New ICCA research reveals the importance of face to face meetings and flexibility of associations and suppliers in a post-Covid world. ICCA Research examined the post Covid-19 strategies and plans of almost two hundred associations around the world. It was conducted during May 2020, in collaboration with AfSAE (African Society of Association Executives), APFAO (Asia Pacific Federation of Association Organizations) and ESAE (European Society of Association Executives).
In September, ICCA sent a short follow up survey to see how associations progressed in adapting to the new reality.
Key findings include:
- 82% of respondents indicated that their largest in-person meeting in 2020 was affected by Covid-19, with 43% having to cancel or postpone their meeting and 17% going virtual or hybrid.
- In 2021, 15% of respondents plan to cancel or postpone their largest in-person meeting, and 42% plan to go hybrid or virtual. 61% expect smaller attendance figures for their in-person meetings.
- 81% of respondents believe that there are limitations to networking discussions during virtual events compared to face to face.
- 88% of respondents indicated that technology has changed the way they conduct their meetings, with 51% using only low-cost solutions to support virtual/hybrid elements of their meetings.
The report concludes by highlighting the fact that “the Covid-19 crisis is lasting longer and has more effect on the meetings industry than originally anticipated by many association executives. The survey results also suggest that the demand for live meetings will not be fully satisfied by virtual alternatives, and face to face meetings are viewed as highly important to the international association community.”
The full report is available to ICCA members and the ICCA Association Community and the members of the partner associations,