PCMA Convene recently surveyed event professionals to gain insight about the impact of COVID-19 on the business events industry. Here are our key takeaways:
- Meeting professionals are resilient: the survey reports many are taking the opportunity to reset and rethink a future with digital events and face-to-face working together while they redraw their value propositions.
- Contracts and insurance will look different: planners will be more specific in the wording used for cancellations and what unforeseen circumstances the force majeure clause covers. Some will consider not just where the event takes place, but where the attendees are coming from.
- Rebooking windows remain generally unclear: over 25% have not determined when they will reschedule their meetings, and another 25% have booked for September or later.
- Virtual meetings are happening: 70% of respondents are moving all or some of their meeting to a virtual platform. They will use livestream speakers, webinars, abbreviated programs, have an emcee, include Q&A and chat and interactive features, and virtual exhibits.
- Virtual meetings will offer new perks: respondents noted they will add new features to their virtual meetings including small group peer coaching, sending gift baskets to registrants with a dessert to be consumed en masse to end an event, creating a closed Facebook group, virtual networking lounges, happy hours and round tables, speaker podcasts, instant translation services, virtual awards ceremonies, and quizzes with instant results for certifications.
- Pricing will change: 46% of respondents said the registration cost will be lower with the virtual meeting.
- Re-education is key: planners are re-skilling themselves in virtual meetings and digital technologies and are studying crisis management, honing contract and marketing skills.
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