COVID-19 variants in the meetings and events world have prompted an increase and economic losses, resulting in insufficient budgets.
By Jorge J. J. Martínez
David Dubois, the President of the International Association of Events & Exhibitions (IAEE) was invited to the show Coffee Talks with Vicky Marmolejo, where he shared factual information on the present and future of the MICE Industry.
The presentation “Insights to Inform Future Planning” included the topics “The road to Recovery,” “Exhibitions – a Changing Business Model,” “Boosting Data and Analytic Capabilities,” and “Meaningful Connections.” Watch the whole show here.
“Meaningful connections are very critical as we continue to embrace technology but not depend on it; right now we depend on it and that’s not what the face-to-face business events and exhibitions industry is all about,” said David Dubois.
The document reveals the global impact of the pandemic, which will be unpredictable due to the possible COVID-19 variants. We must remain resilient.
A comparison of January versus May 2021, indicated that cancellations of B2B events increased, reaching 55%. “Four months ago, we saw the light at the end of the tunnel, and we took a step back again,” stated the IAEE President.
For this reason, hybrid and virtual events will continue as the primary option for the rest of 2021 and probably 2022. David pointed out that “there is hybrid fatigue already. Face-to-face won’t ever be replaced because this is a face-to-face industry.”
Another issue is that 50% of the companies have reduced budgets; in many cases, they don’t have enough money to hold in-person events. Nowadays, the finance department decides whether or not it’s profitable to hold an event.
“I understand the companies situation, but this is the time to incentivize our employees more than ever. We have to try to reach at least 75% of the goal to recover the budgets,” advised David Dubois.
A determining factor is that, despite the pandemic, nearly 90% of those involved in the Meetings Industry prefer face-to-face events. “We have to keep safe, with faith, and the positive attitude of our dog in the morning,” he said in closing.