GDP Survey Shows Shift To In-Person Meetings

Global DMC Partners’ (GDP) results of its Q4 Meetings & Events Pulse Survey, conducted from December 3 to 29, 2020, indicated a clear shift toward hope for face-to-face meetings to resume in the latter part of 2021.

Most (53 per cent) planners are predicting that their in-person meetings and events will resume sometime in Q3 andQ4 2021. The survey polled 242 respondents from the meetings and events industry. Of these, 93 per cent were planners; the other seven per cent were vendors or suppliers.

The majority (57 per cent) of respondents were from the United States and the United Kingdom (28 percent). Participants were primarily third-party/independent planners (53.3 per cent), and association planners (8.3 per cent) as well as those in pharma, technology, and insurance.

Key insights from the survey included:

  • General health and well-being of planners and their family and friends is the top concern, as opposed to fear/uncertainty, travel, and government restrictions, and job security in Q3 2020;
  • 92 per cent of respondents believe a vaccine is the most important factor in bringing back face-to-face events, an increase of 10 per cent from Q3 2020.

“We know the pandemic is still going to play a big role in the way our industry operates throughout 2021 and even beyond,” said Global DMC partners president and CEO, Catherine Chaulet. “According to a live audience poll we conducted during our virtual 2021 Trends & Panel Session, 53 per cent of the audience members are hoping for a more balanced pace of post-pandemic work/life as compared to 47 per cent who miss their ‘old life’ and wish for work/life to go back to the way it was before the pandemic. . . It will be interesting to see if our industry quickly goes back to a fast-paced, non-stop travel lifestyle or how things may become more balanced moving forward.”

The majority (78 per cent) of planners moved to virtual events in 2020, with the trend increasing as the year progressed. The majority (54 per cent) are also shifting their in-person events to virtual in 2021.

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