Events and meetings are flocking back globally

But hybrid elements are being added to events at short notice to accommodate remote speakers, according to latest IACC survey.

The most noticeable shift was hybrid elements being added to events at short notice to accommodate remote speakers.
The most noticeable shift was hybrid elements being added to events at short notice to accommodate remote speakers. Photo Credit: Adobe/THANANIT

Venues are reporting continued growth in event volume levels, pointing to the recovery of the meetings and events sector, according to the latest Meeting Room of The Future Barometer, produced by The International Association of Conference Centres (IACC).

With most countries having now lifted travel restrictions and pent-up demand for business events from the pandemic, the IACC says there is much reason for optimism for business event hotels and venue operators.

Two-thirds of respondents to the barometer reported recovery to above half of the 2019 volume, while one-third reported having surpassed a recovery to 80% of 2019 volume.

The percentage of venues planning to invest in conference and meeting room spaces has also increased to 70% from 65% since the last IACC survey, which was carried out in April.

The research also shows that residential meeting venues are recovering faster than non-residential venues, especially in Europe, where approximately one quarter of residential venues have already surpassed pre-pandemic volume levels, compared with 9% in the Americas.

When asked about changes they had seen in the adoption of hybrid meetings in the last six months, the most noticeable shift was hybrid elements being added to events at short notice, to accommodate remote speakers.

This was more common in the Americas (73%) than in Europe (48%). Similarly, the need for hybrid to be added at the last moment because of travel issues for attendees was almost twice as common for North American venues (60%) than for European venues (31%).

Mark Cooper, CEO of IACC said: “The latest Meeting Room of the Future Barometer clearly points to the fact that the industry’s recovery continues to grow, despite ongoing geo-political and economic challenges. Interestingly, regional disparities are becoming evident, with our report showing that Europe tracks ahead of the Americas in a number of areas, including the pace of recovery for residential venues and when it comes to requiring venues to provide evidence of sustainability criteria.

The survey was conducted in October 2022 and includes responses from 98 global venue operators, with over 59% of respondents from the Americas (US and Canada), 37% from Europe (Sweden, the UK, Denmark, Belgium, and the Netherlands), and the balance from Australia.



Latest News