Survey: About One in Five Now 'Very Comfortable' with Some Meeting Attendance

Business Travel News 8/31/2020

AAA World Article

About one in five would-be meeting attendees are "very comfortable" with the prospect of attending an event with no more than 50 attendees, according to a new survey, but comfort diminishes substantially as the number of potential attendees grows.

About 23 percent of 764 event and meeting planners, agencies, and other industry vendors and suppliers surveyed online July 7-31 by the Event Leadership Institute indicated they were "not comfortable" with the notion of attending a meeting of 50 attendees or less right now, a number that grows to nearly 50 percent for meetings of 200 attendees and 71 percent for meetings of 1,000.

On an ascending scale of one to six, respondents rated internal company meetings at 5.33, the top ranking, in terms of the types of event they would be most comfortable attending after resuming group gatherings. Social events were rated at 4.26 and industry conferences at 3.55.

Current comfort level with even attendance by venue capcity.

The survey asked respondents to take various event factors into consideration. For transportation, most respondents are not now fully comfortable on a plane, train or subway. Even if a flight were under one hour, most respondents (55 percent) would not feel comfortable. About 85 percent said they would feel comfortable driving one hour to an event; 75 percent would for up to a two-hour drive. Any longer and the percentage drops to 50 percent or below, with 16 percent "not going anywhere right now."

Not surprisingly, outdoor events with 50 percent capacity are the type of event respondents feel most comfortable attending (55.2 percent). Even for indoor events at only 20 percent capacity, fewer than 50 percent felt comfortable.

The key factor nearly all respondents (96 percent) agreed upon is that they expect event organizers to provide a clear statement and agreement for all participants to follow the rules, and 81.4 percent indicated that anyone breaking the rules should be removed from the event. Nearly 77 percent each indicated that it is "very important" to have hand sanitizer available everywhere and that all attendees wear masks.

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