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An industry on the move: the week in events

Your weekly event industry news roundup from ExpoPlatform – the future of travel in the US, new strategic partnership for Tarsus takes flight and demands from exhibitors shifts towards quality over quantity.

Exhibitors want quality visitors over quantity – UFI survey

Exhibitor demands have shifted towards higher quality event attendees over pure volume, according to a new UFI survey.

The Global Recovery Insights 2021 report – released over the last week – finds attendance demand has returned to pre-pandemic levels for both buyers and sellers.

However, the results contrast with previous studies in that 86% of exhibitors stated visitor quality is a large influence on their decision to invest in a show against 67% citing numbers.

Kai Hattendorf, CEO of UFI, said: “The report gives plenty of reasons for optimism, including quelling doubts about a possible shift away from live events and indicating which shows are likely to bounce back quickly.

“At a time where physical trade shows are restarting around the world, we hope that these findings will help the industry to a fast recovery and beyond.”

The global survey of trade show professionals was carried out in the summer of 2021 and gained 15,000 responses representing participation in over 30 countries. 

Findings from the report show 72% of visitors say they plan to attend trade shows with the same or increased frequency in future, with 62% of exhibitors reporting the same intention.

Boost for APAC as major venues return to business

A major venue in Malaysia is reopening and set to provide a springboard for business recovery in the country after coronavirus restrictions were eased.

The nation’s government relaxed rules last week which allowing for corporate events to take place.

This led to the Malaysian International Trade & Exhibition Centre (MITEC) announcing it will reopen its facilities.

Mala Dorasamy, acting chief executive officer MITEC, said: “With the re-opening of business events, we look forward to welcoming back all conferences and exhibitions.

“MITEC has contributed in strengthening SMEs and significantly contributed to job creation.

“We have generated more than 841,000 gig worker labour hours and created jobs for over 100,000 people since our inception.”

It comes after calls from a representative body to allow the fully vaccinated business events industry to return in the nation as soon as possible.

The Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) previously said it is crucial to understand these shows “can operate safely and responsibly” – after a period of increased immunisation.

Business events are now allowed in the states under Phase 3 and Phase 4.

Meanwhile, the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau’s (TCEB) proposal to allow the return of in-person MICE events to be held under strict rules has been approved.

The nation’s Centre of Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) has given the green light to shows which follow coronavirus-free protocols.

It comes after the government’s announcement that fully vaccinated overseas visitors will be allowed to enter Thailand from November 1 without having to quarantine.

Tarsus takes flight in new strategic partnership

Tarsus has announced a strategic partnership to launch a new aerospace platform for the industry.

The global B2B events and media group is working with Times Aerospace, publisher of leading magazines and content for the sector across the Middle East and Africa.

It is hoped the move will leverage both parties’ respective strengths to deliver news, insights and exclusives.

Tarsus Group CEO Douglas Emslie, said: “Times Aerospace has a great reputation amongst our shared customer base making the partnership a natural fit.

“I’m delighted to be working with them to develop and expand our respective businesses going forward; this partnership perfectly aligns with our strategy of creating deeper connections with our customers and broadening our revenue base beyond events.’’

Tarsus Aerospace – the division involved with the partnership – delivers events in aviation, defence and aerospace.

US summit on future travel and sustainability

A new summit is to bring together leaders and policy makers in the US to discuss how the travel industry will shape up over the next 10 years.

The day-long Future of Travel Mobility event will take place on Tuesday to consider issues central to the coming decade of the sector.

It will see executives in the business, transportation and technology sectors join policymakers and administration officials.

Their focus will be on travel mobility and the traveller experience – including sustainable travel, seamless and secure travel as well as innovative and emerging travel.

Roger Dow, CEO of the US Travel Association, said: “Our eyes are on the future, where U.S. technologies and advancements promise a new day for travel, mobility, sustainability and infrastructure.”

It comes after Whitehouse confirmed its border reopening date which will allow vaccinated travellers into the US from land and air.

Officials have said this rule will come into effect from November 8 and will provide some much needed certainty for our industry as it continues to reopen.

The US Travel Association CEO believes this will add further confidence to the event industry.

He said: The set date of November 8 for entry of fully vaccinated individuals will create confidence in the marketplace, not only for leisure travel, but importantly for the international business traveller who can now travel to the US for meetings, conventions and professional events.

 “This critically important segment of travel is now positioned to rebound after severe declines in business travel spending by inbound visitors, which fell by 80% last year.”

Christmas comes early?

The event industry in the UK has been given a boost after the Prime Minister ruled out new lockdowns amid fears over a rise in coronavirus cases.

No 10 has dismissed the need to reintroduce mask mandates, work-from-home orders and vaccine passports – although such measures could be introduced if more people did not come forward for vaccines and booster shots.

Boris Johnson claimed there is so far no evidence to suggest this could be an option for Ministers to choose, providing some much needed confidence for organisers over the festive period.

He said: “I’ve got to tell you, at the moment, that we see absolutely nothing to indicate that that is on the cards at all.”

It comes after Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng also reaffirmed there would be no further lockdowns and encouraged workers to go ahead and book Christmas parties.

Covid-19 cases in the UK are charging ahead of major European nations as it was confirmed the nation had recorded its highest number of new infections over a week for months.

A total of 333,465 people tested positive over seven days, up 15% on the previous week and the highest total since the seven days to July 21.