EIC’s Global Business Events Barometer Shows Promising Increases for the Industry

January 5, 2022

The newly launched Global Business Events Barometer from the Events Industry Council (EIC) has found a significant upswing in global group demand during Q3 2021, while overall, business meetings and events activity has recovered to approximately half of pre-pandemic levels.

The barometer, which was created by Oxford Economics on behalf of EIC as part of the 2021 EIC Economic Significance Study, monitors the changes within the market relative to pre-pandemic (2019) levels and explores two key areas: hotel group room nights and request for proposal (RFP) activity.

The barometer indicates that during Q3 2021, RFP activity rose 124.4%, and hotel group room nights increased 68.8% compared to the same period in 2020. Additionally, 57% of companies reported conducting domestic business travel, more than twice as 2020, while international travel is also improving, with one in five companies continuing or resuming international travel, three times as many as a year ago.

With the results showing that meetings and events are now on the upswing, RFP activity has recovered to 50% of Q3 2019 levels, and hotel group room nights recovered to 53% of Q3 2019 levels.

The strongest RFP activity was reported in the Caribbean, Latin America, the Middle East and North America. The strongest hotel group room demand was reported in Asia Pacific, the Middle East and North America.

Meanwhile, RFP activity for smaller events and those taking place within one year is showing stronger recovery over larger and more complex events with lead times of more than one year.

“The latest data show that business events, which collapsed during the early stages of the pandemic, are substantially resuming, said Adam Sacks, managing director of Oxford Economics. “Global activity is still far short of pre-pandemic levels, but this first leg of recovery underscores the importance of business meetings and events to individual and corporate performance.”

Amy Calvert, CEO of EIC, is encouraged by the global business events sector’s continuous signs of growth, calling the results of the barometer a sign of strong demand for the return of face-to-face events over virtual and hybrid options.

“As an industry, we have made fantastic progress in our recovery,” Calvert said.

She added that as the industry moves into 2022, it faces the inevitable ebb and flow caused by emerging COVID-19 variants such as omicron and must continue to use scientific data to help make the necessary decisions and implement the appropriate measures to continue the industry’s recovery.

“While we focus on building trust and confidence, we have remarkable examples from across the globe of business events not only happening safely but offering tremendous value and impact,” she said.

The Global Business Events Barometer was created by Oxford Economics using data provided by Amadeus' MeetingBroker distribution platform, Cvent, the Global Business Travel Association and STR Global.

The report has also been generously supported and sponsored by several leading organizations, including AHLA, ASAE, Freeman, IACC, IAEE, Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board, Maritz Global Events, Meetings Mean Business, MGM Resorts International, MPI, Northstar Meetings Group, NYC and Co, PCMA, RCMA, SISO and USTA.

A copy of the Global Business Events Barometer can be downloaded here.

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