Our vibrant business events industry is renowned for its constant evolution; to prosper we must continuously adapt and never is this more relevant than in these challenging times. Here we look at some recent topics and insights affecting all of us.
Venues and Event Planners tip September for post-COVID-19 recovery
The UK Events Industry believes that September 2020 is expected to be the most significant month when it comes to post-COVID-19 recovery, as its forecasts a rise in both enquiry and booking levels, according to a new survey.
The Business Events Sentiment Survey, created by our partner, specialist PR and brand communications agency davies tanner, in partnership with the Business Visits & Events Partnership (BVEP), received responses from 556 business events professionals across the UK. The survey was created to assist venues, hotels, destinations and other key sector suppliers in planning recovery activity post the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the survey, 38% of respondents stated September 2020 as the primary month when they expect to see both enquiries and bookings begin to increase, though some believe this will happen sooner, with 12% indicating July as the beginning of the recovery period.
In terms of industry-wide recovery, respondents believe that the impact of COVID-19 on the business events industry will be longer-lasting. 50% of respondents believe that the industry as a whole will not return to any form of normality for at least 12 months, with only 27% believing that this could be achieved within 9 – 12 months. The full survey can be found here: https://daviestanner.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Covid-19-Business-Events-Sentiment-Survey-Findings.pdf
Will China’s outbound travel continue to drive the sector
China’s outbound market has been a major driver behind the travel market’s upward trajectory for some years now, with predictions pre-COVID-19 suggesting that that by 2029, China would be responsible for 286 million trips abroad.
A recent feature from Skift explores the potential impact of COVID-19 on the travel industry, based on projections for outbound tourism from China. Despite the ongoing uncertainty, in general, the sentiment was bullish, both in terms of the industry’s bounceback post-crisis and in terms of China’s role in driving that forward.
The article includes insight from, amongst others, Wolfgang Georg Arlt, CEO of the Chinese Outbound Tourism Research Institute who believes there will be a short term slowdown, in the China outbound market “not just due to restrictions, but also economics”. Arlt says, “The speed of more people being upwardly mobile and joining this group of people who can easily spend a couple thousand dollars on a trip — that might slow down a bit in the next one to two years”.
However, he says, “Chinese are brave people, in a way. They will say it has to be safe, but I think it will take longer to get Germans or Swiss to travel to exotic places than the Chinese.” Read the full article here: https://skift.com/2020/04/21/what-role-will-chinese-outbound-tourism-play-in-post-crisis-travel/
Focus on sustainability
The impact of COVID-19 has resulted in some positive social and environmental impacts, including reduced pollution levels (at least temporarily), as well as the uniting and strengthening of communities – whether they be where you live or the industry you work in. For many, this has been inspiring and has cemented a commitment to seeing these positive impacts continue post-COVID-19.
One recently launched initiative is #Eventprofs For Change, an ever-growing group of Event Professionals on a mission to ‘help accelerate the rate of change towards a more sustainable events industry’. The current pandemic has highlighted not only the level of pollution in the world, but also just how important nature can be to mental health and wellbeing. #Eventprofs for Change aims to empower those within the event industry to take action against climate change through ‘Inspiration, Collaboration and Transformation’. To find out more or to join the group, visit: https://www.facebook.com/groups/eventprofsforchange
Positive Impact Events also launched a new campaign to recruit 100,000 event professionals to be active in building a sustainable future for the events industry. #Eventprofs can register for access to free educational resources and engage with like-minded peers around the world. https://www.positiveimpactevents.com/
Venues and suppliers adapt their services
Despite the devastating impact on the business events industry, venues, suppliers and event planners continue to come together to support the country in myriad ways, in doing so showcasing the adaptability, energy and creativity for which our industry is renowned.
This shows no sign of abating as organisations adjust to the new normal. From transforming venues into NHS Nightingale hospitals, delivering food parcels to the local community and adapting whisky production lines to producing hand sanitiser and from opening up hotel rooms to key workers, to volunteering individual and business-wide expertise to support colleagues, peers and the entire country through the COVID-19 pandemic, never have we been more proud of our industry than now.