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  • March 29, 2022 12:32 PM | Morgan Christopher (Administrator)

    An analysis conducted by the San Diego State University School of Hospitality & Tourism Management on behalf of the American Hotel & Lodging Association found that in-person business travel and meetings have advantages over virtual options, and that businesses and organizations that resume business travel and meetings more quickly are likely to have a competitive edge over those that do not.  

    In the analysis, Carl Winston, founder and director of San Diego State University’s L. Robert Payne School of Hospitality & Tourism Management and Lisa Cain, associate professor at Florida International University Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, wrote that business travel and in-person meetings facilitate productivity, build organizational strength and foster collaboration in a way virtual interactions cannot.

    For full article - AHLA-backed study finds value in in-person events | Hotel Management

  • February 07, 2022 9:26 AM | Morgan Christopher (Administrator)

    In adapting to the realities of the covid-19 pandemic, live event organizers across the world have not just adjusted to the risks inherent with physical gatherings by implementing new safety protocols for their in-person audiences. They’ve also come to see how providing digital access to their events can reach new audiences that might never have had the chance to attend a live event.

    Participation is no longer dependent on geography or limited by the number of seats in a venue. This creates tremendous new market opportunities for event organizers.

    To read the full article - The hybrid future of conferences, concerts, and sporting events — Quartz (qz.com)

    adapting to the realities of the covid-19 pandemic, live event organizers across the world have not just adjusted to the risks inherent with physical gatherings by implementing new safety protocols for their in-person audiences. They’ve also come to see how providing digital access to their events can reach new audiences that might never have had the chance to attend a live event.

    Participation is no longer dependent on geography or limited by the number of seats in a venue. This creates tremendous new market opportunities for event organizers

  • January 26, 2022 11:12 AM | Morgan Christopher (Administrator)

    In a bold show of solidarity, more than 600 leaders from the U.S. tourism and events industry united with the U.S. Travel Association to sign a letter to congressional leadership urging swift enactment of federal policies to spur demand for business and international travel and help stabilize the broader travel economy.

    Supporters included representatives from destinations, venues and industry organizations in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam.

    As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the travel industry, providing additional federal relief and stabilizing policies will help all sectors of travel, including events, build an even recovery, according to Tori Emerson Barnes, executive vice president of public affairs for U.S. Travel, which delivered the letter to lawmakers Jan. 19.

    For full article - Hundreds of Industry Leaders Urge Immediate Action by Congress to Further Drive Recovery | TSNN Trade Show News

  • January 05, 2022 9:24 AM | Morgan Christopher (Administrator)

    More than 4,400 flights were cancelled worldwide on Sunday Jan. 2, according to flight tracking website Flight Aware, dashing pre-holiday hopes for smooth travel going into 2022. With the Covid-19 omicron variant now bearing down hard in the eastern United States and throughout Europe, more than 2,700 cancellations affected flights into, within or out of the U.S. yesterday.

    The cancellation miseries began in earnest on Christmas Eve. Globally, airlines cancelled more than 6,000 flights over the Christmas holiday weekend—Friday, Saturday and Sunday—with more than 1,700 into, within or out of the U.S. But midweek cancellations continued, with airlines cancelling 1,082 flights into, within or out of the U.S. on Wednesday, Dec. 29 and 1,125 on Thursday, Dec. 30. 

    While omicron was not the only factor contributing to cancellations—there were weather issues as well—staff shortages due to omicron infections and the requisite 10-day isolation period in place leading up to the intensive holiday season were the primary problem, according to the airlines.

    "The nationwide spike in omicron cases this week has had a direct impact on our flight crews and the people who run our operation," United Airlines offered in a statement on Christmas Eve. 

    JetBlue issued a similar statement: "Like many businesses and organizations, we have seen an increasing number of sick calls from omicron."

    Airlines bulked up staffing with new employees prior to the holidays and wooed existing employees to work through the holiday season or take extra hours with increased pay. The strategy worked for some carriers—both Southwest and American Airlines came through with few cancellations—but not all. 

    JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes penned a letter to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday, Dec. 22 asking for the agency to consider a reduced quarantine period for vaccinated individuals. His letter joined that of Delta CEO Ed Bastion, who sent a similar letter the day prior. Both cited vaccinations, treatment options and more reliable testing that would enable infected employees to return to work more quickly with the reduction of the transmission window. 

    The CDC has bowed to this request from airlines and other sectors, but it did not come fast enough to prevent JetBlue from canceling flights further into January. The airline has cut 1,280 flights from Dec. 30 to Jan. 13, citing the omicron-induced staffing shortage affecting its largely Northeast-based crew members, where the variant has surged in the U.S.

