“A monthly staff meeting could be attended by everyone,” he said, adding that pre-pandemic it could often be difficult to get everyone’s schedules to line up to be at the same place at the same time.
When the pandemic began, most travel by Quad-Cities engineering firm IMEG ground to a halt.
But for a company that makes acquisitions of smaller engineering firms across the U.S., Molly Foley, the company’s chief marketing officer, said face-to-face meetings were often essential for site evaluations, construction monitoring and building connections.
“What we’re finding is through the virtual work, people found that ‘OK we can have efficient virtual meetings,’ so we’re continuing, more of those virtual collaborations. However, we also are firm believers that there’s nothing like true in-person, face-to-face collaboration.”
Foley said in the future they’d take each meeting on a case-by-case basis, and she said she’s not quite sure what the future of business travel will look like.
Leisure travel, on the other hand, has rebounded like a the sling of a slingshot, said Teresa Gonzalez, owner of Gulliver’s Travel agency.
“It has been busier and busier and busier,” Gonzalez said.
COVID-19 precautions forced her agency to lay off its staffers as travel plans were postponed or canceled, she said. This spring, she hired on 11 agents, two more than she employed pre-pandemic to address the pent up travel bug.