Smaller, local meetings the post-Covid standard

Northstar Meetings Group’s Pulse Survey shows that planners are bullish for local events as prospects improve from previous lows

Local events of up to 100 people are the sweet spot — for now.
Local events of up to 100 people are the sweet spot — for now. Photo Credit: Unsplash

GLOBAL — Planners expect to see local meetings dominate the sector in the next 12 to 18 months, while prospects for national and international events continue to improve, according to Northstar Meetings Group's latest Pulse Survey.

Live events will also remain small, with 30% of respondents anticipating more meetings of between 15 and 50 attendees, and 20% expecting up to 100 attendees.

After an initial increase in sourcing and booking business in early June, momentum has slowed with most planners (40%) researching, but not booking future business.

As more planners reach out to suppliers, 50% of respondents said that it has become more difficult than usual to do business. And only 4 in 10 planners expect to actualise rescheduled events before year-end.

This hesitancy is in line with a recent spike in the number of Covid-19 cases in countries like India and China, as well as across the United States and Latin America.

Key concerns remain consistent with surveys conducted throughout May and early June, with a focus on business travel restrictions and F&B safety and pricing.

While moving ahead with the planning process, 78% of respondents (up from 75% two weeks prior) intend to offer a virtual component to their live events as an alternative for those who are not willing or able to travel. But whether or not these virtual offerings will achieve business objectives remains an open question.

Northstar's Pulse Survey, conducted every two weeks, assesses how the global pandemic has affected meeting planners, including their job status, business plans and projections for the future of their events. Our latest findings are based on 484 planner respondents.

Highlights from the 15 June Pulse Survey:

•    Back to work: 1 in 5 planners are back in their offices
•    Hesitancy to book meetings/events is exacerbated by difficulty reaching suppliers
•    4 in 10 planners expect to actualize events before year-end 2020
•     Planners anticipate continued contract resiliency, flexibility
•    Boutiques and resorts are the preferred venues for post COVID-19 meetings
•    Planners remain unsure about how to achieve business objectives through virtual meetings

Please share your experiences
Northstar Meetings Group's Pulse Survey is conducted every two weeks, capturing changes in sentiment and expectations as the meetings industry responds to new challenges and imperatives brought by the worldwide pandemic. Meeting planners are encouraged to participate in every Pulse Survey, so that we may share the most accurate and up-to-date perspective on your collective needs with industry stakeholders worldwide. Respondents may receive the results in advance of publication, if they so choose.

Please click here to participate in the next survey; it will close on Tuesday, 14 July 2020.

Latest News