Will live events return this year?

A survey was conducted with 374 respondents from the meetings and events industry and the majority of respondents were based in the United States and Europe.

You can see the full survey results of the Global DMC Partners survey here.

So when will live events return?

64% predict that they will host live events sometime between August 2020 and January 2021.

69% plan to go virtual or incorporate virtual aspects in their program in 2020.

Majority of survey particpants were unsure about their budget for 2021.

When will live events return?

What about incentive travelling?

From the incentives side, most programmes (52%) are still moving forward in 2021. For those not proceeding, only 5% are being replaced by gifts, 4% by cash, 3% by a virtual incentive event and 2% with the option of a personal trip.

What about incentive travelling?

What are the new initiatives that will be added to live events?

Not surprisingly, the most popular options :

  1. hand sanitiser stations (90%)
  2. placing restrictions to maintain physical distancing between participants (79%)
  3. reducing attendee counts (61%)
  4. eliminating buffets to serve plated or boxed meals (66%)

Other new practices include 

  1. only contracting hotels, venues and event vendors with verifiable sanitation processes (60%)
  2. requiring face masks for attendees (40%)
  3. providing temperature checks (34%)
  4.  providing medical personnel on staff (28%)


The survey also found that virtual is not considered to be a long-term replacement for face-to-face programmes, with live events and hybrid solutions continuing to be in high demand. 

The future of events is undeniably bright but is far from laid out in stone. There will be a vast amount of trial and error but the end results will be spectacular and delegates will be spoilt for choice.

Hybrid events will help the event industry steadily gain traction as the world waits for a COVID-19 vaccine or other indications that it’s truly safe to meet in large groups again.