301.519.9237 exdirector@nesaus.org

8.18.21 – SSN – Yarmouth, Maine

Coming out of the past year of endless virtual conferences, trade shows and meetings, followed by the recent return to in-person travel (ISC West in Las Vegas in July comes to mind) – and the rise of the variant putting a damper on all things – this month’s News Poll looks to take the industry’s temperature on resuming travel in the coming year.

Looking first at all of the virtual options that have been exhausted over the past year, and more specifically at whether or not they provide as much value as in-person events, readers were split, with 50 percent saying, “They are okay as a stopgap measure,” another 50 percent saying, “I am burned out on virtual shows,” and no one saying, “No need to travel as much now.”

It is obvious we all want to get back to in-person on a level we once enjoyed pre-pandemic.

“Virtual events were ok but having attended a couple of regional association and distributor events already this summer, the value of face-to-face interactions, particularly as it relates to meeting prospective customers and establishing new relationships with peers, is more evident,” noted one respondent.

Getting to some of the bigger questions right now, such as, “Are you planning on resuming travel again?” 43 percent of respondents plan to get “back to pre-COVID levels,” with another 50 percent saying, “Yes, but not as much as in the past,” and only 7 percent saying they are “not ready yet.”

As one reader pointed out, “Time to get back to normal.”

Looking how companies are budgeting for travel in 2022, 50 percent said, “Yes, fully,” with another 42 percent saying, “Yes, but less than pre-COVID,” and only 8 percent saying they were undecided.