COVID-19 has caused havoc across almost all industries worldwide. It has brought unprecedented economic & health challenges along with it. The industry that was most affected by COVID 19 is the global events & travel industry as governments around the world restricted entry to their countries and brought in a months-long lockdown in effect.
A survey was conducted by the Global Business Travel Association to understand the impact of Covid-19 on the events & travel industry. Industry professionals from procurement, travel, suppliers, hospitality, and others in the US & the world took part in the survey. The results show the true impact of Covid-19 on the events & travel industry.
Results of the Survey Conducted By The Global Business Travel Association
The global business events & travel industry was projected to face losses of up to 37% in 2020. It also reports that the events and travel industry could face losses worth $46.6 billion a month because of COVID-induced cancellations. The survey also reported that 65% of companies canceled “few” and 18% of companies canceled “many” of their planned events & meetings because of Covid-19.
China and Hong Kong saw the most impact of COVID-19 as almost all China-related business & travel plans were canceled by companies around the world, as per the survey. Hong Kong’s travel & events industry was also impacted as 73% of all respondents canceled or postponed their business-related events & travel to Hong Kong.
Over 50% of business trips & events in Asia-Pacific countries were canceled or postponed by companies. Europe fared comparatively better as only 23% of companies reported about canceling their events & trips there.
Rise of Virtual Events
Physical events have been postponed or have moved to an online format this year. It has led to an increase in the usage of video-based tools. People are using such tools to connect for a variety of reasons and because of it, virtual meet-ups are seeing huge adoption around the world. Many event organizers and participants are using such video tools in replacement of in-person conferences & trade events.
In this article, we will explore some of the top events from various parts of the world that had to postpone or move to an online format this year.
#1. IFA Tech Conference Berlin 2020
The Berlin-based IFA Tech Conference has decided to stick with the in-person format of their conference this year. They had announced that they will go ahead as per schedule. Their in-person planned event will go on from September 3rd to September 5th, 2020.
The event organizers have broken up the IFA Tech Conference of 2020 into four distinct events. These events are IFA Global Markets and IFA Business, the Virtual IFA Experience, IFA NEXT meets IFA SHIFT, and Retail & Meeting Lounges. Among these four, only the Virtual IFA Experience will be an entirely virtual conference. As a safety precaution, the organizers have decided to restrict the events to only 1000 attendees per day.
#2. Emtech Asia
MIT Technology Review & Koelnmesse co-organize EmTech Asia. It has been one of the world’s most prolific events for important emerging technologies since its inception in 1999. The event usually consists of 3 days of networking and learning. It is attended by 30 high-impact speakers and 800 leading personalities from various fields.
The event organizers have decided to host the event virtually because of COVID-19. Now, the event is scheduled to happen at 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. during GMT+8 timezone, daily from August 4th to August 6th, 2020
Token2049 is a crypto event that is attended by 2000+ crypto enthusiasts from around the world. It is an Asia-based event attended by some of the top names of the crypto world including CEOs, CTOs, and other C-Suite professionals of the global crypto token sphere.
The popular crypto event is attended by some of the top media houses like Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Financial Times, Fortune, Bitcoin Magazine, Coindesk, Crypto Potato, among many others.
In the face of recent public health challenges, Asian Crypto Week has decided to postpone the Token2049 event and now it is scheduled to go on between October 5th to October 11th, 2020.
Many of the organizers will resume in-person conferences and events once the risk of COVID-19 subsides. However, some events that realized the enormous cost savings from the virtual formatted events may not return to its traditional roots. In the end, we can all agree that the events and travel industry have been changed forever as a result of COVID-19.