In not-so-shocking news, a new survey by APCO Insight—the research division of global public affairs consulting company APCO Worldwide—found that 83 percent of Americans working remotely due to coronavirus (COVID-19) say they miss in-person meetings and conventions. With recent estimates from U.S. Travel Association predicting an unprecedented $400 billion decline in the meetings and travel industry, it’s safe to assume the feeling is mutual.
The good news: Most respondents (78 percent) said that they are eager to return to face-to-face meetings and business events once restrictions are lifted and the virus threat is contained.
This consumer confidence sends a strong message to federal legislators considering ways to bring economic relief to the industry and its 5.9 million workers, said Fred Dixon, president and CEO of NYC & Company and co-chair of the Meetings Mean Business Coalition (MMBC). According to the survey, 49 percent of Americans agreed that convention centers and event venues should be eligible for federal support and funding (compared to 53 percent support for the restaurant industry and 43 percent support for grocery stores).
According to a new survey from @meetingsmeanbiz, 78% of Americans say they plan to attend as many or more in-person events when the threat of COVID-19 passes and it is safe to do so. #GMID20 https://t.co/75BtuJ3hay pic.twitter.com/PMkAt8ZmWu
— U.S. Travel (@USTravel) April 14, 2020
“Even as meetings are being cancelled and business travel is postponed…our collective experience of physical distancing has us craving the day that we can all come together again and meet in person,” said Trina Camacho-London, MMBC co-chair and vice president of global group sales at Hyatt Hotels Corporation. “That’s a strong indicator of not only consumer intent, but also of our industry’s value to people, businesses and communities.”
Meanwhile the industry has been making headlines for its strong support initiatives for furloughed hospitality workers, healthcare workers and local and global communities during the pandemic.
The survey, conducted on April 3, 2020, is based off the responses of 1,000 American adults on the social impact of COVID-19. For further details, click here.