Marketers say COVID vaccines create hope for a quick return of in-person events

“We can’t wait to go back,” said Michael Bartholow in face-to-face interviews. “It’s really one of the best parts of our job.”

The director of marketing and education at Bounteous Digital Experience Agency is much less confident when asked when he feels confident attending events.

Some of the marketing opportunities in the industry are very excited to see us again in May this year and I am optimistic.

With COVID-19 vaccines around the world and in the United States, retailers are seeing an end to the conditions that have made business travel dangerous during training seminars, conferences, and trade shows. In the short term, caution is required, but optimism is the long-term vision.

Nearly 75% of the marketers we interviewed in early 2021 said they were very unlikely to attend in-person events in the first half of the year. But it fell to about 20% in the second half. In fact, 20% of the nearly 200 marketers said they had a 5 to 10 chance of generating opportunities. Surprisingly, 15% of the group said it was “very likely”.

Confidence is likely tied to the convenience the vaccine provides. About 78% of the respondents to this latest event said they wanted to get vaccinated. Others said they were unsure and only 6% said they would not be vaccinated. Of those who said they would be vaccinated, 13% said they would feel safe right away (assuming it means after the second stimulation), 37% said they would feel safe after a month, and 29% said they would feel safe after 6 months.

So it’s only a matter of time before 2021. US President Joe Biden said last week that the federal government plans to buy 200 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, enough to get the most out of the vaccine from the population. . American in the summer. Based on the confidence shown in our data, it is not unrealistic to think that attendees would be willing to attend conferences in the fourth period if the vaccination program continues.

“Meet someone in person, help us save thousands of dollars on your Google Ads account in one day,” said Bartholow. Before the pandemic, the company offered training opportunities in many cities. “It’s harder to do everything online and it’s impossible.”

Embrace the ‘big spindle’

Despite the endorsement, Bartholow still believes 2021 will be a virtual year for Bounteous-sponsored events. The company has already invested in infrastructure and virtual training. And, like most organizations that took advantage of virtual opportunities last year, it has changed the way they handle opportunities.

‘A total of eight hours online is a very difficult time for everyone. And it was difficult for our coaches. That’s why we’ve narrowed it down to five hours, which is the main content, “said Bartholow. Save.

Bartholow said the center also creates events that you wouldn’t normally see at in-person events. “I miss windows in Boston, but I like the idea that when a new client signs up, they can still learn on our course. They don’t have to be in that city by accident.

Less than 30% of the marketers we surveyed said they prefer virtual opportunities over personal ones. Many characteristics are practicality, limited environmental impact, economic applications, and of course lower costs.

Prepare for the new normal

Let’s be realistic. While 30% chose virtual events as their favorite experiences in our survey, this means that 70% said personal opportunities still add value. Personal connections and networks are often mentioned during live shows, while others mention how easy it is to be distracted when an event is on another browser page in Chrome. But 2021 may not be the year when everything will roar again.

“I know everyone is scared and scared, but let everyone get their vaccinations and it will happen, so it really looks like the flu and it’s not that deadly and that bad,” said Panday, his recovered wife. from COVID-19 this year.

“It was the worst experience of my life. This is something that I cannot explain to anyone until I have experienced it because there were concern and fear about what to expect, and there was the virus itself and the state we were living in. “

Panday said organizers should think about what it takes to host safe in-person events, especially as nearly 440,000 Americans have died from this contagious disease.

How is social distance maintained in a busy exhibition space? How do you manage meals so that visitors feel safe enough to take off their masks to eat?

“Are you changing the HVAC system at that location?” says Panday, who knows the importance of this through the work of his company.

And it’s not just how organizers see distance and disinfection that can play a role in travel decisions.

“I know my business wants to save money and be as careful as any other business, but I don’t want to stay in a budget hotel that doesn’t clean, disinfect, and disinfect. Make sure it’s clean and disinfected.”

With so many questions to answer, there are also opportunities for organizers to share best practices. Last week, for example, Meetings Mean Business was launched, an initiative of an American travel company that aims to discover stories about how organizers safely return to events in person.

But Bartholow says visitors’ behavior and expectations must also change.

“I expect fewer handshakes and more elbows, and we will probably never toss our business cards in an aquarium again,”

‘I think our concept of value also needs to change a bit. Instead of saying there are 80 sessions instead of 30, the value could be an additional protocol and an individual meal instead of a buffet. I see costs moving in different directions and it’s up to our marketers to explain and build trust and show why we do what we do.

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