Meetings volume continued its upward trajectory in April, according to the latest monthly report from Knowland, although the pace cooled significantly. Volume grew just 3.7 percent between March and April, compared with the 55 percent increase seen from February to March this year.
"The Easter holiday always takes a toll on meetings and events," said Knowland chief product officer Kristi White. "This month was no exception, but even with the holiday there was moderate growth month over month."
Market growth remains quite positive overall: April's volume was a hefty 323 percent higher than the same month a year ago, and 66 percent of the prepandemic April 2019 volume. "This is stronger than March recovery, which was 64.7 percent," White explained. "So, while the month-over-month growth is not as high as prior months, the level of recovery to 2019 is growing."
Also growing is the number of attendees at each meeting, which last month eclipsed 2019 levels. An average of 118 people came to each event last month, easily surpassing not only the average of 63 in April 2021 but also the 74-attendee average in April 2019.
As attendance goes up, the average space used per person continues to decrease. An average of 27 square feet per person was seen at April 2022 meetings, compared with 42 square feet in April 2021 and 31 square feet in April 2019. People are meeting in smaller spaces as most Covid-related meeting restrictions are lifted.
Corporate meetings continue to be the dominant segment among these events, accounting for 63 percent of business in April. Technology, health care and training/education were the top three industry sectors driving that business.
Destinations experiencing the highest month-over-month growth were, in order, Denver; Chicago; Minneapolis; Colorado Springs, Colo.; and Kansas City, Mo.
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.