More than half of Australians are comfortable attending a business event right now, and the most confident state to do so is NSW, new research has revealed.
The survey by Roy Morgan, on behalf of BESydney, found that when it comes to attending an event in person post-COVID, 51.6 per cent of Australians are comfortable attending business events up to 50 people, preceded by funerals (68.9 per cent), weddings (66.2 per cent) and cinemas (55.1 per cent).
By state, those in NSW are most comfortable attending business events, at 48.9 per cent.
The survey also found that the traditional handshake is now the preferred greeting for just 30.4 per cent of Aussies with colleagues and new contacts (down 57.6 per cent).
Taking its place, the elbow bump is now the go-to greeting (58.5 per cent), while increasing numbers are opting for a fist bump (up 2.5 per cent) or no physical greeting at all (up 11.1 per cent).
NSW leads when it comes to the COVID elbow greeting, with the state recording the highest proportion of people who comfortably use this gesture (35.6 per cent).
NSW Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said it was pleasing to see confidence increasing in the state when it comes to getting back to business and attending events in-person.
“We’ve seen strong adherence to COVIDSafe guidelines here and a positive outcome as a result, and important milestones continue to be achieved as restrictions ease,” he said.
“Getting people and businesses back together is vital for our economy, and we’re focused on increasing this activity and bringing key events to our city and state.”
When survey respondents were asked about the business aspects most negatively impacted by COVID-19, ‘networking opportunities’ was number one (35.9 per cent), followed by training opportunities (35.7 per cent), teamwork (32.2 per cent) and communication (31.8 per cent).
BESydney CEO Lyn Lewis-Smith said the research provides real-time insights into Australian sentiment as the MICE industry continues to navigate through the pandemic.
“Confidence has started to turn a corner, and the need and desire to come back together both personally and professionally is rising,” she said.
“We expect to see that come through as increased meeting bookings in the months ahead.”
Featured image source: iStock/FG Trade