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CEO DATELINE—Poll: Two-thirds of companies expect in-person events to resume next year

Sept. 24, 2020
By Kathryn Walson

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The majority of Global Business Travel Association’s member companies expect their employees to return to in-person conferences in 2021, according to a poll conducted by the group.

Forty-five percent of respondents expect attendance to resume in the first half of the year while another 25% anticipate a return to in-person events in the second half of 2021, GBTA said in a statement. The poll was conducted between Sept. 15-19 and received 1,364 responses.

Twenty percent of GBTA companies expect to return to the office in 2020 while 35% percent plan to return in the first half of next year. The poll also found that 16% of GBTA’s member companies have already returned to the office.

“While there is no doubt the current global uncertainty around a second wave (of the pandemic) is delaying the return to business travel, the outlook for 2021 is looking more positive with companies planning a return to face-to-face meetings and events. It is encouraging to see businesses planning their return to office in a careful and safe way,” Dave Hilfman, interim executive director of GBTA, said in a statement.

Fifty-two percent say an effective COVID-19 vaccine would have the most influence on their decision to return to the office and resume in-person events.