Amid Promising COVID Vaccine News, Event Planners Optimistic About Economic Recovery
Industry professionals in South Florida know business won't pick up quickly, but a vaccine creates optimism.
After a year of cancellations and closures, live conferences, corporate meetings, and large events may be some of the last parts of the economy to pick up steam again.
But with news that multiple vaccines against COVID-19 may be ready within months, some South Florida event planners are feeling optimistic about next year.
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Deidre Everdij is the owner of the corporate event managing company COTC Events. She told WLRN that widespread distribution of the vaccine will be key for the industry.
“Our business is not reliant only on domestic [travel]," she said. "We need open international borders, and we need to be able to move freely around the world for this business, which is corporate events and meetings. And to do that, it's obviously the United States vaccination, but it's the whole world.”
Everdij also spoke at a webinar hosted Tuesday by the Florida Atlantic University College of Business.
During that event, Steve O'Malley, the enterprise vice president of Maritz Global Events, said a long-term effect of the pandemic is that there will be a mix of virtual, in-person, and hybrid events — but less travel.
“Meetings and events will continue,” he said. “There is a reason that you need to bring people together face to face. I think what we're going to find at the other end of this is that the transient travel business is going to drop dramatically because so many of those trips were taking place that didn't need to take place.”
The panelists agreed they expect to see more live events again starting in the middle of 2021.