When will the events industry start to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic? While much is still uncertain, the Business Visits & Events Partnership (BVEP) — an umbrella organization representing trade and professional organizations, government agencies, and others in the business and event travel sector in the United Kingdom — and communications firm davies tanner sought to gauge the opinions of event professionals across the U.K. In early April, 556 event professionals weighed in on when they expect event booking, their organizations’ recovery, and overall industry recovery to begin.
Participants were optimistic about booking events in the fall, with 38 percent of respondents indicating that they expect to actively begin scheduling events again in September, while nearly 35 percent expected to hold events in that same month. Twenty percent said they are not making bookings before the end of the year. Thirty-nine percent have made booking enquiries in the last month, but 61 percent of respondents indicated bookings have completely stopped.
Industry professionals were fairly split on whether they are hopeful about the future of their organization. Forty percent felt somewhat optimistic, while nearly 30 percent felt somewhat pessimistic about a return to normalcy for their organization. Thirty-eight percent agreed that business will begin picking up in the next six to nine months, but some were even more optimistic — 32 percent expect business to bounce back in three to six months.
While many respondents were cautiously optimistic about their own business returning to normal before the end of the year, they are more concerned about the impact the COVID-19 crisis will have on the industry as a whole. Half of respondents believe the industry will not return to “normal” for the next year, while less than 30 percent believe the industry will recover within nine to 12 months, indicating that event professionals are prepared for long-term recovery efforts.
Casey Gale is an associate editor at Convene.