In-person events will come back. According to new research from the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), while business travel in the near term still remains uncertain.
What the GBTA has been reporting is that companies expect a majority of their employees to come back to in-person events, meetings, or conferences in 2021.
Nearly half of the employees (45 percent) mentioned that they believe these events would start-up in the first half of the year. Twenty-five percent of them expect to return to in-person events in the second half of 2021.
Twenty percent of GBTA companies said that they are returning in 2020. There is not much confidence in a return to the office but returning to one-off events seems to be acceptable. One in three companies, plan to return in the first half of next year, and 28 percent say they will come back as early in the first quarter of the next year. One in five still has to decide whether they are going to return to work or. Yet, 16 percent have already returned to the office.
What might change the balance, is a vaccine for the coronavirus. This could be a motivating factor for those who are waiting for a strong reason for returning while they know it will be safe.
Dave Hillman, the Executive Director of the Global Business Travel Association have said that “While there is no doubt the current global uncertainty around a second wave is the reason to delay returning to business travel, the position for 2021 is looking more positive with companies planning a return to face-to-face meetings and events. It is encouraging to see businesses planning their return to office in a careful and safe way.”
Managed travel is now inevitable for many companies. The GBTA survey showed that half (nearly 48 percent) of GBTA companies declare that their senior managers value a managed travel program “much more” before COVID-19.