The future of global gatherings of scientific societies

10 February 2021

ICCA, the International Congress and Convention Association, conducted a survey of scientific and other associations in May and September.

Research was conducted into the adaptations of the associations in organizing conferences and their plans for the future. What are the trends in association activities and what are their expectations? These are the main findings of the study:

• 82% of respondents said their largest in-person meeting in 2020 was affected by COVID-19, with 43% having to cancel or postpone their meeting and 17% going virtual or hybrid.

• By 2021, 15% of respondents plan to cancel or postpone their largest meeting, and 42% plan to go hybrid or virtual. 61% expect smaller attendance figures for their 'in person' meeting.

• 81% of respondents believe that there are limitations to network discussions during virtual events compared to face-to-face meetings.

• 88% of respondents indicated that technology changed their way of doing business at their meeting, with 51% using only cheaper solutions to support virtual / hybrid elements of their meeting.

• 71% of the respondents indicated that they are based in Europe, this means that the above results mainly describe the situation in Europe.

What do association members miss about face-to-face meetings?

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Source: International Congress and Convention Association, The Future of Global Association Meetings - four months down the line  (September 2020)

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