Business News

Meeting Spend Is Up and Short Meetings Are Down

Skift Take

According to Convene, spending on meetings and events has increased by 35%, while Knowland reports group revenue is at 103% of 2019 levels.

Convene reports a 35% increase in client spending for large in-person meetings and events. The average contract value for the hybrid meeting, event, and workspace provider has seen a 79% increase compared to 2019.

“In 2024, we’ll continue to see organizations spend more money on fewer, high-impact meetings throughout the year, with a focus on local meetings and events to reduce travel costs. We will also see planners consolidating their programs in 2024, resulting in fewer overall programs throughout the year. Fewer, bigger, better, ultimately leading to more impactful meetings and events,” says Ryan Simonetti, co-founder and CEO of Convene.

In addition, Convene has seen a 14% increase year-over-year for full buyouts of its venue space. The growth of this type of booking suggests the market for large events remains strong. The number of attendees for these buyouts ranges from 200 to 1,000 attendees.

Smaller Meetings Proliferate

Smaller events are also trending. Meetings with 200 attendees or less continue to dominate. According to Knowland’s Meeting Planner survey, they account for 70% of meeting volume in the third quarter of this year.

Eighteen of the top 25 U.S. markets show an increase in small meetings (100 attendees or less) compared to 2019.

Single-day event volume share continues to be down. It has decreased 8% from 2019, while two-to-three-day events are up 19% and four-to-seven-day events are up 43%. Group revenue shows the most significant improvement in the third quarter of this year. It sits at 103% of 2019 levels, according to the Knowland-Amadeus Group and Business Performance Index.

“Video conferencing is never going to replace the personal engagement and culture building of in-person corporate events. But while single-day meeting volume remains high, there are much fewer of those fast in and out meetings than in the past because of the convenience of video calls, making it more difficult for hoteliers to fill gaps in their calendars,” said Jeff Bzdawka, CEO of Knowland.

Hotels are competing more with coworking space for one-day events. Some analysts predict that by 2030, flexible workspaces, including coworking spaces, will account for as much as 30% of the commercial real estate market.