ARLINGTON, Virginia—Knowland released its monthly meetings and events data for February. Meetings volume from January to February increased 48.1 percent. Even more significant is a 340 percent increase over February 2021.
Individual recovery metrics (average attendees and average space used) are now level with 2019. If the year continues at this pace, volume levels will bring the industry closer to baseline 2019 numbers.
- Average attendees nearly in line with 2019 numbers—The average number of attendees per event in February 2022 was 102, compared to 39 in February 2021 and 115 in February 2019. From an attendee perspective, the numbers are in line with 2019 levels.
- Average space used/attendees ratio is back to normal proportions—The average space used in February 2022 was 2,589 square feet while meetings in February 2021 averaged 1,560 square feet and 2,827 square feet in February 2019. Proportionally from a per person perspective, 2022 meeting space used averaged 24 square feet per person as opposed to 40 square feet per person in 2021 and 25 square feet per person in 2019.
- Top five market growth—The top five growth markets, in order, in February were San Diego, Phoenix, Chicago, Atlanta, and Dallas. These reflect those markets that have shown the most growth in February.
- Corporate meetings continue to be the dominant segment—The corporate segment represents greater than 63 percent of meeting and event business with technology, healthcare, and training/education taking the lead as the largest industry groups. From a recovery standpoint compared to 2019 levels perspective, Online retailer, art/entertainment, and sports entertainment and media are the segments at the highest level of recovery captured in February.
Kristi White, chief product officer, Knowland, said, “After a minor setback in January, February had a strong showing beyond even normal seasonal increases from January to February. The industry, as well as meeting planners, seem to be shaking off the concerns of Omicron and settling in for steady growth in the coming months. February’s growth combined with a return to 2019 meeting sizes bodes well for the path to recovery.”