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82% of meetings affected by Covid-19, ICCA research reveals

October 6, 2020

The International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) has released the results of its research conducted into post-Covid-19 plans.

Conducted in May 2020 in collaboration with African Society of Association Executives (AfSAE ), Asia Pacific Federation of Association Organizations (APFAO) and European Society of Association Executives (ESAE), the research examined the post-Covid-19 strategies and plans of almost two hundred associations around the world. In September 2020, ICCA sent a follow up survey to see how associations progressed in adapting.

The research found that 82% of respondents indicated that their largest in-person meeting in 2020 was affected by Covid-19, with 43% having to cancel or postpone their meeting and 17% going online or hybrid. The research also found that in 2021, 15% of respondents plan to cancel or postpone their largest in-person meeting, 42% plan to go hybrid or online, and 61% expect smaller attendance figures for their in-person meetings.

Regarding online events, 81% of respondents believe that there are limitations to networking discussions during online events compared to face to face. In addition, 88% of respondents indicated that technology has changed the way they conduct their meetings, with 51% using only low-cost solutions to support virtual/hybrid elements of their meetings.

The report concludes by highlighting the fact that “the Covid-19 crisis is lasting longer and has more effect on the meetings industry than originally anticipated by many association executives. The results also suggest that the demand for live meetings will not be fully satisfied by virtual alternatives, and face-to-face meetings are viewed as highly important to the international association community.”

SOURCE: Conference & Meetings World

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