Group Business (the Meetings & Events Industry) is Making It's Biggest Comeback Since COVID
Amadeus, the software company that owns a lot of the “plumbing” behind managing meetings & events (mostly in hotels), just released a report on the state of group business (aka the meetings and events industry). Here is a summary of what they said, in layman’s terms.
Note: RFP (request for proposal) data skews corporate so this is not as relevant for social events.
Performance in group business in Q1 of this year has beaten all of 2020 by 122% and all of 2021 by 50%.
Takeaway: The pre- and post-pandemic gap in group business may be closed this year.
63% of RFPs this year are for 50 people or less... five points higher than pre-pandemic 2019.
Takeaway: Corporate meetings and events are getting smaller.
The average lead-in time for an RFP has shortened by a month, from 223 days in 2019 to 193 days in 2021.
Takeaway: Corporate meetings are happening on shorter notice.
Primary markets (eg SF) are still experiencing lower occupancy than their pre-covid numbers. Secondary markets are heating up.
Takeaway: Planners see value in unique destinations.
Summary takeaway = We will have more corporate meetings and events but they'll be smaller (and thus more intimate) and they will take place in unexpected destinations.
The "why" behind this = Hybrid office schedules (mix of WFH + in-office) means companies will use events more than they used to to bring employees together. Conferences and trade shows won't be as big for a while because most attendees can experience them online.