Boston Business Journal – After a year of virtual conferences, Zoom networking sessions and shuttered venues, are businesspeople ready to return to in-person events?
Nationally, it’s a 50-50 proposition now and looking brighter in the next two months, according to an exclusive survey by The Business Journals, which surveyed 8,299 past event attendees across its 44 markets, including Boston. The survey was conducted April 5-7.
Nationally, 50 percent of respondents said they are now ready to return to in-person events with proper Covid-19 safety precautions in place. Another 21 percent said they’ll be ready in a month or two. Only 10 percent of respondents said they’ll need six months or more before they are comfortable.
But a lower percentage of respondents are ready for in-person events in large metros along the coasts, such as Boston (31 percent), Washington, D.C. (32 percent) and San Francisco (29 percent).
In Boston, 17 percent said they could be ready in a month or two, while 27 percent said they are likely to be ready in three to six months. Twenty-two percent said they needed more than six months before they’re comfortable. Just 3 percent said they would need a year before they are comfortable.
Overall, the survey offers some encouraging signs for a live-events industry that lost an estimated $30 billion in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, leaving many venue operators scrambling for federal assistance, adapting their business models and, in some cases, closing their doors permanently.