Blog: Slowly come back to something as usual
Welcome to the Las Vegas market in the summer of 2021. It feels like it’s been a long time coming, but here we are, emerging from our COVID-19 induced cocoons. OK, so that’s a bit of a stretch; however, one has the impression that the winter has been very long.
Each of our industry’s markets continues to emerge and evolve to meet the needs of buyers and exhibitors in a safe, welcoming and business-friendly environment. In our cover story this week, you can get an overview of the changes being implemented, a brief look back at 2020 and the curve balls that have been launched in our market cycle, and a look at what the market might look like. to come up.
The High Point Market in June – yes, June – was a turn of the page when it comes to accommodation. The Dallas and Atlanta events followed with new strategies to keep attendees safe while shopping the halls and browsing new products. Now Las Vegas.
Organizers say that while they don’t expect it to be 100% like in previous years, they are optimistic it could get very close.
Over the past 17 months or so, our industry, built on relationships that have grown stronger over the years, has found new ways to stay in touch with our customers, suppliers, sources and longtime friends. Gone is the traditional market cycle that brought us together every two months like holidays on our calendars. We looked to Zoom and Teams and old-fashioned phone calls to get us through this.
During this time and always, companies around the world have cut back on business travel. Closures that began in March 2020 designed to keep employees healthy as COVID-19 continued to spread. Now that there is a viable vaccine and more people are getting vaccinated, business travel has resumed. Airlines executives said current domestic business travel is back to 40% of 2019 traffic. It’s not all the way back, but its trend is on the rise, and trade shows and lectures help to spur some of that.
According to a study by the accounting and consulting firm Deloitte, conferences and trade shows, which represent an important part of business travel, are beginning to return. According to the study, those events – live and in hybrid formats – will accelerate this fall. We have seen workers return to their offices throughout the spring and summer, and the build-up continues.
The report adds that business travel is expected to increase significantly in the second half of 2021, but will remain below pre-pandemic levels. Companies have started to ease travel restrictions, no longer allowing only essential travel.
This is the story I hear from bedding companies: some are back for all traveling all the time, while others are looking at a more cautious, slower return strategy. The more cautious require additional levels of management approval, and most trips are limited to domestic trips only.
And here we are, as an industry. Slowly, but surely, returning to a more normal state of affairs, preparing for face-to-face meetings, product presentations, and negotiations that don’t involve screens.
It’s much closer than last year, and for that we are all grateful. Have a large market.