PCMA's 'Business Events Compass' Covers Strategies for Business Beyond the Pandemic

July 20, 2020

PCMA last week released “Business Events Compass,” an actionable framework of insights and strategies for business event professionals and their business partners to guide their careers and businesses during the pandemic and beyond. 

The PCMA Foundation-funded service and inaugural report provides research-based insights on geographic and industry sector business events recovery opportunities, as well as recommendations for the evolution of participant engagement, business models and expected reskilling needs.

“In the spring I stated that our industry needs to be a part of the solution and not exacerbate the health crisis… if we are going to play a role in bringing people together during the pandemic and through the induced economic and social crises, we are going to have to do it within a whole new paradigm,” said PCMA President and CEO Sherrif Karamat.

He continued, “Business Events Compass is about understanding that paradigm and how careers and businesses in our global business events industry can evolve to thrive and continue to deliver the human connections our world so badly needs.”

Examples of insights from the report include:

  • Business event professionals, chief human resource officers and event participants all agree that face-to-face events cannot be fully replaced by digital alternatives.
  • Best-case economic recovery scenario (virus contained) for business events is currently estimated to be Q3, 2021.
  • The speed of business events recovery varies significantly by global region, industry economic sector and event experience type.
  • Smaller, locally focused business events will thrive in the initial recovery, driven by organizational business meetings and conventions/conferences/congresses. Incentive experiences and exhibitions will recover much more slowly.
  • Thirty-nine percent of business event participants 25-49 years old expect to attend the same or more business events in 2021 than they did in 2019. This compares to 17 percent of participants 50 years or older.

PCMA Insights, PCMA’s global consulting practice, undertook an unprecedented assembly of global data and perspectives to inform development of the insights and strategies in this report during May and June. This included six PCMA Think Tanks with over 130 global business event leaders, business sentiment surveys from thousands of PCMA members and global stakeholders, surveys of frequent business event participants, surveys with chief human resource officers, and interviews with global brand and association leaders. These were supplemented with reviews of regional pandemic health policies and analysis of global econometric recovery models.

“Making a difference for business events professionals when they are needed the most is what the PCMA Foundation does. This is arguably the business events industry’s most comprehensive research undertaking since the 2009 economic significance studies,” said PCMA Foundation Chair Valerie Sumner. 

She continued, “Given the ebbs and flows inherent in this pandemic, our plan is to support ongoing updates of [‘Compass’] as needed for our members and invest in the resource and reskilling strategies contemplated in its recommendations so our members can continue to thrive.”

With the pandemic continuing to impact economies, travel demand and health and safety regulations around the world, PCMA and its research partners will continue to collect data and share insights with subscribers to the report through timely updates. 

To learn more or to buy a copy of the full report, go here.

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