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5 Positive Signs for the Return of F2F Meetings

News and statistics that reveal promise for 2021 in-person conferences.

plane.jpgTraveler sentiments are changing quickly. Two-thirds of respondents to an April members’ poll by the Global Business Travel Association feel that employees are “willing’’ or “very willing’’ to travel for business in the current environment. That is an increase of 11 percentage points from the results of a GBTA poll in March. Further, the number of respondents in April who said travelers were “not willing” or “not willing at all” to travel fell to 12 percent, from 21 percent in March.  The rest are either on the fence or not sure. Full survey here.

meeting.jpgManufacturing sector attendees are ready for face-to-face events. A survey of nearly 1,000 manufacturing professionals, engineers, and executive management conducted by Informa Markets–Engineering found that 93 percent say they are open to attending in-person events in the August through December 2021 time frame, with three quarters indicating they would “most likely” return to live events in August or September 2021. Only 7 percent said they would not be comfortable attending a live event in 2021. 

policy.jpegTravel rules are evolving for attendees. In April, only 18 percent of business travel managers report that their organizations have not yet begun formal planning for a return to travel for employees (for example, revising travel policies or developing new safety resources). The rest are either well into such planning (31 percent), have begun to plan but “still have lots to do” (20 percent), have already resumed non-essential travel (9 percent), or are “not sure” or responded “other” (10 percent). Full GBTA poll here.

vaccine.jpegU.S. vaccination rates are strong. According to statistics from the Centers from Disease Control and Prevention, the number of adults that have had their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine had reached 53 percent as of April 26. Just over 36 percent are fully vaccinated. When and if we can reach herd immunity is debatable, with questions remaining about virus variants, the percentage of the population that will refuse vaccinations, and when the timeline for vaccinations for those under 18. The demographic that is most likely to be fully vaccinated at this point: a white female age 50-64.

europe.jpgTravel to the European Union is in sight. Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, indicated in an interview on April 25 that current travel restrictions for travelers from the U.S. are set to change. The fast pace of U.S. vaccinations is among the reasons for the shift and proof of vaccination is likely to be required for EU entry. Read more. (New York Times subscription required.)

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