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Check-in with Suzanne

Being an event, conference or meeting professional is an especially challenging role these days. At GBTA, we understand firsthand what the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events (MICE) sector has been navigating.  

Our plate has been full restarting our own in-person conferences now in Q4 on a regional basis – including in Canada, the US and Europe – as well as planning for 2022 to restart the topical meetings that were put on hold for over two years. There is a lot of pent-up demand to learn and share best practices side by side, and a continued steady climb of vaccination rates in several regions will allow our industry to bring back these face-to-face events safely.    

The return of especially large group events has lagged other areas of business travel recovery in the past two to three months, and COVID transmission, vaccination rates, return to offices, and company travel policies are just a few of the hurdles. Although recent polling consistently shows employees are willing to travel, in the GBTA September poll, companies reported they cancelled or suspended business travel due to the pandemic for large in-person conferences of 500 or more attendees (81%), medium-sized events of 50 or more people (74%), and even internal collaboration meetings (69%). 

But there are signs of recovery, too. In October, 77% of poll respondents indicated an overall reduction in COVID transmission rates at places where they would hold or attend meetings would increase volume of business travel. And 69% said they support full vaccination to attend a conference, larger meetings and events.  

Office re-openings are a significant factor when it comes to the return of smaller and team meetings — having a “normal” place to meet like a corporate campus is way more important than we would have imagined within our industry. In our most recent poll, a third of respondents said their offices had not largely reopened, and some reported permanent closures. 

If you are headed out for meetings or events, and especially if you are traveling internationally, make sure you are fully informed before you go. The Sherpa + American Airlines travel tool on the GBTA website is your guide to getting the right travel documentation and understanding up-to-date requirements in a dynamically changing travel environment. 

We will talk to you next week from Orlando. 



News To Know 

IAG experiencing significant recovery with Q3 financial results 

International Airlines Group which includes British Airways, Iberia and Aer Lingus, reported a 432 million loss in Q3, which was halved compared to previous quarters. IAG also saw increased passenger capacity, and predicts that growth to continue through the end of the year. 

OSHA publishes emergency temporary standard following vaccine mandate 

Following a mandate set in executive orders by President Joe Biden, OSHA’s emergency temporary standard now requires US companies with 100 or more employees must make sure their workforce is fully vaccinated or test negative at least once per week.  

Canadian aviation industry: the latest updates amid the coronavirus pandemic 

Catch up on the latest news updates on Canadian airlines including Air Canada’s domestic summer schedule, Flair Airlines expanding its network, WestJet resuming more flights, and more.  

Avianca expects to exit Chapter 11 by the end of 2021 

Avianca recently announced the approval of the Company’s Plan of Reorganization by the Southern District of New York and is now expecting complete its exit from Chapter 11 before the end of the year. Rohit Philip, Avianca’s Chief Financial Officer, said: “We are pleased to have reached this important milestone that will allow us to emerge as a stronger organization to fly for many years to come.” 


GBTA News & Reminders 

Travel Risk Management Bootcamp: Understanding and Implementing ISO31030 

Explore Travel Risk Management in the context of the new ISO 31030 standard and gain the tools and confidence to update and/or create a robust system within your organization. This one-day course, led by travel risk management experts Global Secure Accreditation in conjunction with GBTA and the Anvil Group, is designed to give practical guidance to anyone involved in building and managing corporate travel programs. 

Advanced Principles of Business Travel Management™ 

This course builds off of the Fundamentals curriculum to aid business travel professionals in increasing their knowledge of the industry while also expanding on their professional skills. This course is designed for travel buyers overseeing a managed business travel program and suppliers offering travel-related products and services. 

GBTA Convention Replay 

Can’t make it to Orlando for GBTA Convention? Don’t miss out on the new, unique experience, check out Convention Replay! With 5 livestreaming Main Stage sessions, 25 educational sessions, virtual exhibitor connections, and more, you can reap the value of the business travel industry’s flagship gathering in a way that’s right for you.