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COVID survive in the event industry

June 4, 2020

Read for 5 min

The opinions of the employees of s You are personal.

COVID survive in the event industryCOVID survive in the event industry

We operate in 90 countries, we calculate in different currencies, we have two income models, we have a very strong brand, our customers love us, they are very stable and have a high repetition, we have high margins … what could possibly be go wrong?

A pandemic. A global change that makes the industry in which we operate disappear: events. What to do if you are at the lowest point of the year and 83% of your income is at high risk? If millions of pesos will fall in contracts?

In the following I share the main activities of crap and the Fault institute in the past 3 months hoping that they will help or inspire you to continue.


The first thing we admitted was that we didn’t know what was going to happen. Instead of guessing, we create one COVID daily update by mail with global data on the pandemic and its impact on our business. For example: “5 events canceled from today”. This allowed us to better understand trends, speed and the extent to which we had to react operationally and financially.

In my weekly report to the entire team, I started a Summary of our annual financial statements We leave clear sales, earnings, expenses and runways (the time before we ran out of money). This transparency created a lot of personal responsibility and concentration in the team.

The next one was Reduce all variable costs as soon as possible to take care of the money. With providers, subscriptions, technology tools, marketing experiments, etc., everything was canceled or stopped.

We gave priority to the health of the team and our environment and started with it telework March 12th. A month later we decided to stay 100% away forever. Due to the global nature of our business and our (ex) offices in CDMX and Mallorca, this was an easy transition. If you would like to learn more about our recommendations for remote work, we will share them with you here.

We activated ourselves at the beginning of March Flow flows. We ask for 20 or 30% for advanced work or just an advance for future planned events. We factorize and we’ve improved the payment guidelines to improve our flow during and after the pandemic.

After the reactive phase it was time to try to develop further.


The first was Convert our processes to digital. We control our publicly accessible events and our events with customers in video conferences. It took three weeks to try to focus and show them the value first hand so our customers could win. We invited them to our open events and saw the energy, participation and impact. Many chose digitalization and the result was impressive.

Then it was time to Define strategy and goals, even if they were only temporary to give the team as much clarity as possible.

We summarize the strategy as follows: “Buy time”, which means accepting that we didn’t know what would happen, and focus on extending the runway. To this end, we have introduced two potential additional sources of income: sponsorship and a digital subscription to content and experience.

We define three goals: protecting our organizational culture, protecting team salaries as much as possible, and trying to maintain our income-generating skills.

On this basis, we applied for a loan and spoke to the team to propose a loan Lower salaries to 70% (Except mine at 50%) instead of cutting people. We would then have a pay slip by the end of August, and together we would have to find ways to increase earnings to extend that date.

The banks told us that they would not grant SMEs any loans for the next three months. We had to resort to almost twice as much credit and adjust our forecasts with these additional interest costs.

As soon as we have financial clarity by August, we turn to new sources of income. We create Innovation laboratories with four goals: validating our digital events until we have personally satisfied them, validating the scalability of a new subscription for content and experiences that we start from this development, searching for digital video formats with more engagement and recognizing innovations from ours Local organizers in 320 cities and then scale them worldwide.

Today we are happy and proud because thanks to our culture and the genius of the team our initiatives are confirmed and in the last seven weeks we have extended our runway until the end of December. We are still waiting for the hardest things to come because of a recession, but we feel united, more efficient, and more capable than ever to face this situation.

The purpose of Fuckup is to share experiences and knowledge to help people live to the fullest. We know that these are difficult times, so we share our experience with you and hope that it will be useful. Hopefully you can visit our pages and register to become part of our community and to develop and inspire.