Digital Edge has been keeping a pulse on the latest insights, responses, and actions from industry experts as they pertain to meetings & conventions navigating through the world of COVID-19. Here are our key takeaways.
The Reality: Percent of Planning Possibilities
A common action that the meetings & conventions industry has been clinging onto amidst the COVID-19 pandemic is surveying—from weekly travel updates and trends to polling meeting planners, hospitality partners, travel experts, and attendees for what they thought the future of meetings and conventions would hold. From these updated reports and survey results, the percent of planning possibilities (good or bad) in 2020 and beyond has given reassurance to an audience navigating a road to recovery on a path that’s still uncertain.
The Pivot: Think Creatively, Shift & Adapt
Sink or swim. That’s what the meetings and conventions industry has had to come to terms with during an unprecedented time with practically no travel. DMOs have had to pivot their approach for marketing meetings in their destination by thinking creatively and adapting to what planners and attendees would need in a more digitally-focused climate.
The Heroes: Hybrid/Virtual is the Path Forward
As hybrid and virtual events (those with an in-person component and a virtual component) have risen to the occasion as a solution for getting back to safely meeting, DMOs have taken notice. With nearly 80% of surveyed planners expecting an increased need for virtual event platforms, DMOs need to provide content marketing showcasing tech capabilities and hybrid options to accommodate the new mindsets of meeting planners.
The Change: Standards of Safety & Health
While safety has always been a #1 priority for planning events, it has taken new shape during the pandemic. DMOs and planners must work with hotels and venues on safety outlines, best health practices, a care-of-duty plan and other guidelines to uphold the enhanced standards of convention services moving forward.
The Recovery: Paving the Way on the Road Ahead
There is a light at the end of this unpredictable tunnel, and although it seems dim now, the future of meetings and conventions looks bright. DMOs have stepped up and embraced change to help bring live meetings back—utilizing meetings marketing, launching virtual destination experiences (FAMs), collaborating with hospitality partners and communicating with meeting planners.
The Next Normal: The Day We Meet Again
In-person meetings and events may not return to complete normalcy anytime soon, but with enhanced safety measures and health protocols being implemented, they will begin to resume. With safety as a top priority for planning to meet, nearly 3 in 4 events will require and supply face masks, have increased signage promoting hygiene and showcase new social distancing room configurations for planners.
Learn more by checking out our insightful guide!
Melanie joined the Digital Edge team in the beginning of 2020 (pre-COVID craziness) and has loved being in a role where she can incorporate her creative writing and past journalism news experience into content for the company and its clients.