A recent survey of Executive Assistants (EAs) has shown businesses haven’t lost their appetite for events and face-to-face meetings and are gearing up their business events activity.
The survey, conducted by Executive PA Media, queried an audience of EAs—the largest group of corporate event bookers—to gauge how businesses feel about booking events and sending their employees to meet in person as restrictions lift.
The responses were gathered from both for-profit businesses, government agencies and not-for-profit groups. Across all sectors, the insights are remarkably similar.
Back to the office
As restrictions continue to lift across Australia, and New Zealand removes theirs completely, nearly half of EAs say staff are returning to the office, and 50 percent have a timetable to get their staff back in—indicating coronavirus concerns are starting to subside.
Meetings & events back on the menu
Even at this early stage, 80 percent of EAs said they are planning events over the next 12 months—22 percent of which plan on booking for more than 100 pax.
Generally tasked with planning their organisation’s Christmas party, nearly two-thirds of the EAs who gave a definitive answer said they are going to have a Christmas celebration this year.
Of those who are sure, nearly 40 percent expect their teams and executives to meet face-to-face with clients or suppliers in the next three months.
41 percent of the surveyed EAs said it was ‘likely’ or ‘somewhat likely’ staff will be attending a conference or convention within a year.
Over half of the respondents have been provided with COVID safe guidelines for managing events—indicating that businesses are keen to get back to meeting in controlled environments.
Incentives, retreats and teambuilding
The survey shows the pandemic’s impact has been concentrated on leaders and c-suite executives—indicating an uptick in interest for executive retreats and incentives.
Of the EAs that were sure, more than three quarters agreed their bosses had experienced ‘significant pressures’ as a result of the crisis.
The responses also indicate leaders are focusing on employee engagement. Isolation, disconnection and loneliness are widespread in organisations and will need to be addressed by leadership.
From those who were certain, 55 percent of EAs said their leaders would need to rebuild morale once everyone returned to the workplace.
While many were unsure, external training is certainly on the agenda. Nearly half of the EAs who answered either ‘yes’ or ‘no’ were confident employees will be attending external training in the next 12 months.
On top of the positive outlook for events, business travel is already returning, with one in ten EAs beginning to plan business travel for their executives.
These insights will be detailed in full by Executive PA Media in the Business Recovery Report, which will be published soon. Following the publication, their audience of EAs will be surveyed twice more to gather a clear picture of how confidence is building for events in the corporate sector.
Get the report
To receive a copy of the ‘business recovery report’, which should be out in the next ten days, register your interest here: