TSAE Releases 2021 COVID-19 Impact Study

AS PART OF a 2020-2021 Strategic Initiative set by the Texas Society of Association Executives’ Board of Directors, TSAE conducted a COVID-19 Impact Study on the Texas association and events industry.

The association wanted to gain insights into how the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic (March 2020 to March 2021) impacted our industry. Seventy-five organizations participated in the survey during the summer of 2021. The TSAE Board of Directors thank the participating organizations for their time and for sharing their experiences.

Highlighted results from the survey include:

Two-thirds (66%) of associations responded that they experienced an overall revenue decrease.

Member renewal rates increased for 20% of associations, decreased for 41% and remained flat for 39%.

82% of associations were able to avoid laying off staff, and 72% said they did not have to tap into their financial reserves during the pandemic.

Just one-third (31%) of associations held in-person events between March 2020 and March 2021, yet a majority (87%) had planned to resume in-person events by the third quarter of 2021.

Prior to COVID-19, less than half (39%) of associations offered remote work opportunities at least one day a week to a majority of their employees, while 79% percent said they would offer remote work opportunities following the pandemic.

The biggest challenges currently facing associations booking in-person meetings ranked as follows:

  1. Space needed/room night ratio
  2. A/V and streaming requirements and costs
  3. Cancellation policies
  4. Event insurance

The number of associations that said they have future plans to regularly host hybrid meetings, with in-person and virtual taking place concurrently, was split – 53% said they do plan to host hybrid events, while 47% do not anticipate hosting hybrid events.

To read more from the study, visit

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