U.S. meetings volume in October shot up by a healthy 30.4 percent over September 2021, according to Knowland, which provides data insights on meetings and events for the the hospitality industry. The climb continues the strong month-over-month growth that's been evident since this summer.
For the second consecutive month, the average number of attendees per event significantly outpaced 2019 numbers: The October 2021 average was 110 people, compared with 80 attendees per event in October 2019. Average meeting space also exceeded that of two years ago, at 2,734 square feet vs. 2,680 square feet. That gap has actually been steadily narrowing over the course of this year, as social-distancing considerations have become less of a factor.
The number of corporate meetings continue to grow, as well, representing 69.6 percent of hotel group business in October, a substantial uptick over the previous month.
"While some of this increase is related to shifting seasonality, it is also a sign of corporate events recovering at a faster pace,” said Knowland chief product officer Kristi White. Health care and technology were the leading industry segments making up that corporate meetings volume.
Geographically, the top 25 markets continued to showcase the biggest growth. "However," added White, "there were significant shifts in the top markets, which is a positive, as growth spreads among the top 25." The top five growth markets in October were Phoenix; Washington, D.C.; Atlanta; Orlando; and Boston.
Knowland collects and analyzes group data from hotels via direct research, as well as reporting from both customers and noncustomers, in a wide variety of markets.