Updated Business Events Compass Report Revises Recovery Forecast

PCMA has released an update to Business Events Compass, an actionable framework of insights and strategies for event professionals and their business partners during the pandemic and beyond.

The best case for economic recovery of the business events sector to pre-COVID levels is now expected to take place in Q3 2022 or later. The effectiveness of COVID-19 containment measures across Asia Pacific (APAC) is a reason for optimism, with elevated prospects for a continued recovery in the region. Forty-five per cent of APAC survey respondents expect to attend local events in 2021, and 20 per cent expect to attend regional or national events. This compares to 22 per cent and 15 per cent, respectively, for U.S./Canada.

The new edition of the PCMA Foundation-funded report features ongoing global event participant survey insights obtained in July and September, along with recent real-life examples of business event experimentation, new business models and re-skilling.

Business Events Compass now projects continued sluggish demand for face-to-face business events through 2021, with 39 per cent of survey respondents expecting a 50 per cent or greater decline in their 2021 in-person business event participation compared to 2019 levels. Pent-up demand will manifest, particularly in some key industry sectors such as healthcare, in the form of increases in internal and local face-to-face event participation in 2021.

Business events participants, event professionals and chief human resource officers are finding that their recent short-term pivots to omnichannel and digital events have had unexpected and positive consequences. Specifically, such shifts are paving the way for long-term innovations in how events are marketed, executed and monetized.

Multichannel and digital events present organizations with such opportunities as varying event length; global reach; leveraging artificial intelligence to assess user profiles and customize participants’ experience in a way that directly drives relevant information to them; and providing participants with a polished, well-produced broadcast that is as engaging as watching a television program.

An executive summary of Business Events Compass is available free of charge on the PCMA website to all members ($49 US to non-members). A subscription to the full-service and inaugural report, including updates through December 2020, is available for $495 US for members ($895 US for non-members).


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