Excitement building over ‘pent-up demand’ for events, says global agency chief

Preparations of a full rollback of events are well underway, according to global agency CWT Meetings & Events, with some regions like Australia already hosting small scale meetings.

There is pent-up demand for events amid bookings for this year and beyond, according to Ian Cummings, global vice president, commercial, CWT Meetings & Events, who discusses managing an influx of RFPs, and his personal take on coping with a year of pandemic lockdowns.

From a global perspective, Cummings believes that smaller, more localised events could begin as early as Q4 in 2021.

He said: “As far as the comeback is concerned, it’s exciting to see some of the enquiries that are coming in now. The general feeling is that everyone is fed up with lockdowns, and people are really keen to get back to some form of normality, whatever that may be, with the vaccine roll-out etc.

“I think people really want to start meeting again and therefore, as many people have said, there is definitely pent-up demand there. Some of the enquiries we have got coming in lead us to believe there is good pent-up demand there. People want to start meeting up again. The timing is the unknown at the moment.

“I think it’s likely we will start seeing some events return and face-to-face meetings in Q4 and Q1. Firstly, fingers crossed, let’s hope for that. Certainly, some of our customers are looking at that in terms of bookings.”

Test events have been taking place around the world, with the aim of collecting insights and data on reducing the contamination risks, CWT said.

The aim is to prepare for a full rollback of events, while in the UK the government currently plans to end all restrictions by June 21.