The Incentivist COVID-19 Survey Results

i By March 11, 2020 No Comments

Our short survey on how COVID-19 is impacting business events professionals was launched on Friday, February 21 and closed this morning, Wednesday, March 11, 2020. Over the course of those 20 days, COVID-19 has impacted the whole world so the answers to our questions, presented below, will not surprise anybody.

We considered leaving this survey open, but decided we’d prefer to refocus our coverage. Next week we’ll be deploying a survey/request for information on how planners and suppliers are meeting the challenges brought on by COVID-19. Please look for it in your inbox!

And please check out The Incentivist’s COVID-19 news and resources page (click here or on leaderboard and big box on It has links to public health agencies and COVID-19 pages on industry association websites (PCMA, EIC, SITE, ICCA, etc.) as well as current industry specific news.

The Incentivist COVID-19 Survey Results

Who answered?

99 MICE professionals from around the world | 58 planners, 36 suppliers, 5 other (consultants, etc.)

Where were they from?

CANADA | 40 (29 planners, 6 suppliers, 5 other)

UNITED STATES | 24 (12 planners, 12 suppliers)

UNITED KINGDOM & IRELAND | 10 (4 planners, 6 suppliers)

ITALY | 5 (1 planner, 4 suppliers)

POLAND | 3 planners

SPAIN | 3 planners

GREECE | 2 (1 planner, 1 supplier)

PORTUGAL | 2 suppliers

SINGAPORE | 2 planners

COLOMBIA | 1 supplier

COSTA RICA | 1 supplier

FRANCE | 1 supplier

ISRAEL | 1 planner

MEXICO | 1 supplier

MOROCCO | 1 planner

SLOVAKIA | 1 planner

RUSSIA | 1 supplier

The four questions they answered.

Have you cancelled/postponed any business events (conferences, conventions, trade shows, incentive travel programs, etc.) or had any business events cancel due to client concerns about COVID-19?


YES | 69 respondents

NO | 30 respondents

Has concern about COVID-19 impacted attendance at any of your MICE events?


YES | 68 respondents

NO | 30 respondents

Are more clients asking about destination/facility preparedness to handle an outbreak of COVID-19?


YES | 69 respondents

NO | 29 respondents

Have you requested not to travel or attend an event (as a participant or planner) because you’re concerned about being exposed to COVID-19?


YES | 25

NO | 74

Their comments.

Conducting risk assessments with our DMC/hotel partners in the countries where we have events planned. Holding statements issued to attendees which align with next phase of cancellation clauses in order to optimize choices and not jump the gun. We’re placing all our efforts on continuing with events, with two postponement date options in hand.”

“Media in many cases have created a true hysteria about COVID-19 which has generated a negative impact on MICE business all over the world, even in the countries with few cases of COVID-19. Thanks for your support to the meetings industry.”

“I opted out of travel to Panama for a site inspection for the time being. Taking a wait-and-see approach and have communicated the same to clients. Let’s see what evolves over the next couple of weeks.”

“We are seeing more and more cancel their travel in fear of the virus. Luckily, we have the same information available as an online option and most are switching to that instead of cancelling right out.”

“Right now I am in contract stages [and] clients are asking to hold off on signing contracts to see where the COVID-19 is going as well as seeing how quickly they can come up with a vaccine.”

“We are in the midst of finding options for several clients with only a few making a decision to cancel or postpone so far.”

“IMEX will be affected by our company due to the sheer volume of labour required for the details of rebooking programs.”

“Our clients are asking about postponement but have not done so yet.”

“While none of my client events have been cancelled/postponed yet, I do believe it is inevitable.”

“The media is causing all this panic when there is no need if all precautions are followed.” 

“Things progress and alter daily.”

“It ain’t pretty, whether the press has blown it out of proportion or not.”