International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) has released its annual analysis of association meetings worldwide in 2021 highlighting a “show must go on” mentality.
The latest ICCA Ranking Report examined 8000 meetings scheduled last year and categorised them based on how the meetings were impacted by the pandemic.
The report revealed that the market share of virtual and hybrid meetings doubled in just one year.
Business continuation also increased by 30 per cent while business cancellation dropped from 61 per cent to 31 per cent. The Middle East had the highest business continuation rate of all regions (77%), followed by Latin America (72%) and Asia (71%).
Of all regions, Latin America demonstrated the most significant growth in business continuation compared to 2020, with an increase of 35 per cent.
“Now that the global meetings industry has had more time to adapt to the challenges of the pandemic, we wanted to acknowledge and reward the effort of destinations to not only keep these crucial meetings going but also to improve their business operations,” said ICCA CEO Senthil Gopinath.
“The investments that destinations have made in new technologies, partnerships, and advocacy initiatives will continue to drive our industry forward.
“Although we have yet to return to pre-pandemic numbers, we have gained significant ground on the road to full recovery. Further, we have transformed the meetings industry in the process.
“This report delivers a more holistic representation of the pandemic’s impact on association meetings globally. Moreover, it reveals strong and definitive signs of progressive recovery for the industry.”