The Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) has released a Business Events Compass. The inaugural report aims to provide an actionable framework of insights and strategies for business event professionals and their business partners during the pandemic and beyond.
The report sees a best case economic recovery scenario, where Covid-19 is contained, that would give a recovery date within Q3-2021. The report also noted the speed of business events recovery varies significantly by global region, industry economic sector and event experience type. Smaller, locally focused business events are expected to thrive in the initial recovery, driven by organisational meetings and conferences, conventions and congresses, while incentive experiences and exhibitions will recover much more slowly.
The business events Compass also includes insight on the digitisation of events, and reveals that event professionals largely believe that in-person events cannot be fully replaced by virtual events.
The framework also revealed that business even participation for 2021 is affected by attendee age; 39% of business event participants from the ages of 25-49 reported that they expect to attend the same or more business events in 2021 than they did in 2019, compared to 17% for participants over 50 years old.
PCMA President and CEO Sherrif Karamat (pictured), CAE said: “In the Spring I stated that our industry needs to be a part of the solution and not exacerbate the health crisis. Since then our industry has been shattered by Covid-19. And if we are going to play a role in bringing people together during the pandemic and through the induced economic and social crises, we are going to have to do it within a whole new paradigm.
“Business Events Compass is about understanding that paradigm and how careers and businesses in our global business events industry can evolve to thrive and continue to deliver the human connections our world so badly needs.”
The report was undertaken by PCMA Insights, PCMA’s global consulting practice, and was supported by the PCMA Foundation.
PCMA Foundation chair, Valerie Sumner, said: This is arguably the business events industry’s most comprehensive research undertaking since the 2009 economic significance studies.
“Given the ebbs and flows inherent in this pandemic, our plan is to support ongoing updates of Compass as needed for our members and invest in the resource and reskilling strategies contemplated in its recommendations so our members can continue to thrive.”
As the pandemic continues to impact economies, travel demand and health and safety regulations across the world, PCMA says it will continue to collect data and update the report with new insights as they are discovered.