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PCMA’s COVID-19 Recovery Dashboard research spells resilience for Chinese business events

The Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) has launched the results of its first-ever Asia-Pacific research post COVID-19. The results are important for those making key business decisions in the business events sector.

The COVID-19 Recovery Dashboard for APAC is the largest multi-country business event research conducted since the onset of COVID-19 and included 531 event industry professional participants – 342 planners and 189 suppliers. The survey was completed between 7 – 15 July 2020, across Australia, New Zealand, South East Asia, China, Korea and Japan.

Highlights from the research results include:

1. Planners are struggling to know how to budget for hybrid events as they try to find the balance between taking an event online and managing face-to-face attendee’s expectations.

​​​​2. 61 percent of planners and 47 percent of suppliers are only willing to travel within their country for a business event.

3. 41 percent of planners believe smaller and regional events will come back sooner than larger international events, while 27 percent believe small in-person events will need to go hybrid, and large events wholly digital.

4. The survey revealed that most business event planners have no intention of travelling any time soon with almost two-thirds (60 percent) of planners saying they would only travel within their own country for a business event in 2020, while 10 percent would travel to another country in APAC.

5. The suppliers have taken a bigger financial hit, with 66 percent of suppliers noting a decline greater than 75 percent in revenue, compared to 52 percent of planners.

6. In order to prepare successfully for the business events industry in the recovery phase, suppliers said they needed to develop sales and marketing approaches best suited to a post-COVID market (66 percent), learn how to design live experiences with more stringent hygiene standards (55 percent), and upskill by learning how to design digital event experiences (44 percent).

7. The recovery in China is a major indicator for business events post-COVID. The research reveals that the Chinese are expecting a ‘pent-up demand’ for face-to-face events, hence predicting a stronger recovery in 2021 compared to the rest of APAC.

It seems like event planners in China are prepared for the new norms post-COVID, with more reported to likely redesign face-to-face events to a digital platform in the short-term than APAC planners, since only 12 percent of Chinese planners vs. 23 percent of APAC planners are not planning a digital event.

Chinese planners and suppliers also anticipate less negative economic impact on their events in 2021 than their APAC counterparts, while being far more willing to travel within their own country for an industry event than APAC suppliers: 75 percent vs. 47 percent of APAC suppliers.

The full COVID-19 Recovery Dashboard report can be accessed here.