Last year, the global meetings industry faced its biggest challenge yet. One hundred percent of countries worldwide placed restrictions on travel. By April 2020, 72% of destinations had shut their borders completely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our industry ground to a halt.
But, we did not stand still.
Instead, the ICCA community reimagined meetings by quickly adapting to higher operating regulations. Business events organisers demonstrated incredible resilience by leaning into creativity, collaboration, and digital transformation. And, they took the first steps in reviving our industry by demonstrating good practices for COVID-19 proof events.
We brought people face-to-face.
Events are the lifeblood of the business events industry. And - with a total GDP impact of US 1.5 trillion and a direct effect on 10.3 million jobs worldwide - our survival is vital.
ICCA’s research team gathered insights and practical advice from some of the early pioneers who explored the new terrain of in-person events in a pandemic affected world. The result is the latest ICCA report, ‘From trial to viable events.’ This report provides a guide for implementing WHO and local government pandemic protocols. The featured trial initiatives also give us a first look at what it might take to restart the meetings industry, while ensuring both safety and profitability.
ICCA CEO, Senthil Gopinath, is optimistic for the future. "Our industry has long met high standards and this crisis has proven how readily we can rise to embrace new challenges. I believe that the way forward is through innovation, collaboration, and transformation. I’m very proud of what we have achieved as a community so far and I look forward to seeing how we continue to build on the opportunities that this crisis has presented."