Will meetings and fairs be change permanently changed by coronavirus outbreak? — TripActions Community

Will meetings and fairs be change permanently changed by coronavirus outbreak?

This global outbreak has locked down hotels and congress centers. Will they reopen with different services, will they change (permanently) the way they operate? may we use our imagination to design a whole new way of handling meetings and fairs?


  • Indeed I think @Matteo that the entire value chain will need to adjust their services and be more creative. I strongly believe in the power of face to face and in live human interactions. The chemistry created in a room is something pretty unique. We will always need and *want to* meet. We are social creatures ;-) But we may not be able to design events the same way for a while. In terms of services and way to operate, it's interesting how some properties are already "tech-ready" and can handle large bandwidth. They might be able to host events with a limited number of people in the room (to follow social distancing guidelines), and broadcast shows LIVE to an audience. We can even think holograms, VR, AR...! Technology enables new creative ways to interact and will also power more innovation. Up to us to re-invent formats! And I must say this gets me particularly excited 😊

  • I completely agree on many fronts especially "we always need and "want to" meet. We are social creatures.;)"

    I'm craving business travel right now and even having dreams about flights, hotels, and presenting at events!

    But it will be VERY interesting to see how the online and on-site worlds collide in the coming months and very curious where we will be looking back one year from now.

  • I feel you, @EliteRoadWarrior, I'm the same. Travel is my lifestyle, I'm a digital nomad and a public speaker so I totally get this feeling of being a grounded traveler. I'm having similar dreams!! ;-)

    I agree, it's particularly fascinating to observe online and on-site world colliding. What this crisis has revealed, was that a certain number of companies had not really initiated their digital transformation.

    I believe we need to come up with some kind of hybrid solutions, find the right balance between technology/human -or at least the more human we are able to introduce at the moment. Oh dear, I wish that in 1 year we'll have a follow-up chat, sitting on a table, with drinks :-)

  • What would be a successful event in our new world, according to you, @EliteRoadWarrior ?

  • I am imagining there might be more localised tradeshows and conferences.

    Hotel can host a trade show ( market/ city specific instead of nationwide)

    Eg. A Business Travel Technology Conference in San Francisco drawing people from Northern California

    Exhibitor Booth is a Hotel Room . Visitor book a time slot stretch . A 2 hour would be 18 mins with 6 vendors with a 2 min buffer

    Stretch: room 101 to 106 : all self booking tool exhibitors.

    Visitors can visit a hotel room to find about more about a product/service or conduct business.

  • @GautamRamanujan you have definitely put a lot of thought into this! This is a time of such innovative and creative thinking right now. We have to look completely outside the box of what's possible and not let our bias interfere.

  • The only thing is that some industries are particularly international and gather participants from different nationalities/countries. To complement your thinking @GautamRamanujan, I see a rise in hybrid events. One local conference/trade show being broadcasted to other locations with people gathering locally to attend/participate. Technology will bridge the gap and may offer some alternatives to large gatherings.

  • @Aurelie_Krau - thanks for the response. I'm with you on the hybrid and needing to find a healthy balance.

    These days I'm not doing nearly as much international, mostly North America so my focus is mostly with US companies.

    And agreed on the pandemic forcing a digital transformation and seeing what is possible. I also believe it will eventually show the difference between what's possible and what's most effective.

    The longer this goes on, the longer I'm growing weary of video call after video call, webinar after webinar, and longing for

  • ... human interaction. Maybe that's the business traveler just feeling the lockdown!

  • I'm with you @EliteRoadWarrior - as tech geek as I can be, I found myself starting to put my phone away much more often than I used to.

    The market dynamics is fascinating. The challenge we have in Europe for example is that we are small countries compared to the US, with all countries opening up at a different pace and at different levels. And it looks like intra-US is starting to look a bit like this, with states putting different policies in place.

    I agree -it's the opportunity to truly embrace a test & learn mindset. Maybe the solution lies somewhere in the middle, a hybrid model, the best blend between technology and human -once it's safe again.

    (you have another business traveler feeling the lockdown on this side of the Atlantic too ;-))

  • As a professional speaker who speaks at conferences and trade shows, I can tell you right now, I am SERIOUSLY missing the engagement of a live room. A webinar or online training can never be more than a B+ if you give an A for a live event.

  • I'm with you, @WorkWellPlayMore - I also miss the buzz and the inspiration I get with all this engagement at conferences and trade shows. Creating a sense of community online is not an easy job. However I did attend a few virtual events that almost made me feel like I had been there: I was engaged, I felt I connected with people, I had a good laugh, and I was exhausted and filled with energy at the same time when it was over!

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