The Events Industry Council (EIC), the voice of the global business events industry, has launched its new quarterly Global Business Events Barometer, which monitors the changes within the market relative to pre-pandemic (2019) levels.
As part of the 2021 EIC Economic Significance Study, which is currently underway, the first deliverable of the report is created by Oxford Economics on behalf of EIC and explores two key areas: hotel group room nights and request for proposal (RFP) activity.
According to the Barometer, there was a significant increase in global group demand during Q3 2021, with RFP activity and hotel group room nights increasing 124.4% and 68.8%, respectively. A majority (57%) of companies reported conducting domestic business travel, more than twice as many as a year ago. International travel is also improving, with one-in-five companies continuing or resuming international travel, three times as many as a year ago.
With recent gains, overall business meetings and events activity has recovered to approximately half of its pre-pandemic levels. 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 North America, Latin American and the Caribbean, and the Middle East. RFP activity for smaller events and those taking place within 12 months is showing stronger recovery over larger and more complex events with longer timescales (+12 months).
The strongest hotel group room demand was reported in the Middle East, Asia Pacific and North America.
Adam Sacks, managing director, Oxford Economics says, “The latest data show that business events, which collapsed during the early stages of the pandemic, are substantially resuming. 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.”
Speaking on the results of report, the Events Industry Council’s CEO, Amy Calvert, says, “It is encouraging to see that the global business events sector is showing continuous signs of growth, with the results indicating a 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. As we move into 2022, we face the inevitable ebb and flow caused by emerging variants. We must continue to listen to the facts and scientific data and use this to help us make the necessary decisions and implement the appropriate measures to enable our industry to push forward with its recovery. While we focus on building trust and confidence, we have remarkable examples from across the global of business events not only happening safely but offering tremendous value and impact.”
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 a number of leading organizations including AHLA, ASAE, Freeman, IACC, IAEE, Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, Maritz Global Events, Meetings Mean Business, MGM Resorts International, MPI, Northstar Meetings Group, NYC and Co, PCMA, RCMA, SISO and USTA.