More than half of Australians are comfortable attending a business event right now and the most confident state to do so is New South Wales (NSW).
New research by Roy Morgan on behalf of BESydney, found that when it comes to attending an event in-person post-COVID, 51.6% of Australians are comfortable attending business events up to 50 people, preceded by funerals (68.9%), weddings (66.2%) and the cinema (55.1%) – and by state, those in NSW are most comfortable attending business events (48.9%).
Commissioned by global business event bidding specialists BESydney, the research saw 1007 Australians interviewed earlier this month and provides a snapshot into the pre-and post-pandemic comfort levels attending a range of events and the aspects of business most impacted by COVID-19 restrictions.
COVID-19 is having a significant impact on preferences for in-person greetings used in Australia, even amongst close family and friends, with elbow greetings and air kisses rising and traditional close contact hugs ‘n’ kisses on the decline.
Changes have been felt in the workplace too, with the traditional handshake seeing the biggest impact (-57.6%), now the preferred greeting for just 30.4% of Australians with colleagues and new contacts. Taking its place, the elbow greeting is now the go-to greeting for 58.5% and increasing numbers are opting for a fist bump (+2.5%) or no physical greeting at all (+11.1%). NSW leads on the COVID elbow greeting – with the highest number of people comfortably using this gesture to tap and greet (35.6%).
Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney, Stuart Ayres, said: “It’s pleasing to see confidence increasing in NSW 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. 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 asked about the top business aspects most negatively impacted by COVID-19, ‘networking opportunities’ was named as number one (35.9%). Training opportunities (35.7%) and teamwork (32.2%) were identified in second and third position, and communication close behind (31.8%).