To learn where meeting planners and venue/service suppliers stand in regards to gathering in-person this year, the MEET brand conducted a national survey over a period of three months. The results below reflect print and digital input collected from 57 anonymous professionals in the meetings and events industry.
- Meeting Planners (66%)
- Venue/Service Suppliers (34%)
Would YOU attend?
The majority of our respondents claimed they would attend a face-to-face conference this year (81%), and the remaining respondents claimed they would avoid meeting in-person for at least Fall 2020 (19%). The ratio between those who would and would not attend was 4:1.
What would YOU attend?
Between five different types of events, our respondents claimed they would feel most comfortable attending a keynote presentation (75%). Breakout sessions (72%), exhibitor tradeshows (70%), and meal functions (68%) were closely ranked, and networking receptions (63%) ranked the lowest.
Would YOU pay $35 as a meeting planner?
The majority of our meeting planner respondents claimed they would be willing to pay $35 for admission (81%), and the remaining meeting planners respondents suggested $35 may be too high (19%). Similar to our attendance results, the yes-to-no meeting planner admission ratio was 4:1.
Would YOU pay $450-$625 as a vendor?
Almost double the venue/service supplier respondents claimed they would NOT be willing to pay $450-$625 for a tabletop display (64%) than the remaining venue/service supplier respondents, which claimed they would secure an exhibitor booth (36%). The no-to-yes exhibitor admission ratio is 16:9.
Why would you NOT attend?
Though we left this as an open-ended question, we saw significant overlap in the answers our respondents submitted. This question was intended to focus on the factors that would prevent attendees from wanting to gather in-person, and the primary answer detailed respondents’ willingness to attend events (27%). The second highest response had to do with schedule conflicts (18%). Limited budget/cost concerns and increase in COVID-19 rates were tied (13%).
Would YOU attend with another professional?
Slightly over half of our respondents claim they would attend an in-person function with someone they know (60%), and the remaining respondents claim they do not know anyone with whom they would attend (40%). The know-to-not-know ratio is 3:2.
Based on our results, the MEET brand is seeing that meeting and event industry professionals are more eager to start meeting in-person than apprehensive. However, the largest factors that are inhibiting meeting planners and venue/service suppliers from actually following through are the lack of resources such as budget, time, and fellow professionals.
Reinvigorating, readapting, and rebooting the industry begins with leadership from both meeting planners and suppliers. Through both parties sharing initiatives they are taking to safely gather attendees face-to-face, the industry can slowly return to an in-person model that fosters personal and professional connections.