    Cowen analyst Helane Becker told Fortune that the new CDC guidelines should mitigate the issue, especially if the omicron surge peaks in the first weeks of January and then subsides, as some models and health experts predict it will.  

    "We expect [cancellations] to last into next week and then once we are past peak the issues should abate,” Becker told Fortune on Dec. 30.

    What About Business Travel?

    If past is prelude, the fast-moving omicron variant will disrupt business travel in a number of ways. Companies themselves could place new restrictions on travel. A Global Business Travel Association survey fielded in early December, prior to the height of the U.S. omicron, surge asked travel managers about the willingness of their companies to continue to permit nonessential travel. Just 17 percent said their companies had restrictions in place, but that was a blended number between Europe and the U.S. In Europe, where omicron was already on an strong upward trajectory, 32 percent of respondent companies had restricted travel. Only 12 percent of U.S. respondents had done so, but it was early days for omicron in the States. 

    Unlike past surveys, GBTA's most recent did not ask about how the variant would affect employee "willingness" to travel. With new information about increased transmission associated with omicron coupled with the travel uncertainty wrought by airline staff shortages, short-term demand from would-be business travelers is likely to take a hit. 

    Indeed, U.S. airfare payment processor and data firm ARC reported corporate airline ticket sales down sequentially nearly 20 percent week over week, for the week ending December 26. Numbers dropped from 52 percent off 2019 sales to 62 percent off the 2019 benchmark. During the holiday week that ended Jan. 2, however, ARC data showed corporate tickets just 19 percent shy of the same week in 2019. Business travel booking demand may need distance from the busy holiday period to shake out.

    In the meantime, 37 percent of travel suppliers and intermediaries said their business travel bookings had tracked an omicron-induced slide, according to the GBTA survey.

    In-person meetings and events have already taken a major hit from omicron. GBTA itself postponed its December conference in Berlin due to concerns about the variant and fast-changing regulations in Europe around public gatherings.  

    Major global conventions and forums are also pulling the plug, for now. The World Economic Forum, scheduled for January in Davos, Switzerland, has been postponed to summer. JPMorgan Chase & Co. has pushed its annual health care conference, also planned for January, to a virtual platform after Moderna and Amgen dropped participation. Amazon, Google, Meta (formerly Facebook), Mercedes, GM, Intel T-Mobile, Twitter and others have either pulled their participation from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas or gone to a fully virtual presence. The dropouts prompted the event, which starts this week, to slice a day off its schedule.

    High-profile moves like these not only eliminate the travel associated with large events, they may have a chilling effect on other events, with decision-makers looking at them for best-practice guidance. That influence could also trickle down to transient business travel—either through company restrictions or the preferences of individual employees weighing risk-reward of each trip.


    This story was updated on Monday, Jan. 3 at 12:53pm with newly issued corporate booking data from ARC for the week ending Jan. 2.


  • November 12, 2021 10:31 AM | Morgan Christopher (Administrator)

    The Professional Convention Management Association has selected Las Vegas and Columbus, Ohio, to host its 2022 and 2023 Convening Leaders meetings, respectively. The organization's 2020 Convening Leaders will take place this coming Jan. 5-8 in San Francisco's Moscone Center, and the 2021 event will be held Jan. 10-13 at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston.

    The Las Vegas meeting, which will run Jan. 9-12, 2022, notably will take place at Caesars Forum, the $375 million conference facility still under construction on the Center Strip. Although the venue isn't expected to open until March 2020, Caesars Entertainment already has booked more than a million room nights and $390 million in business at the venue, with a number of the shows being high-profile events for meeting professionals. Caesars Forum will host upcoming annual gatherings for Cvent, Meeting Professionals International, HelmsBriscoe and ConferenceDirect, as well as PCMA.

    "We are collaborating with two incredible host-city partners, each with their own inspirational story on how they are transforming their organizations and communities through business events," said Sherrif Karamat, CAE, president and CEO of the association. "Caesars Entertainment has demonstrated its commitment to the economic and social power of business events with the opening of Caesars Forum in Las Vegas, while the world is watching how Columbus is using business events as a catalyst for its prosperity as a smart city of the future."

