ARLINGTON, Va. — Knowland, provider of meeting and events analytics, and ConferenceDirect, a full service in-person, virtual, and hybrid meeting solution company, recently released results from their 2020 Planner Survey: The State of the Meeting Industry, designed to help industry professionals understand the planner and event manager perspective on recovery.
The inability to meet, collaborate, and ideate as a group has substantially impacted businesses during this disruption. Getting back to the business of business is at the heart of the meeting and events industry. With the reality of a COVID-19 vaccine in distribution and new norms in place, the future of the meeting industry does include the return to in-person meetings in 2021. Meetings may not look the same, but the value of face-to-face connections will not be overlooked, according to the report.
Highlights from the survey include:
- 76 percent of meeting planner respondents are now rebooking meetings
- Planners ranked following local safety guidelines (78.9 percent) and communication of safety protocols (75.8 percent) as the highest reasons encouraging them to book a facility
- 60 percent cited flexible low-risk hotel contracts as an extremely important requirement for in-person meetings, second only to a vaccine (65.3 percent)
- 45 percent of planners expect meeting size (number of attendees) will return to pre-COVID levels in 2023
Kristi White, vice president of product management, Knowland, said, “The survey confirmed what we are seeing in Knowland’s data. Small, local meetings are happening today with almost 60 percent being corporate events, due in part to the fact that hotels and venues are enabling organizations to come together confidently and safely.”
Larry Hanson, chief marketing officer, ConferenceDirect, added, “Meeting planners have redefined what is possible with events through the latest digital technologies and creative problem-solving. The return to in-person meetings in 2021 will have a new playbook with even more innovation that boosts financial health for the industry overall.”