The Business Events Industry Recovery: Two Different Views

Source: PCMA

Author: Michelle Russell

Last month, Daniel Levine, executive director of the Avant-Guide Institute, editor of the trends website WikiTrends, and a regular conference speaker, sent Convene a guest contribution for consideration. It was an optimistic prediction that attendance at face-to-face events, based on trendlines he has observed, will exceed 2019 levels in late 2021 — he has since moved that needle to mid-2022, with the rise of several COVID-19 variants that pose a fresh health threat. Levine had reached out to me because he had read a story we published about CNBC correspondent Brian Sullivan’s positive predictions for travel in 2021.

The same week, I got a LinkedIn request to connect with Kevin Molesworth, CSEP, owner of Portland, Oregon–based Brass Tacks Events. He had read an article I wrote on the downside of positive thinking during a pandemic, and shared that it had struck a chord with him. “Far too many event profs are living in a world of rainbows and unicorns these days,” he messaged me. “Hope is not a strategy. We have to be realistic if we are going to move forward.”

I asked Molesworth if he would comment on Levine’s contribution (I let Levine know that I was seeking another viewpoint about the events industry’s recovery). Here is Levine’s contribution, followed by excerpts of a conversation I had with Molesworth after he read it.

Meetings and Conventions Will Be Bigger Than Ever in 2022

Author: Daniel Levine

As a leading trends expert and a keynote speaker at major conferences, I am uniquely positioned to see the near future of meetings and events. What I see is nothing less than spectacular.

Over the past several months compiling research and canvassing our proprietary global network of Trend Spotters across numerous industries, several emergent trendlines have appeared that are particularly exciting for meeting planners.

In short, a profusion of positive signals indicates an exciting near future of the meetings industry. Taken together, they point to global F2F attendance at meetings and events exceeding 2019 levels by the middle of 2022. Here’s why…

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