    For full article - PCMA Names Host Cities for Convening Leaders 2022 and 2023 | Meetings & Conventions (meetings-conventions.com)

  • November 10, 2021 8:39 AM | Morgan Christopher (Administrator)

    New York, NY – November 9, 2021 – Meeting professionals say they are feeling more confident and well-equipped to plan high-quality meetings and events and adapt to any ongoing uncertainties. This is according to the 2022 Global Meetings and Events Forecast, the 11th annual report produced by American Express Meetings & Events, a division of American Express Global Business Travel (GBT)

    The report’s global survey of meetings and events professionals found that two-thirds (67%) of respondents believe in-person meeting levels will return to their pre-pandemic numbers within one to two years.

    In-person meetings and events are projected to grow in 2022, with 81% of events expected to have an in-person element. Another indicator of industry growth is the 64% of global meetings and events professionals citing increased budgets for next year. However, the industry is neither expecting nor planning a return to business as usual, and instead professionals intend to take lessons learned during the pandemic to improve the value, effectiveness and sustainability of future events.

    For full article: American Express Meetings & Events Global Forecast: optimism and growth in 2022 - Amex GBT - United States (amexglobalbusinesstravel.com)

  • November 05, 2021 10:11 AM | Morgan Christopher (Administrator)

    MCLEAN, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--There is no doubt that the pandemic modified travel – but that’s just part of the story. Today, Hilton released a global trends report unpacking how the pandemic changed people“The 2022 Traveler: Emerging Trends and the Redefined Traveler, a Report from Hilton dives into an important truth: in two years, people’s lives were dramatically altered and that radically changed people.

    “At Hilton, we’ve been incredibly focused on delivering the experiences our guests are looking for, through every up and down we’ve faced. As we look to the future, I am optimistic about what lies ahead – travel is certainly returning, and we’re excited to build on that momentum.”

    Article link - Hilton Global Trends Report Unpacks Surprising Ways the Pandemic Changed People, Profiles Expected 2022 Traveler Passions | Business Wire

  • August 30, 2021 9:34 AM | Morgan Christopher (Administrator)

    As the Delta variant continues to cause some hesitancy about holding events, with a few shows cancelling and others taking place as planned, new research may hold the key to putting the industry’s mind at ease. 

    According to findings from a research partnership between Freeman, a global leader in events, and Epistemix, a computational modeling software company, large in-person business events are safe and do not increase local COVID-19 case rates. 

    “Based on the data we’ve seen, attending an in-person event is no riskier—in fact, less risky— than essential daily activities,” said Freeman CEO Bob Priest-Heck. 

    He added, “Businesses and organizations want to get back to events for critical commerce, networking and exchange of ideas. This research provides the framework for doing so safely.”

    For the full article - Amid Delta Variant Uncertainty, New Research Reveals the Safety of In-Person Business Events | TSNN Trade Show News

  • July 20, 2021 9:15 AM | Morgan Christopher (Administrator)

    ...After furloughing thousands of pilots during the pandemic, airlines like American and Southwest were caught flat-footed this spring, with vaccine-driven demand for planes but not enough people to fly them. Delta reports online bookings at more than 100 percent of where they were at this time in 2019, while flying nearly 20 percent fewer flights than they did then, according to Cirium, which tracks aviation data. The FAA requires retraining those out-of-work pilots before putting them back in the cockpit, but airlines could not move people through the program (especially with social-distancing mandates still in place for flight simulators) in time to meet the so-called “revenge travel” demand as summer kicked off. That’s left scores of planes still mothballed in the desert, with airlines loath to spend the tens of thousands of dollars it takes to bring each jet back into service until they’re sure they can make money if they do it. American Airlines, for one, in late June announced that it would cancel nearly 1,000 flights in July as it ran short on staff....

    To read the full article - The Travel Industry Is a Mess. Everyone Is Traveling Anyway. (nymag.com)

  • July 15, 2021 8:32 AM | Morgan Christopher (Administrator)

    To determine how enduring pandemic-spurred consumer changes will be, earlier this year McKinsey Global Institute examined a wide array of behaviors across five countries — China, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States — using a “stickiness” test. The test took into account the preferences of consumers and workers in addition to the actions of companies, including, according to MarketWatch, “the innovation unlocked by digital tools, and decisions made by governments.”

    The biggest trend McKinsey analysts think will remain is home nesting. When the COVID-19 lockdowns drove everyone indoors, people started making significant investments in furnishings, durables, tools and equipment — think large-screen TVs and Peleton bikes, both of which saw soaring sales. Media and entertainment companies ramped up their streaming distribution channels and grocery chains focused heavily on their online delivery services.

    And that trend — online shopping across all sectors — McKinsey predicts will stick.

    To read the full article - Study Finds Top Pandemic Consumer Behaviors Likely to Last (pcma.org)

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