are reverting to business as usual when it comes to international meetings
after the pandemic failed to effect significant permanent change, a new survey
More than 40
per cent of associations will hold their largest meeting in-person this year,
according to findings from the International Congress and Convention Association
This was up
from 14 per cent last year, when restrictions were still in place.
When it comes to networking, in-person meetings remain the preferred format
Chief Executive, ICCA
More than a
third (33.5 per cent) are opting for a basic ‘one-destination’ hybrid option, which
could amount to little more than streaming or recording sessions to watch on-demand.
per cent were attempting a hybrid format with multiple hubs in the same country,
and even fewer (1.6%) were planning a ‘multi-hub’ meeting in multiple countries.
environment is a concern for most associations when it comes to their meetings.
Europe enduring record temperatures, it appears the pandemic failed to focus minds
on sustainability to the extent some industry observers had predicted.
per cent of respondents said it was ‘very important’ to ‘reduce the environmental
impact of their event’. Some 55 per cent said it was ‘fairly’ or ‘somewhat’
important, while one in ten respondents (9.3 per cent) said it was either ‘not
very’ or ‘not at all’ important.
Some 171 association
executives responded to the survey - Association Meeting Needs – which was sponsored
by the Africa Society of Association Executives (Afsae).
appears most are taking comfort in the familiar after two years of upheaval.
20 per cent of associations said they would meet less frequently in future, with
more than half indicating no change, and 17 per cent planning to meet more frequently.
associations were planning regional meetings this year, compared to 2021,
suggesting a shift back to international formats. There was lingering
uncertainty here, but only 37 per cent are now planning more regional meetings,
down from 51 per cent last year.
Meetings are still the largest source of revenue for
associations (for 43% of respondents this is the main
revenue stream) and the survey shows just over half (52%)
of associations have been able to run an in-person meeting
again since the start of the pandemic.
ICCA chief executive Senthil Gopinath said
the relaxing of Covid-19 restrictions showed ‘promising
trends of events returning back to in-person
He said: “The key message which can be
extracted from the findings is that, ultimately, people prefer to meet
in-person. Especially when it comes to networking, business events and exhibitions;
in-person meetings remain the preferred format. The pandemic has however made
associations closely assess their strategic priorities to place more emphasis
on delivering sustainable meetings and ensuring diversity, equity, and
inclusion through integration of digital access to events.”
NB: 34 per cent of respondents were from Europe, 27 per cent from Africa, 9 per cent from North America, 6 per cent from Asia, 5 per cent from Latin America, and 1 per cent from Middle East.17 per cent were based in multiple regions.
AMI editor James
Lancaster is a familiar face in the meetings industry and international
association community. Since joining AMI in 2010, he has gained a reputation
for asking difficult questions and getting lost in convention centres. Proofer, podcaster, and panellist - in his spare time, James likes to walk,
read, listen to music, and drink beer.