The first results of a sweeping research project, The Global Events
Barometer, were recently released by the Events Industry Council. The
object of the ongoing study, commissioned by the EIC and conducted by
Oxford Economics, is to monitor changes within the market relative to
pre-pandemic levels. Quarterly reports will inform a wider EIC Economic
Significance Study, due to be published in early 2022.
Results for Q3 2021 show positive signs of growth, indicating a
strong demand for the return of face-to-face events. However, the level
of business events being held globally is still far short of
pre-pandemic levels. Global hotel group room nights in Q3 2021 reached
53 percent of Q3 2019 levels, and RFP activity for events in future
periods was at half of Q3 2019 levels.
"We will almost certainly have to deal with further short-term
challenges as we move into 2022 and face the uncertainty caused by
emerging variants and potential resulting restrictions on daily life,"
noted Amy Calvert, CEO of the Events Industry Council.
"As an industry, 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," Calvert added. "While we focus on building
trust and confidence, we have remarkable examples from across the globe
of business events happening safely and offering tremendous value and
Recovery Is Slow But Steady
Activity levels certainly have improved relative to a year ago, when
group hotel room nights and RFP activity were just 31 percent and 22
percent of 2019 Q3 levels, respectively. Gains have come as public
health conditions improve in many regions and as organisations and
individuals return to in-person events.
Among other noteworthy findings:
• Group business is
strengthening first among smaller events (with RFP activity at 52
percent of 2019 Q3 levels), although large- and medium-sized events are
not far behind, at 46 percent of pre-pandemic volume.
Fifty-seven percent of U.S.-based companies have resumed some level of
domestic travel, while just 20 percent have resumed international
• The recovery of group events activity during Q3
2021 was strongest in the Middle East, Asia Pacific, Africa and North
America, as indicated by hotel group room nights.
• RFP activity
for events in future periods shows stronger recovery in North America,
Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Middle East.
The Project Has Broad Industry Support
The Global Events Barometer is conducted by Oxford Economics and uses
data provided by Amadeus' MeetingBroker distribution platform, Cvent,
the Global Business Travel Association and STR Global.
Northstar Meetings Group is among supporters of the study, as well as
the American Hotel and Lodging Association, American Society of
Association Executives, Freeman, IACC, International Association of
Exhibitions and Events, Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board,
Maritz Global Events, Meetings Mean Business, MGM Resorts International,
Meeting Professionals International, NYC and Co., Professional
Convention Management Association, Religious Conference Management
Association, Society of Independent Show Organizers and the U.S. Travel
Source: Northstar Meetings Group