Knowland: Secondary markets lead in Jan. meetings growth

Meetings and events in secondary markets outpaced the traditional top 25 markets in January, according to data from Knowland. Most notably, the highest growth top 25 market, Nashville, was up 16.1%, while the top-growth secondary market city, Lexington, KY, had a 76.4% uptick in meetings and events for the month. This exposes a trend that indicates meeting planners are sometimes opting for secondary destinations to reduce costs.

When comparing the top 25 and secondary markets for industry segment performance, both top 25 market Los Angeles and secondary market Columbus, OH, led in education segment events. Top 25 market Orlando saw the most technology and healthcare meetings in January, with Austin leading in secondary markets for those industry segments.

The average space used for meetings in the top 25 markets was 3,426 sq. ft., while secondary markets were slightly less at 3,000 sq. ft. Average attendees were 124 in the top 25, while secondary markets averaged 118 attendees.

Top five markets by YOY growth in event volume:

  • Nashville (+16.1%): Technology. healthcare, national association, manufacturing, pharmaceutical/biotechnology
  • Detroit (+10.4%): Education, financial/banking, manufacturing, healthcare, state association
  • New Orleans (+7.8%): National association, technology, healthcare, training/education, charity/nonprofit/social services
  • San Francisco-San Mateo (+7.3%):  Pharmaceutical/biotechnology, financial/banking, technology, national association, healthcare
  • Tampa-St. Petersburg (+5.3%): National association, technology, manufacturing, healthcare, charity/nonprofit/social services

Top five secondary markets by YOY growth in event volume:

  • Lexington. (+76.4%): Education
  • Syracuse, NY (+34.6%): Social/sports
  • Richmond-Petersburg, VA (+33.4%): State association
  • Oklahoma City. (+29.1%): Technology
  • Louisville, KY (+24.1%): National association