President's Message

A Word of Optimism

2021 started as another year of virtual events across our industry.  A challenging year with a lot of uncertainties.

However, with recent news coming from different countries, a bright light is appearing at the end of the tunnel.

The US travel association has released their travel forecast using Oxford Economics’ proprietary travel forecasting model until 2024. Total spending on Business Travel will increase by 20% during 2021 and additionally by 23.2% during 2022.

Restriction are being lifted and business events are happening again on a local and/or regional level in countries that have contained the virus like Australia, New Zealand and Singapore and in those where their vaccination rate is high, like in United States and UAE.

Venues are turning into vaccination centers instead of field hospitals like in Prague Congress Centre.

We all know that people are eager to travel and meet again. Nevertheless, we have an obligation as industry professionals to ensure this is done in a safe way. A way that will protect our staff, suppliers and participants and will keep them healthy.

This year, along with continuing to service our clients mostly in a virtual environment, we will focus on planning the return of in-person events.

One thing that came out of this pandemic is that organizations and associations have realized that education can continue online. This will shift the way we think and design the future of the in-person meeting. While content will still be the core of the in-person meeting, more emphasis will be given to networking, community building, research collaborations and hands-on experience. This will be bolstered with online participants unable to travel to the event.

One thing is clear, a fascinating year with room for optimism is ahead of us.

Yours,

Ori

Ori Lahav
IAPCO President
VP Client & Operations, Kenes Group

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