandemic world even stronger…
The Entourage Pro: Insights report highlights both the challenges and opportunities from those working in the production of live events.
Whilst a staggering 94% of respondents are worried about the cost-of-living crisis and many freelance crew members lack confidence in the amount of work available to them. The report also informs us that crew members are a resourceful, positive bunch, diversifying their skillsets to work in new areas with many believing that certain changes in the wake of the pandemic would benefit the industry if made permanent.
And Entourage Pro will continue to reward their ingenuity and ‘can do’ spirit by:
- Building even more relationships with clients who provide freelance work.
- Bringing manufacturers and crew together to access the training and refresher courses post-pandemic.
- Highlighting the need for resources in the industry to support mental health, diversity and pay that are clearly affecting some members.
- Seeking opportunities earlier whilst underpinning traditional methods of finding work.
- Exploring new avenues and options to engage with (this is particularly true of students and newcomers)
So, while there are certainly challenges facing the live events industry, our report highlights the resilience, adaptability and optimism of those working in the field. With continued efforts to address the challenges and support the workforce, signs are good; the industry does indeed have the potential to come out even stronger in the post-pandemic world.
We hope you have enjoyed reading this report. This is purposely a top-level overview, it’s a start, a flavour of what’s possible. Because there’s so much more that we can learn together.
We’d love to hear from you if you’re a manufacturer, supplier, promoter, operator or educator and you’d like to work with us. Find out how you can jump on our transformational tour bus, become an integral part of our amazing onward journey and safeguard the future of our industry – contact us at email@example.com