Sustainable business events: The perceptions of service providers, attendees, and stakeholders in decision-making positions
Authors: Demetra L. Orthodoxou, Dr. Xenia I. Loizidou, Anthi Gavriel, Stephanie Hadjiprocopiou, Demetra Petsa, Kyriaki Demetriou
Published in: Journal of Convention & Event Tourism
Abstract: Sustainable business events have the potential to diversify the tourism offering of destinations, to attract higher-spending visitors, and to elongate the tourism season, while economically, socially and environmentally benefiting host communities. Nonetheless, the incorporation of sustainability principles in business events requires coordinated actions and collaboration from a range of stakeholders, including service providers and those in decision-making positions. This research employed quantitative and qualitative methods to investigate the perceptions of 50 business event attendees, 16 business event service providers, and five decision-makers in Cyprus with regards to the state of the business event sector’s sustainability, and obstacles and opportunities for its sustainable growth. Our findings suggest that very few sustainability practices are currently implemented in the organization of business events and demand for sustainability is relatively low. However, the provision of incentives coupled with trainings and capacity building for key actors within the supply chain as well as extensive horizontal awareness-raising activities could catalyze the transition of the business event sector toward sustainability and attract additional business events to Cyprus. Importantly, the emergence of a sustainable business event sector in Cyprus could also contribute to the sector’s and the country’s post- COVID-19 recovery.