April 7, 2022 | By Bronwen Largier

A US survey of over 2,500 business travellers by Tourism Economics in early March found the vast majority are planning to travel to attend a conference or trade show in the next six months, however the top reason for travel uncertainty also relates to meetings and events.

Two thirds of survey respondents who said they would be travelling for external meetings in the next six months said they expected to travel the same or more to attend conventions and exhibitions. Those travelling the same or more for incentives was slightly lower at 61 per cent.

Ironically, the main reason for uncertainty about travel in the next six months was meetings and events not occurring, which was raised by 16 per cent of respondents.

The survey was conducted in collaboration with the U.S. Travel Association and market insights company J.D. Power.

“The return of in-person meetings and events—and business travel in general – is a welcome sight after more than two years of pandemic-related uncertainty,” said U.S. Travel Association president and CEO Roger Dow.

“There is simply no substitute for a face-to-face meeting, which is proven to lead to more fruitful business opportunities and can help power an economic and jobs recovery in communities across America.”

Practice lead for hospitality at J.D. Power Andrea Stokes said face-to-face have significant relational and financial implications for corporate America.

“Nearly half of survey respondents indicated that conferences, conventions, and trade shows are critical to developing relationships with customers, suppliers or others. Nearly one in four respondents indicated these events are critical to closing sales,” she said.