by Loren G. Edelstein | February 03, 2016

Thirty percent of meeting professionals polled by M&C currently have meetings scheduled for Zika-affected areas. Of those, 29 percent are considering moving or canceling those events. Of the 114 respondents, 58 percent are "well aware" of where the virus is spreading. 

Following are survey results, along with additional comments from respondents. 

How concerned are you about the Zika virus?


Not concerned              7%

Somewhat concerned  66%

Very concerned           18%

Extremely concerned     9%


Do you know where the Zika virus is currently spreading?


No, not at all                 1%

I have a general idea   41%

Yes, I am well aware   58%


Do you have any plans to travel to Zika-affected areas?


Yes    36%

No      64%


If yes, are you considering changing your travel plans due to concerns about the virus?


Yes   24%

No    76%


Do you have any meetings planned for the affected areas?


Yes   30%

No    70%


If yes, are you considering moving or canceling your meeting?


Yes   29%

No     71%


If yes, please explain:


• Getting pushback from clients

• Not sure what the options may be for moving the program, but we cannot force people to go to the infected areas for meetings.

• Client we are working with was planning to book hotel in Costa Rica for April 2017, and now is reconsidering and thinking about moving to Hawaii or other non-affected area.

• One of our clients just completed a site inspection in the affected area and was just about to go to contract. We are now starting our site search over due to their company concerns over the virus outbreak.

• The meeting isn't until November, so we will be monitoring the situation.

• My event took place in Mexico last week; we did not cancel as it was in Cabo, and there are no confirmed cases there. However, as a precaution, we worked with the resort to fumigate the event venues using eco-friendly means every day, and provided bug spray in guest rooms and at events.

• Cannot cancel or relocate

• Concerns of the virus has us looking at alternative locations for our annual incentive trip. We are considering domestic locations at this time.

• Unsure if it's necessary, but having the conversation

• Not yet. Emergency Response Team has not rendered its recommendations yet.

• Do not want to expose meeting attendees

• People are already canceling their reservations.

• Awaiting outcome of WHO recommendations. Have clients asking us for direction about what to do.


Have your attendees, colleagues or other meeting stakeholders expressed concerns regarding the Zika virus?


No               60%

Yes, a few   33%

Yes, many    7%


If yes, please explain:


• We have an incentive trip going to the Dominican Republic and will be posting information linking to the CDC website. We prefer to address the issue ahead of time so that we are being as transparent as possible with attendees.

• Yes, and some have canceled or changed travel plans.

• A number of colleagues are determining if they will hold meetings in areas where Zika has been identified. Concerns are also about those who have been in these areas and that the disease is believed to be sexually transmitted. Liability? We won't know for some time.

• General concern - not in specific areas, but it can travel quickly and so much is unknown about virus

• The Brazil situation with infants is a tragedy that no one wants to see increased - anywhere - be it Brazil or in the States.

• We had planned a Puerto Rico meeting in 2017; now postponed to 2018.

• Members of our association have offices in Brazil and other Caribbean and Latin American countries, or they sell equipment there and are also concerned.

• Some do meetings and or travel to the affected places, so many are concerned.

• How will it affect other medical classes - such as diabetics with impaired immune systems - and others with chronic diseases?

• Yes, we are looking at other venues due to growing concerns.

• We work with the health-care industry, so there is a lot of concern.

• One person is going to this area and is young, has friend who is pregnant and will still be this summer if this situation continues north into the Midwest.

• Just forwarding email alerts, etc.

• Those involved in planning our meeting are concerned.

• Lots of calls and emails regarding Zika

• Understandably, it is the women who are expecting that are the most concerned.

• I'm not worried about our members as much as I am worried about our staff. We have a pregnant staffer and a meeting in Miami later this month.

• I have two potential meetings for Puerto Rico. They haven't yet expressed a concern, but I fully expect it.

• They are sending us links to news articles, questions, asking us for cancellation options.