Face-to-face events are making a comeback
Two-thirds of those surveyed (67%) consider that face-to-face events will return to pre-pandemic figures: up to 81% of the events are expected to have some element of presence. On the other hand, 64% of professionals globally speak of an increase in their budgets for next year. However, it is not expected to return to a pre-pandemic scenario, in fact, respondents have learned their lesson when it comes to increasing the value, effectiveness and sustainability of future events.
"While we are all really looking forward to getting back to demand levels at previous events and meetings, we recognize that the recovery is not going to be a straight line and we cannot reach that goal simply by repeating what we have done in the past." Notes Gerardo Tejado, senior vice president of value development at GBT and global general manager of American Express Meetings & Events.
Internal meetings and events increase their value to companies
The pandemic and teleworking have highlighted the importance of internal events and this type of meeting, along with training, is expected to grow in 2022. However, virtual and hybrid formats will continue to play a key role. Hybrid meeting formats will continue to gain traction as they help reach more audiences, create an integrated virtual contingency plan, and increase ROI. A greater number of attendees are expected in all types and formats of events.
Priority: the environment
Caring for the environment will be a priority for most event programs in 2022: 83% of respondents indicated that their organizations will take sustainability into account when planning meetings and events. The sustainability practices most cited by respondents have been: minimize the use of paper, apply energy saving and waste reduction measures for their 2022 meetings.
Forecasts by region
In Europe there is caution but also optimism regarding 2022: it is expected that only 48% of European events will be face-to-face. Although respondents predict a slower recovery than in other regions, 86% are confident that the number of in-person attendees will return to pre-pandemic levels in five years. On the other hand, the top 5 destinations in 2022 according to the report will be in this order: Athens, Paris, Madrid, Barcelona and London.
Greater is the optimism of professionals in Central and South America, with 81% of respondents expecting the number of attendees to recover to pre-ndemic levels in one or two years. In North America they are also optimistic and with good reason: the region was the leader in resuming meetings and face-to-face events, and 31% already began to take place between June and July of this year, months in which 54% of those surveyed It already had an event scheduled for 2022.
In the Asia Pacific region, almost two-thirds (64%) expect 81% of the 2022 events in the region to include face-to-face components. And 62% expect the number of event attendees to return to pre-pandemic levels in the next one to two years. The projections for 2022 are based on a survey of 500 meetings and events professionals and interviews with the best experts in the industry. Surveys and interviews were carried out during the months of June and July 2021. Respondents represent companies, associations, buyers and suppliers in 31 countries. The result is a statistically and globally representative sample of what to expect in the events industry by 2022.