COVID-19: Recent Industry Findings

As the principal association for the meetings and events industry we have been engaging with our members to find out more about how the Coronavirus (COVID-19) may be having an impact upon organisations.

On the 19 March 2020, we announced that of over 175 responses to a recent survey issued to the industry:

  • 53% are seeing more events cancelled than postponed

  • 60% have seen more than 50% of their events scheduled to take place in the next three months cancelled

  • 84% are yet to see cancellations from 2021 onwards

  • 50% are seeing more than half of their events scheduled to take place in the next three months postponed

  • 84% are yet to see event postponements from 2021 onwards

  • 85% say the government has not done enough with its support package

On the 3 March 2020, we announced:

  • Nearly three-quarters of our member venues have had events cancelled as a result of fears of Coronavirus COVID-19.

  • Just over a quarter of respondents have seen more than 5% of scheduled events cancelled in the last month.

  • One third highlighted the average estimated value of the cancelled business to be below £5,000, with 14 respondents valuing the average cancelled business at over £30,000 – four of which were expected to break the £100,000 mark. Reasons for the cancellations included travel challenges for event delegates, speakers and organisers, in addition to general precautions attributed to the outbreak.

  • The response to the situation has been varied, with 31% of mia members continuing to enforce cancellation policies as normal, while just over half have either waived cancellation fees or offered preferential rates.

On the 14 February 2020, we announced:

  • 48% of our responding members have confirmed the Coronavirus to have led to event cancellations, the majority of which held an estimated value of up to £5,000. One particular event, which has had to be cancelled, had a large delegation of Chinese visitors, as well as a speaker due to arrive from China.
  • While event cancellations are evident, COVID-19 does not appear to be currently having too much impact on event enquiries, with 90% of responding members experiencing no change in enquiry levels. Despite this, two-thirds of responding members do however consider the outbreak a threat to the UK business meetings and events industry.

It is clear from our findings that our industry has been diligent in its handling of the situation, with the majority of organisations developing contingency plans and issuing the necessary communication with both their employees and clients. 

Ensuring we can continue to support the industry and its continued prosperity, these findings have since been supplied to TIER, providing a first-hand insight into the influence the virus is having on meetings and events business.

Developments in findings will be highlighted accordingly.