Chapter 1: Introduction The foundation of the research will be explained in the following chapter. This covers the context, the assigned task, and the project scope. In addition, the management question for this project is developed, and the assignment's purpose will be specified. 1.1 Background The COVID-19 outbreak, which began in early 2020, forced nearly all countries to implement restrictive measures, with social distancing playing a key role. Many companies were temporarily closed to prevent the virus from spreading, and personnel were restricted and isolated in their homes. Consequently, COVID-19 impacted worldwide labor markets. A significant portion of the global workforce has been required to go through a remote-work experience. Most employees expected the shutdowns to last a few months. However, millions of individuals are still working remotely two years later. The worldwide workforce has adjusted to the new way of working, relying primarily on Internet connection, streaming, and video conferencing to do so (Lund et al., 2021). The International Association of Conference Centers (IACC) is an international organisation that represents small to medium-sized meetings, training, and conference venues worldwide. An IACC membership can be obtained by business event venues that meet certain quality standards and criteria. The membership provides access to a wide range of resources and industry insights that keep the member venues ahead of the curve, as well as educational and professional development options (IACC, 2021a). 1.2 Actual assignment As a result of COVID-19 and the Decentralisation of the work environment, people have begun to see the meeting industry in a new light. Venues are seeking information on how to adapt to this new meeting environment. As a result, Project Group 10 has been tasked with conducting research on existing trends and indicators impacting future demand for small meeting spaces. Answering the big question, is there still a need to meet in-person? In addition, the advice presented at the end of the research project wil l help IACC’s venues to invest in their future. 1.3 The Scope of the Project To manage expectations, it is important to determine the scope of the project. Clarifying what will and will not be covered is necessary, especially considering the 20-week time limit. After examining the brief with the client, it was agreed that the research would focus on larger international companies rather than the private sector. These companies can be seen as market pioneers, and their changes will have an impact on the rest of the industry (Kalicanin, 2018). Rather than providing future meeting industry strategies, the focus will be on providing the essential insights and research so that IACC can advise its partners.
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