ARLINGTON, Virginia—Knowland, an AI-powered meetings and events data provider for hotels, convention and visitor bureaus, conference centers, and other venues, released its monthly meetings and events data for May. The numbers reveal that May 2021 U.S. group meetings volume increased 28.4 percent over last month.
The metric continues to improve as average attendees data aligns with 2019 levels and meeting space used data comes within 10 percent of 2019 values. Throughout the summer, higher attendee numbers are predicted and lower average space per person as meeting restrictions will continue to be lifted. Increases in social and SMERF events are expected, which is a typical occurrence for the summer months.
- Average attendees—The average number of attendees in May 2021 was 65, compared to 64 in May 2019, aligning with 2019 performance.
- Average space used—The average space used in May 2021 was 2,601 square feet while meetings in May 2019 averaged 2,386 square feet. Average space used is continuing to decline as distancing restrictions are lifted.
- Individual market growth—The top five growth markets in May were Indianapolis, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, and San Diego.
- Corporate meetings represent the largest market segment—The corporate segment represents 58.9 percent of meeting and event business. The financial/banking segment enters the top markets for meetings with healthcare, training/education, technology, manufacturing, and financial/banking as the biggest producers.
Kristi White, vice president of product management, Knowland, said, “Meeting numbers grew in double digits again in May. Attendees and size of space used is moving closer to 2019 numbers. This is one of the truest signs the industry is returning to normal. Additionally, the markets with the largest month-over-month growth are markets we haven’t seen in our top five list so far this year. This means growth is spreading across more markets. As we approach the summer, growth should continue. Further into the year, we expect metrics to get even closer to 2019 benchmarks.”