US market is Recovering while the World and Prague Celebrate Global Meeting Industry Day
In few hours – on April 8th, the World will celebrate Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID), which this year takes on an added sense of urgency and hope. Many industry associations are planning annual daylong events focusing on the meeting and event industry’s efforts to rebuild the business in the aftermath of the pandemic while stressing the economic impact of the meeting and hospitality business and the importance of face-to-face business exchanges. And they are not too far away. SITE, for example, has been holding hybrid events for couple months, and in May they are holding their premier hosted-buyer educational event at Fairmont Austin, which will include hosted buyer sessions and various receptions.
On Thursday March 25th, Prague Convention Bureau organized WOW Prague InSpires North American MICE virtual workshop. During the three and half hour event, 22 Prague Convention Bureau members - hotels, DMCs, venues, AV companies - had altogether 163 one-on-one meetings with 46 clients. Planners from corporations, associations, incentive houses, 3rd party and independent planners had a chance to see destination presentations and videos, win a stay in Prague in an interactive quiz, and join a live virtual tour of their choice – “Legends, Myths and Alchemy in Haunted Prague”, or “Czech up your Easter! Explore bohemian folklore and traditional art”. Big thank you goes to all our partners, most of all CzechTourism - Czech Convention Bureau for a great cooperation on this event. During the event, the Prague Convention Bureau acquired many very promising leads for in-person association and corporate meetings as well as incentives, especially for years 2022 and 2023.
Signs of recovery are starting to show, at least in the U.S. While Europe continues to face lockdowns, U.S. states have begun to relax capacity restrictions for gatherings. And with vaccines now available, confidence and trust are returning. The U.S. Transportation Security Administration recently reported more than 1 million daily passengers in U.S. airports for two consecutive weeks, the longest stretch since the lockdowns began in 2020.
Feedback from clients is showing that they are starting to hold their own events, mostly domestically, but majority of clients are currently sourcing international events. Recent SITE study shows a revival of business is showing rebound in Q3 and Q4 of 2021. According to the MPI Winter 2021 Meetings Outlook Report, 41 percent of planners expect their return to live events will happen between three and six months after vaccinations began—so mid-2021. Thirty-six percent, however, believe it will take between six and 12 months after vaccinations began before they’ll host face-to-face gatherings again. The vast majority of respondents (86 percent) expect business will return to pre-pandemic levels in 2022 or later. The most common answer was “2022,” as reported by 49 percent of planners and 42 percent of suppliers.