The COVID-19 pandemic caused a major disruption in the lives of many, but few industries were affected more than the events sector. Lockdown measures and social distancing requirements forced meeting organizers to pivot from in-person to virtual events as large gatherings were no longer permitted.
Content-driven organizations that had relied on in-person events as a significant source of revenue suddenly had to shift gears and find new, safer ways to engage their audiences during the pandemic. In the early stages, this primarily took the form of virtual events. As vaccines rolled out and restrictions eased, the hybrid model emerged as the new standard.
For some, the change was not a simple one. Not only did meeting planners have to pivot to new delivery methods, but many witnessed substantial changes to event attendance, revenue, and other key metrics of the industry’s vitality. No two organizations responded to the challenges of COVID-19 in the same way.
This report attempts to highlight the collective experience of the events industry over the last two years due to the pandemic. Additionally, it depicts how industry participants have navigated the challenges posed by changing circumstances.
We asked meeting organizers to share their experiences during the pandemic and contrast that to their experiences prior to the pandemic. We carefully analyzed the results and found some interesting underlying trends which this report will explore.
The Association Event Industry Trends & Future Forecast provides insight on the state of the events industry two years into the pandemic, and offers advice for navigating future meetings.
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