Two years into the global COVID-19 pandemic, with a majority of the world’s population vaccinated against the disease, policymakers around the world are faced with the challenge to stimulate and manage societies and economies. And as COVID-19-related restrictions are rolled back and lifted, policy priorities are shifting.

Business events will be a key driver of this recovery, both locally and globally, according to the three main global trade bodies representing and serving the business events industry. They believe that bringing communities, markets and industries together face to face has always, and will remain, the best way to drive innovation and business.

To support the reopening of business events, as well as the wider events industry, the International Association of Convention Centres (AIPC), the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) and the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI) are launching a new policy report, called “Business Events Are the Fast Track to Recovery.”

The report supports the advocacy efforts of the business events industry by highlighting the value and importance of the industry, and gives examples of what other governments and policymakers around the world are doing to support the return of events. With this white paper, the AIPC, ICCA and UFI hope to support the efforts of its members, customers and wider business industry as meeting places and marketplaces reopen.

“With the world of organized events opening up again, collaboration is more important than ever. The bridges built over the last two years have allowed to create a joint vision on organized events,” says Sven Bossu, AIPC CEO. “This vision now needs to be nurtured and further developed, allowing all stakeholders in the organized events industry — including regulators and authorities — to boost collaboration, innovation and trade. This new paper is the next step.”

Meanwhile, according to Kai Hattendorf, managing director and CEO of UFI, “We have seen the speed of reopening gathering pace and this is very encouraging. However, even when we are fully open once again, we still have some work to do. We need to ensure that government and policymakers understand and appreciate the value we bring to their economies. It is not the case everywhere so far, but we can help shape this conversation, to position our industry in the collective minds of governments around the world and give it the recognition it deserves.”

The recovery of industries and economies around the world depends on the swift return of face-to-face business events. Fortunately, more and more events taking place safely and successfully around the world will encourage and empower others to follow suit.

Click to download the report.