There's a lot of good news for people who like meeting peers face-to-face, who enjoy an invigorating talk from a speaker up on stage, who crave conversation with fellow professionals over dinner. That good news is that corporate meetings and events are returning to 2019 levels here in mid-2022.
Southwest’s Dave Harvey says: “based on what we are hearing from our accounts, we expect October to be one of the strongest business travel months of the year [with] a lot of meetings and events coming back this fall.”
Marriott also reported “stronger than expected” meetings and group bookings with volumes equal to 2019 and room rates 16% higher than 2019.
And Cvent CFO Billy Newman reported in-person meeting planning volumes equaling 2019 volumes "primarily driven by planners moving quickly to add in-person events as the pandemic eases."
And if you thought 2022 was hot in the meetings world, just wait for 2023. Meetings data provider Knowland projects a 72% recovery in the number of meetings from 2019 to 2022 (remember that the beginning of 2022 was very slow with the first Omicron wave), then total meetings 6% higher in 2023 vs. 2019 and 16% higher in 2024. Segments are recovering across the board, from finance and banking to healthcare and pharmaceuticals to nonprofits.
(Extra fun fact: meetings volumes in Phoenix, Dallas, Tampa and Nashville will recover to 2019 levels in 2022, then LA, Denver, Miami, San Diego, Washington, Atlanta and New Orleans should recover by 2023. Note that Las Vegas is not in the Knowland sample but is probably recovered.)
Now, just because we're going back to 2019 meeting levels doesn't mean you have to return to 2019 technology. If you’re planning meetings and responsible for helping attendees, staff or vendors plan flights and hotel stays, check out AmTrav Gather. Gather makes planning travel easy, giving your travelers the choice they want while giving you the control you need.