Meetings volume from January-February increased 48.1%, according to data from Knowland. Even more significant is a 340% increase over February 2021.
Individual recovery metrics (average attendees and average space used) are now level with 2019. If the year continues at this pace, volume levels will bring the industry closer to baseline 2019 numbers.
“After a minor setback in January, February had a strong showing beyond even normal seasonal increases from January to February,” said Kristi White, chief product officer, Knowland. “The industry, as well as meeting planners, seem to be shaking off the concerns of Omicron and settling in for steady growth in the coming months. February’s growth combined with a return to 2019 meeting sizes bodes well for the path to recovery.”
- The average number of attendees per event in February 2022 was 102, compared to 39 in February 2021 and 115 in February 2019. From an attendee perspective, the numbers are in line with 2019 levels.
- The average space used in February 2022 was 2,589 sq. ft., while meetings in February 2021 averaged 1,560 sq. ft. and 2,827 sq. ft. in February 2019. Proportionally from a per person (p/p) perspective, 2022 meeting space used averaged 24 sq. ft. p/p as opposed to 40 sq. ft p/p in 2021 and 25 sq. ft. p/p in 2019.
- The top five growth markets, in order, in February were San Diego, Phoenix, Chicago, Atlanta and Dallas. These reflect those markets that have shown the most growth in February.
- The corporate segment represents greater than 63% of meeting and event business with technology, healthcare and training/education taking the lead as the largest industry groups.
- From a recovery standpoint compared to 2019 levels perspective, online retailer, art/entertainment and sports entertainment and media are the segments at the highest level of recovery captured in February.