I’m very excited to be working with a client for a major in-person tradeshow this fall in Dallas. The excitement about once again being able to meet face to face is palpable. While there has been a lot of talk about tradeshows disappearing because of all of the cancellations that occurred in 2020, I think we can see from the number of tradeshows that have happened or are already scheduled for this year that people have been just waiting for the green light. We’re seeing this in terms of the rapid shift in attitudes.
Employees Are Ready to Travel
According to the latest GBTA survey, nearly 2/3 of corporate travel managers – the highest number in the past 6 months – report that their employees are ready to travel for business. This significant uptick in confidence is a certain signal that we’re going to see higher numbers of people willing to attend tradeshows, in-person meetings, and other events. In addition to improved sentiment about future travel, the GBTA has also reported that a quarter of respondents have already resumed business travel. Of course, the global travel industry is putting its money where its mouth is, as over 600 global travel professionals gathered in Cancun to map out a full return in 2021.
Hotels Are Reporting Higher-than-Expected Q1 Results
Another indication that the rapid return to in-person events has already started were the recent reports of higher-than-expected Q1 earnings by Choice Hotels and Marriott International. And with 37 million people planning travel over Memorial Day weekend, the holiday will mark a turning point in the pandemic. Peter Kern, Vice Chairman and CEO of Expedia, expects demand to come “screaming back,” according to his recent interview in Wall Street Journal.
Vacations Are On
People are heading back to shops. They are dining out in restaurants. And nearly two-thirds of them are planning vacations for this summer. While this does not directly correlate to trade shows, it is indicative of consumer sentiment revealing a much-improved level of comfort with travel.
This confident outlook toward business and leisure travel is nothing but good news for the industries and brands that have been anxiously watching for signs that it’s time to start planning their next events or booths. It’s definitely time!