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SITE Foundation Study: Travel Coming Back: Hybrid Meetings the New Norm

A detailed study of 100 corporate incentive and meeting buyers across a cross-section of industries finds that US incentive travel and meetings are coming back sooner than expected this year and may return to normal volume by as early as 2023 if the pandemic is controlled. While virtual formats will not replace live events, many companies envisage more use of hybrid events in the coming years.
Site logoHere are some of the key findings from a detailed survey of 100 corporate end-users representing a cross-section of US industries. 
94% of the 50 companies surveyed state that their incentive travel programs are 100% supported by the leadership. 
The survey finds negligible levels of decrease for classic in-person incentives over the next three years among the 50 corporations, with both categories reporting net increases of 18% and 12% respectively. Pure virtual meetings will see a net decrease of 14% but hybrid reports a net increase of 18%. 
While corporates’ experiments with virtual events seem to have been unsatisfactory overall – this category reports the single biggest percentage decrease in the coming years (34%) of all categories – there were, obviously, some efficiencies achieved that can be incorporated into hybrid, the category reporting the single biggest increase (32%) of all categories.
71% of the 50 US corporations who participated in the April 2021 survey state they replaced their 2020 travel incentive with another reward.
Only 31% report the 2021 travel incentive will be replaced by another reward, indicating a significant improvement in positive outlook between September 2020 and April 2021. 
Encouragingly for the global incentive travel industry, 82% of the respondents are now actively planning in-person travel incentives for 2022 and beyond, with only 2% of respondents reporting any permanent swing away from in-person incentive travel. 
Over 80% of respondents state that they will operate their first, post-pandemic domestic meeting/event in the second half of 2021. 
Domestic incentives are not behind, with about 55% of respondents planning 2021 delivery. 
If, on the domestic front, corporate meeting recovery is outpacing incentive travel, then this is reversed when it comes to international events where, counterintuitively, incentive travel is outpacing corporate meetings with over 35% of US corporations operating their first post-pandemic international in-person incentive travel experience in late 2021.
Buyers anticipate major changes in Force Majeure clauses and rebooking clauses to endure; believe that relationships across all areas of travel count more than ever, and that the need for flexibility and agility is paramount.
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Education, Certifications, and Information to Activate
Brand Media and Enterprise Engagement 

A complete learning, certification, and information program and a course syllabus for educators.
Resources: The Brand Media Coalition, the only guide to the story-telling power of brands and where to source them for business, event, promotional gifting, and rewards and recognition. Enterprise Engagement Solution Provider Directory. The only directory of engagement solution providers covering all types of agencies and tactics as well as insights on how to select them.
Communities: The  Enterprise Engagement Alliance and Advocate and the  Brand Media Coalition free resource centers offering access to the latest research, news, and case studies; discounts, promotions, referrals, and commissions, when appropriate to third-party solution providers from participating coalition solution provider members.
Training and Certification
Enterprise Engagement Alliance Education: Certified Engagement Practitioner; Advanced Engaged Practitioner, and Certified Engagement Solution Provider learning and certification programs on how to implement Stakeholder Capitalism principles at the tactical level. 
International Center for Enterprise Engagement: The only training and certification program for ISO 30414 human capital reporting and ISO 10018 quality people management certification. 
A CEO's Guide to Engagement Across the Enterprise cover
The EEA offers a complimentary course syllabus for educators.
In Print: 
This is the definitive implementation guide to Stakeholder Capitalism, written specifically to provide CEOs and their leadership teams a concise overview of the framework, economics, and implementation process of a CEO-led strategic and systematic approach to achieving success through people.  (123 pages, $15.99)
The first and most comprehensive book on Enterprise Engagement and the new ISO 9001 and ISO 10018 quality people management standards. Includes 36 chapters detailing how to better integrate and align engagement efforts across the enterprise. (312 pages, $36.) 
10-minute short course: click here for a 10-minute introduction to Enterprise Engagement and ISO standards from the Coggno.com learning platform.
•  The Engagement Agency at EngagementAgency.net, offering: complete support services for employers, solution providers, and technology firms seeking to profit from formal engagement practices for themselves or their clients, including Brand and Capability audits for solution providers to make sure their products and services are up to date.
•  C-Suite Advisory Service—Education of boards, investors, and C-suite executives on the economics, framework, and implementation processes of Enterprise Engagement. 
•  Speakers Bureau—Select the right speaker on any aspect of engagement for your next event.
•  Mergers and Acquisitions. The Engagement Agency’s Mergers and Acquisition group is aware of multiple companies seeking to purchase firms in the engagement field. Contact Michael Mazer in confidence if your company is potentially for sale at 303-320-3777.
Enterprise Engagement Benchmark Tools: The Enterprise Engagement Alliance offers three tools to help organizations profit from Engagement. Click here to access the tools.
•  ROI of Engagement Calculator. Use this tool to determine the potential return-on-investment of an engagement strategy. 
•  EE Benchmark Indicator. Confidentially benchmark your organization’s Enterprise Engagement practices against organizations and best practices. 
•  Compare Your Company’s Level of Engagement. Quickly compare your organization’s level of engagement to those of others based on the same criteria as the EEA’s Engaged Company Stock Index.
•  Gauge Your Personal Level of Engagement. This survey, donated by Horsepower, enables individuals to gauge their own personal levels of engagement.
For more information, contact Bruce Bolger at Bolger@TheEEA.org, 914-591-7600, ext. 230.
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