Corporate meetings in APAC will lead recovery: PCMA

New Business Events Compass examines macroeconomic implications for events and offers guidance on future business models.

Corporate meetings and conferences likely to return first APAC, while travel restrictions inhibit incentive travel.
Corporate meetings and conferences likely to return first APAC, while travel restrictions inhibit incentive travel. Photo Credit: Unsplash

GLOBAL — Corporate meetings and conferences will likely recover sooner than trade shows and incentives, with APAC leads the charge, according to the latest research by PCMA.

Released earlier this month, the inaugural PCMA Events Compass 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 re-skilling needs. 

PCMA President and CEO, Sherrif Karamat, said the report features some "hard truths" that were gleaned from thousands of PCMA members following a global survey. 

"The Business Events Compass is about understanding 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,” he said.

In determining the road to recovery for the global MICE industry, the report reveals that geography is a major determining factor — and APAC is leading the way, largely thanks to swift reopening plans in Japan and China, and a decisive pandemic response in countries like New Zealand and Australia (survey was conducted in May and June, before the recent surge of Covid-19 cases in Melbourne).


Meetings have the strongest recovery projections across geographies
Meetings have the strongest recovery projections across geographies


Additional insights include:

  • 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 organisational business meetings and conventions/ conferences/ congresses. Incentive experiences and exhibitions will recover much more slowly.
  • 39% 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% for participants 50+ years old.
  • Business event professionals, chief human resource officers and event participants all agree that face-to-face events cannot be fully replaced by digital alternatives.


PCMA Foundation Chair, Valerie Sumner, added: “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 re-skilling strategies contemplated in its recommendations so our members can continue to thrive.”

An executive summary of Business Events Compass is free for PCMA members, however a subscription to the full service and inaugural report, including updates through December 2020, is available for US$495 for members ($895 for non-members).

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