Meetings Volume Surpasses Prepandemic Levels for Second Consecutive Month

Both November and December 2022 recovered to 103 percent of 2019 numbers.

Photo Credit: napeter for Adobe Stock

December meetings volume in the United States reached 103.1 percent of 2019 levels, exceeding prepandemic metrics for the second month in a row, according to meetings data provider Knowland. Given the state of the industry, Knowland will close its monthly recovery reporting after tracking the metrics for more than two years. Instead, the company will focus on reporting analytics that will help hoteliers accelerate growth and increase revenue.

"For the second month in a row, the United States exceeded 2019 volumes. The world and our industry are irrevocably changed, but we can't look back any longer," said Kristi White, Knowland's chief product officer. "It's time we stopped talking about recovery and started looking forward to understand better how we can capitalize on the future."

Last month declined by 16.4 percent over November 2022, which is standard for the season, but increased 141.5 percent over December 2021.

Events held last month welcomed an average of 111 attendees, an increase from 99 in 2021 and 82 in 2019. The average space used also grew from 2,253 square feet in 2019 and 2,248 square feet last year to 2,575 square feet in December. However, space per person decreased from 27 square feet before the pandemic to 23 square feet in 2021 and 2022. 

Corporate meetings accounted for 54.9 percent of the events in December, with the health-care segment hosting the most. The transportation, sports entertainment, consumer goods, agriculture and aerospace sectors experienced the highest level of recovery.

The markets with the largest growth compared with November 2022 were, in order, Sacramento, Calif.; Colorado Springs, Colo.; Chattanooga, Tenn.; Grand Rapids, Mich.; and Jacksonville, Fla.

Knowland will host its quarterly market update webinar on Jan. 25 to discuss the final 2022 recovery data, as well as the forecast for 2023.

To compile these reports, Knowland analyzes data collected and aggregated from both customer and noncustomer venues, field reporting and its historical database.