Home Economy Survey: Most people will avoid post-pandemic trade shows this year

Survey: Most people will avoid post-pandemic trade shows this year

Organizers of trade shows who are planning events after the COVID-19 pandemic abates may find themselves with few attendees at their offerings.

According to a new IBM Institute for Business Value survey of 25,000 adults, more than half of respondents said they were unwilling to be exposed to gatherings with large crowds for the remainder of this year – with 75% saying they would not be attending any trade shows and business conferences that will be held this year.

trade show IBMBut that’s not to say the survey’s respondents will continue to self-quarantine after the all-clear message goes out. One-third of respondents said they were willing to return to their favorite restaurants and bars, another one-third were eager to visit outdoor parks again, 25% were ready to return to the beaches, and one in five were ready to hit the malls and shopping centers once they reopen.

As for getting to their destinations, more than half of people surveyed who used ridesharing apps and services said they would either stop using these services or use them with much less frequency, while 20% who relied on mass transit said they will stay off the buses and trains.

Instead, 1 in 4 respondents predicted they will use their own automobiles exclusively for their transportation needs – although one-third of respondents said that constraints on their personal finances as a result of the pandemic will “greatly” influence their decision to buy a vehicle.

“The study provides further evidence that COVID-19 is permanently altering U.S. consumer behavior,” said Jesus Mantas, senior managing partner at IBM Services. “There are long-term implications of the new consumer behaviors for industries like retail, transportation and travel among others. These organizations need to quickly adapt their business models to serve the new consumer behaviors in order to survive and thrive.”

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Phil Hall's writing for Westfair Communications has earned multiple awards from the Connecticut Press Club and the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists. He is a former United Nations-based reporter for Fairchild Broadcast News and the author of 10 books (including the 2020 release "Moby Dick: The Radio Play" and the upcoming "Jesus Christ Movie Star," both published by BearManor Media). He is also the host of the SoundCloud podcast "The Online Movie Show," co-host of the WAPJ-FM talk show "Nutmeg Chatter" and a writer with credits in The New York Times, New York Daily News, Hartford Courant, Wired, The Hill's Congress Blog, Profit Confidential, The MReport and StockNews.com. Outside of journalism, he is also a horror movie actor - usually playing the creepy villain who gets badly killed at the end of each film.


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