The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly affected the global economy, public health and the meetings industry in particular. And even as events return, it is likely that planners will face more questions on why an event must happen in person and feel greater pressure to make the business case for face-to-face meetings.
To discuss the long-term effect that the pandemic may have on the role of meeting planners, we spoke with Fiona Pelham, CEO of Positive Impact Events, who has dedicated herself to helping meeting planners evolve their approach to prepare not for the next few months, but for years into the future. Last year, she submitted an acceleration action to the UN Sustainable Development Goals Summit that showed how the in-person events industry could help accomplish the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals and help it find new solutions.
Here she discusses how in the wake of COVID-19, meeting and event planners will need to get more strategic, serving far more than a logistical role as they make the case for meetings, and elevate their reporting on how these gatherings can have a positive impact for both the global economy and environment. She also discusses why virtual meetings offer plenty of opportunities — but can't replace the "serendipity" of in-person gatherings.
Listen to the in-depth conversation in our latest episode of Eventful: The Podcast for Meeting Professionals, and remember to subscribe on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts and anywhere else you listen to podcasts.