Meetings Volume Recovery Quickens

The pace of industry growth in the U.S. has again picked up, with a 12.5 percent increase in May over April 2022, according to Knowland.

Photo Credit: Pixels Hunter for Adobe Stock

After a brief slowdown of meeting volume recovery from March to April, the numbers have picked up again. U.S. meetings volume grew 12.5 percent from April to May, with May's numbers a hefty 276 percent higher than those of a year ago, according to the latest report from Knowland.

May's volume still stood at 65.5 percent of May 2019 levels. Knowland bases its analysis on meetings data from both clients and nonclients in the hospitality industry, as well as field reporting across a variety of markets, and its own historical data.

Although there is much talk in the industry about reduced attendance at large events, Knowland's data points to average overall attendance actually outpacing that of 2019: The average in May 2022 was 123 people, up from 65 in May 2021 and exceeding the average of 92 in May 2019.

No longer are planners requiring more space per person: The average space used this year was 27 square feet per person, as opposed to the 31 square feet per person booked in 2019.

Corporate meetings continue to account for the bulk of the volume, representing 62.8 percent of total business. The technology, health-care and financial/banking sectors are the most represented industries. The segments that are closest to recovering to 2019 volumes are online retailers, urban infrastructure, tobacco and packing/shipping.

Knowland May 2022 meetings market segments
Photo Credit: Knowland

"The events industry continues to push forward," noted Knowland chief product officer Kristi White. "Hotels should be paying close attention to those corporate segments with the highest volumes, as well as those most recovered. Being nimble in the prospecting process will allow hotels to capture emerging business early and outpace the market and their competitors.”

The geographic markets reporting the largest month-over-month growth were, in order, Chicago, Atlanta, San Diego, New York and Minneapolis.