By Jorge J. J. Martínez
Ana Paula Hernández, vice president for BCD Meetings & Events Latin America, explained that face-to-face meetings are steadily resuming.
“Keys to success include teamwork, creating alliances, thinking outside the box and relearning how to make deals and generate business. In times of crisis great ideas always emerge, and I believe now is no exception,” stated Ana Paula.
In-person events are on the rise, and clients are asking for them. And although these meetings aren’t as large as before, there is a lot of interest in moving away from virtual events. Hybrid formats are still being used, however.
“I believe that business will continue to improve, however the road ahead will not be easy. People have changed, our industry has changed and we have to adapt. Nonetheless we have seen improvements over 2021; we are now at about 60 to 70 percent of 2019 numbers,” she said.
In addition to the pandemic, many global factors are currently in play—including the war in Ukraine and a high rate of inflation—which cause costs for events to rise. People will therefore be more cautious about returning to in-person international meetings.
“Attendance at in-person international events will be limited; there will be more focus on regional and national events. There’s still a lot of uncertainty in the world and for this reason international conventions will still use virtual formats for the time being,” added the vice president of BCD Meetings & Events Latin America.
The international travel market is recuperating most quickly in the vacation segment, however little by little, as confidence is restored, global events and meetings will regain popularity toward the end of 2022 and early 2023.
Ana Paula believes that the MICE industry provides a marketing tool that helps businesses achieve their objectives. At meetings ideas are debated, the future is defined, knowledge is shared, and these along with many other elements translate to trade and economic development.
The internal meeting of global business leaders was recently held in person after two years of virtual events.
“I was able to experience more than ever the value of in-person meetings. What you can feel has no comparison, these connections create invaluable results and will never be replaced,” concluded Ana Paula Hernández.
Boris Iraheta, marketing manager for Corsatur, stated that El Salvador is ready to host international events.