news
November 17-19 in Orlando
GBTA Announces New Dates
for 2021 Convention.
Awards
Austria Center Vienna Bags Coveted Gold and Silver Stevie Awards
Best B2C event and rapid testing lanes most valuable company response to the Covid-19 crisis category.
hotel news
First Radisson Individuals in the Baltics Opens Its Doors in Tallinn
Palace Hotel Tallinn is a monument of national architectural heritage built almost 100 years ago and respectfully renovated.
€300+ millions
The Economic Impact of Messukeskus Helsinki Melted By 80 per Cent
Pandemic damage radiates over the business life of the entire Helsinki Metropolitan Area.
sleep congress is awakening
World Sleep Congress 2022 to Be Held In Rome
EGA Worldwide Congresses & Events formally contracted as DMC service provider.
digital move
ICC Sydney Expands Broadcast and Hybrid Event Solutions with Media Studio
The studio features green screen technology which allows for visual integration of presenters into customisable background content.
21–22 October 2021
Union of International Associations Round Table Asia-Pacific 2021
Hosted by Tokyo Convention & Visitors Bureau (TCVB) live and online.
hotel news Scotland
Virgin Hotels to Open in Glasgow
Pack your kilts, Virgin Hotels opens brand new Scottish property in 2022.
CB Italias platform
Convention Bureau Italia Premieres Box IT,
The Free Networking Online Platform for International Buyers Interested in Italy as a Mice and Wedding Destination.
new roles
Imex Group Invests in the Team With Nine New Appointments
Several new roles have been created within the business with significant investment in systems, marketing and design.
RSS
rss_icon
Links
How the Pandemic Will Change the Meetings and Events Industry for the Better

For this week’s Collaboratory 2020 webinar series, the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) welcomed CEO and Founder of Cvent, Reggie Aggarwal, to share his insights on the future of meetings and events and how technology will play an even bigger role moving forward.

In the week’s headliner webinar, “Virtual, In-Person, Hybrid: What’s Next for the Meetings Industry?,” GBTA Interim Executive Director Dave Hilfman engaged Aggarwal on diverse topics related to the meetings and events industry, leading to several fascinating key takeaways, including:

The necessary shift to all-virtual meetings over the past eight months will create benefits for the industry in the mid- and long-term. The positives of virtual meetings – increased attendance, cost and time savings – have allowed more participants to engage in meetings and events they might not have before. “Meeting and event programs will be more powerful now with companies having not just one arrow in their quiver – in person events – but three, with the addition of virtual and hybrid meeting capabilities that allow companies to grow their audience, ushering in what we call the golden age of events,” said Aggarwal. “Virtual event capabilities have also allowed companies to keep their meetings and events staff on board, which puts the organizations in a stronger position to hit the ground running when in-person meetings ramp up again.”

Technology has rapidly accelerated and opened the door to exciting innovations for the industry. Video conferencing technology has been around for 10-15 years, but according to Aggarwal, “growth that would normally take 5-7 years has happened in the first 30-60 days of this pandemic, and will continue.” Aggarwal cited Cvent’s new Virtual Attendee Hub, it’s all-in-one virtual meetings solution, as an example of a rapid technology pivot. “Just like with in-person events, meeting planners need to be able to measure the success of their virtual events, and this new platform makes it simple to assess 25 different engagement actions in virtual formats specifically, giving event hosts deep insight into buyer interests and preferences – thus helping to strengthen their total meeting and event program and resulting in higher ROI.”

Early indicators show a positive outlook for meetings and events in 2021. From their insider perspective of working with hundreds of thousands of meeting and event programs around the world, Cvent is starting to see bookings for later in 2021, including their own customer conference which is planned for the third quarter of next year. “We know that attendee engagement levels are much higher for in-person events than for virtual, but I project that companies will take a hybrid approach – a combination of the in-person and virtual experience – to secure that high level of engagement while also being able to reach new attendees who may not be able, or feel comfortable, to attend in person,” said Aggarwal.

“The meetings and events industry will not only survive, but find ways to thrive, coming out of this pandemic,” said Aggarwal. “People have been missing the texture of life, a big part of which is seeing customers and coworkers in person and will never again underestimate the power of the human connection. I would never bet against the determination and perseverance of those who work in meetings, events, travel, or hospitality, and with the latest news on the progress being made on a vaccine, our industry is poised for a truly great resurgence in the months and years ahead.”

This webinar, “Virtual, In-Person, Hybrid: What’s Next for the Meetings Industry?,” sponsored by Citi, is one of many being presented by GBTA as part of the Collaboratory 2020 series. For the recording of this session and more information on future webinars, gbta.org