As Skift Meetings has been reporting all summer, events have yet to recover to pre-pandemic levels. However, Knowland, a data and hospitality technology company that tracks meetings and events volume is optimistic that the industry will be back to 100 percent by the end of 2023. This is a result of pent-up demand as well as the lifting of corporate travel restrictions.
As Skift Meetings has been reporting all summer, events have yet to recover to pre-pandemic levels. However, Knowland, a data and hospitality technology company that tracks meetings and events volume is optimistic that the industry will be back to 100 percent by the end of next year. This is a result of pent-up demand as well as the lifting of corporate travel restrictions.
Knowland has broken the data into different quarters with revealing results. Its stats show that through the end of July, corporate events have recovered to 60.9 percent of post-pandemic numbers in the U.S.
That is a jump from the first quarter of 2022, where the recovery was only 47.6 percent. In the second quarter, that number jumped to 69 percent. In June and July, recovery jumped to 79.9 percent.
Additionally, across seven months of 2019, volatility variances for corporate events averaged 2.2 percent. In 2022, that same metric is 15.3 percent. This demonstrates that although the industry is not back to 2019 levels, the last two months have gotten increasingly closer, and the velocity at which it is growing is vastly higher than normal patterns from 2019.
“This improvement started at the beginning of the second quarter, outperforming our forecasts by 25 percent. We have seen that continue as we stepped into July. Month over month, the recovery is well over 80 percent. This is not just corporate events but events on the whole,” said Kristi White, chief product officer at Knowland.
Corporate events are key to full recovery, said White. With workforces scattered all over the globe, gathering colleagues together has become more important than ever.
“There is a focus on not burning out employees. A term I have come across recently is ‘quiet quitting,’” said White. “Employers need to get their people back in the same room together to keep them motivated and engaged to prevent this from happening to them.”
Groups are also starting to gather for no-work, work meetings, explains Jeff Bzdawka, CEO of Knowland. “Corporate groups are gathering remote employees together to re-engage and build culture, not do work,” said Bzdawka. Connection is more important than ever.
A few markets that depend on international gateway travel will linger behind in recovery. They include Washington, D.C., Chicago, New York, San Francisco, and Seattle. “These are the five markets I have been focusing on, but despite their slower recovery, overall numbers overall are strong enough to pull this summer dip up,” she said.
How is the rest of 2022 trending? “August will dip down a bit in line with native seasonality for the summer,” she said. “September will roar back with the rest of the year experiencing strong growth.”