New report highlights importance of ‘embracing this new normal’

The coronavirus pandemic’s effects on physical meetings are profound with the event industry’s approach set to be transformed forever, according to a new report by Ogilvy.

“In 2020 and beyond, all kinds of events including trade shows will go digital,” said Andréanne Leclerc, regional managing partner at Ogilvy Asia.

“Which means if a brand’s intention is to impress clients and influence people, it’s time to get (virtually) real when it comes to booths, presentations, meet-and-greets or entertainment. The importance of not only adapting, but embracing this new normal, just to survive in a pandemic and post-pandemic world, cannot be stressed enough.”

The report states that the appeal of meet and greets and entertainment remains unchanged but the delivery has taken a quantum leap, with research by the University of Southern California showing that 57 per cent of respondents say they will continue to avoid large-crowd events.

The latest Professional Convention Management Association study also revealed 44 per cent of respondents are hesitant to travel for the next year.

The report concludes that people’s behaviour has changed and there is a reluctance to travel or to attend trade shows or events.

“The challenge is to generate the buzz and achieve the same goals in a totally transformed landscape,” said Spenser Blank, regional senior consultant at Ogilvy Asia.

“The opportunity is there for first movers and creative communicators to rewrite rules and create new brand leaders in the process.”