Last month, I deployed a survey for MPI of meeting professionals (planners and suppliers) to gauge the concern related to the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 and its impact on the meeting and event industry. (You can see those complete results here.)
Most recently, we wrapped a subsequent survey specific to the experiences and opinions of industry suppliers re: the impact of this virus. In the field between March 3-5, the survey had 217 respondents. Here’s what we found.
Notably, in mid-February, 80% of respondents said their meetings/events had not been affected by the virus. This time around, we specifically asked about cancellations (a big step up from simply “affected”) and 73% of suppliers said they have encountered these as a result of the virus.
Here, we see that 65% of suppliers expect less business in 2020 thanks to the novel coronavirus; 26% believe they’ll have more business as a result.
A total 95% of suppliers are concerned about the business impact of the novel coronavirus. Last month, 90% of meeting professionals were concerned.
Duration of impact
Understanding that most industry suppliers aren’t virology futurists, we still sought to hear opinions on the anticipated duration of the virus’ impact on meetings and events.
Most notably, 70% of respondents believe our industry will be affected for 1-6 months; 3% think it’ll be wrapped up in April; 15% believe its impact will stick around at least through the end of 2020.
Yes, 49% of suppliers indicate their sales strategies have not changed as a result of the novel coronavirus. However, that means more than half of all respondents are changing their sales strategies. How?
14% – Limiting international travel
9% – Offering greater discounts or complimentary amenities/services
8% – Shifting to remote calls with clients rather than in-person meetings
8% – Limiting involvement at trade shows and professional events
More surveys on this evolving topic are likely in the coming weeks and months, so stay tuned to Plan Your Meetings as well as MPI’s dedicated novel coronavirus page.