Skip to Content

News Poll: Readers weigh-in on COVID’s impact, future of in-person conferences

News Poll: Readers weigh-in on COVID’s impact, future of in-person conferences

News Poll: Readers weigh-in on COVID’s impact, future of in-person conferences

YARMOUTH, Maine—In April and May, Security Systems News asked readers to weigh in on the impact of COVID-19, as well as look at the future of in-person conferences, two topics that continue to set the backdrop for what has been a crazy 2020. Looking to 2021, this month’s poll aims to gauge where we are now, especially in light of effective vaccines on the way.

Looking ahead to 2021 and if business will get back to pre-COVID levels, most readers (62 percent) said only “somewhat,” with just 12 percent saying “yes,” showing the overall uncertainty the industry has for the business landscape for the new year. The remaining 25 percent did not see business getting back to “normal.”

“My personal feeling is that we will see a slowdown in the economy after the first quarter of 2021,” said one respondent. “Some industries are being disrupted and won't survive. We are already starting to see cancellations of our small retail and restaurant customers increase because they have exhausted their PPP and other cash reserves. Hoping things will get back to ‘normal’ won't make it happen.  Reality will set in and everyone will need to adapt as well as they can. This will accelerate alarm industry consolidation in 2021.”

Looking at the impact of COVID, 62 percent of respondents said it has changed the way they do business, with the remaining 38 percent saying it has had “somewhat” of an impact. Overall, the message is clear: The way we do business cannot be the same as it was pre-COVID.

As one respondent noted, “I think business will trend toward normal in 2021, but nothing will ever be the same.  That’s not to say there isn’t or won’t be business, but operations are forever changed.”

Getting to the 800-pound gorilla in the room – will you attend any in-person events in 2021? – the industry seems uncertain, especially with effective vaccines on the way. Only 19 percent said “yes” they would attend an in-person event, with 50 percent saying “maybe,” showing the hesitance among security professionals at this point. Surprisingly, 31 percent have already decided that they are not ready to travel in 2021, which seems like a high percentage at this point.

“Too much has changed to go ‘back to normal,’” said one respondent, noting, “A vaccine will need to be widely deployed before any ‘in-person events’ will make sense.”

One reader pointed out, “I would possibly attend an outdoor in-person event. Really not interested in air travel at the moment though I realize not everyone shares that sentiment.”

Another added, “Until vaccinations reach a threshold of around 60-70 percent of population, it’s difficult to feel safe and normal again.”




To comment on this post, please log in to your account or set up an account now.