The Strategic Alliance of the National Convention Bureaux of Europe has published an update of its 2020 study, ‘The Impact of Coronavirus on Europe’s Convention Sector’.
The report, prepared by Tourism Economics, provides three recovery scenarios for the meetings industry, given the level of uncertainty about how the pandemic situation will evolve over the coming months.
The baseline scenario assumes that lingering restrictions and negative sentiment effects in 2021 will mean that the recovery will not start in earnest until 2022. The removal of restrictions will then give large corporations and event planners confidence in the future and will allow for some rapid recovery of the sector. Visits are expected to recover by 2024.
The scenario also forecasts that different types of events will recover at varying paces, with small domestic-oriented cooperate meetings and events leading the way and almost reaching 2019 levels by the end of 2022.
The optimistic scenario anticipates an early easing of restrictions, a rapid upturn in economic growth, and limited negative sentiment effects.
The pessimistic scenario, on the other hand, predicts that the continued prevalence and effects of the virus will see some additional restrictions maintained into 2022. This scenario also assumes that the format of conferences and meetings will be different for some years to come, with many events continuing to be either completely virtual or hybrid.
In particular, the changes in attendee behaviour around virtual attendance and the continued prominence of hybrid set-ups mean that the road to recovery also comes with the need for the events community to develop appropriate and innovative products that will inspire and engage participants in the future.
The full report, with detailed predictions for the meetings industry, can be viewed at this link.