Chetan Shah from Micebook Talks hosts a panel of HBAA members to discuss what lies ahead for the events and meetings industry.
Calum Di Lieto, Editor C&IT Magazine (moderator)
Lex Butler, Operations Director, Wolf & White
Angie Mason, Chairman, Absolute Corporate Events
Sian Sayward, Head of Partnerships and Projects, Inntel
2020 can be written off and the industry will only recover in about 12 months according to the panellists. The future of the event industry is going to be very tech heavy in order to avoid unnecessary contact as much as possible the predicted. While they expect most budgets for events & meetings to shrink until the economy recovers. They went on to discuss this in greater depth:
Some business is coming in for Q2/Q3 of 2021 but accessibility is a major concern.
Annual events were mainly moved from 2020 to 2021 rather than cancelled which is more positive.
Confident buyers are not enough. They can only book events if they have confident attendees.
Client confidence is only just slowly coming back as hotels and venues (including bars and restaurants) are gradually reopening depending on the country.
Measures from the government will not suffice to restart the industry.
Corporates will also have to follow their own protocol when running events. Going through these processes takes time.
Conversations are taking place around the venues and the technology they provide to make their environment “social distancing” friendly.
As we are about to enter a period of recession, the ROI is going to be even more important than before.
If a digital meeting can deliver the same ROI as a face to face meeting, will clients want to revert to live environment?
Live meetings may decline in the future but live events will come back as they require a level of creativity and interaction that cannot necessarily be delivered digitally.
The contracting process will change dramatically in the future for both the venues and the clients. All parties are changing their t&cs in order to protect themselves as much as possible.
Contracts should be beneficial for all parties, therefore it is important to agree on a format based on best practice that is fair to everyone.
Going forward, rates are expected to stay stable for accommodation but they will momentarily drop for meetings and events space.
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