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New Quarterly Dashboard Shows Meeting Trends at Hotels

Knowland and Amadeus combined their data to provide a better understanding of meeting demand by market segment plus average meeting attendance, total event space used, and other elements.

Late June saw the unveiling of a new meetings-industry research product from Knowland, a research firm focused on the events industry, and Amadeus, a global player in hospitality technology. Known as the Hospitality Group & Business Performance Index, the quarterly report combines event data such as attendee numbers and the volume of space booked from Knowland with group, corporate pre-negotiated, and GDS hotel-booking data from Amadeus.

Using data collected from the start of Q2 2022 until the end of Q1 2023, the debut edition of the performance index finds that the corporate market represents 64 percent of all meetings taking place at U.S. hotels over those 12 months. The SMERF (social, military, educational, religious, and fraternal) segment accounts for 15 percent of hotel meetings, while associations account for 13 percent of hotel meetings. Government meetings are just two percent of the total.

As for the specific industries holding meetings at hotels, here are the top seven:

Education: 13.5 percent
Healthcare: 10.3 percent
Technology: 10.3 percent
Financial/Banking: 8.2 percent
Pharmaceutical: 7.1 percent
Charity/Non-profit: 7.1 percent
Manufacturing: 7.0 percent

National associations across all industries were not included in those figures.

Two interesting tidbits are informative regarding seasonal competition for hotel space: First, state association business represented more than six percent of meeting volume at hotels in Q1 2023 but was negligible in the other three quarters of the year. Second, Q1 is the slowest period for weddings (7.3 percent of the total) while Q3 is the strongest (16.2 percent). Weddings in Q2 and Q4 come in at about 14 percent.

When it comes to attendance, about half of hotel meetings have no more than 100 participants. Here's the breakdown of meetings by size:

5 to 25 people: 8 percent
26 to 50 people: 19 percent
51 to 75 attendees: 13 percent
76 to 100 attendees: 9 percent
101 to 200 attendees: 20 percent
200 to 300 attendees: 9 percent
300 to 500 attendees: 9 percent
More than 500 attendees: 12 percent

Overall, the average meeting has 118 participants, and the average amount of meeting space used by groups at hotels is just 3,050 square feet.

The next edition of the Knowland/Amadeus Hospitality Group & Business Performance Index, featuring data from Q2 2023, will be released in late summer.

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