The pandemic’s impact on association meetings revealed

The Association Forum has released its findings on the impact the pandemic had on this year’s association meetings.

The Association Events Survey 2020 showed the one in five (20%) of association events were cancelled, while 36 per cent of association events were rescheduled to 2021.

A further 20 per cent of associations reported rescheduling to 2022, not having a major event this year or converting to a virtual event. Sixty seven per cent of the major events run this year were completely virtual, while 15 per cent of the major events run this year were hybrid.

Just under half (43%) of associations reported a decrease in hours worked on events, while 30 per cent of associations reported decreased attendance at their major event.

Sponsorship was also affected, with 46 per cent of associations reporting a decrease in sponsorship income of their major event.

Nineteen per cent stated that they were currently planning their major events and were waiting for changes in restrictions before confirming. Just under half (48%) of events were run by associations in-house staff, while a further 27 per cent of events were run by associations in-house staff plus a PCO.

“Events are at the core of associations,” said Association Forum general manager Fatima Sunderji.

“They assist the association in meeting its education and information objectives and also provide a valuable income stream. This year, events were heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and associations successfully moved swiftly to virtual and hybrid models.”