2021 Meeting Planner Survey Reveals Key Insights as Industry Accelerates into Recovery

Michal Christine Escobar
Senior Editor, Hotels
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Knowland, a provider of data-as-a-service insights on meetings and events for hospitality, and ConferenceDirect, a full service in-person, virtual, and hybrid meeting solution company, announced the results of a survey entitled, 2021 Planner Survey: The State of the Meetings Industry, designed to help industry professionals understand the current state of recovery from the meeting and event managers’ perspectives, including what they expect and plan to prioritize as the industry accelerates towards recovery in 2022.

Download the 2021 Meeting Planner Survey: The State of the Meetings Industry here.

Despite the drastic changes in the meetings and events business during the past 18 months, people across industries and geographies are ready to return to face-to-face meetings. While hoteliers welcome an uptick in business, they also face various challenges. These include uncertain budgets, the ability to respond to short booking windows, and staff shortages at hotels/venues causing lower service levels. Regardless of these challenges, meetings are moving forward.

Highlights from the survey include:

  • 65 percent of meeting planner respondents have meetings booked in the 4th quarter of 2021.
  • 60 percent of planners do not expect to cancel or postpone meetings in 2022.
  • 48 percent of planners expect to have the same number of events in 2022 as in 2019.

Kristi White, chief product officer, Knowland, said: “Knowland data continues to indicate that in-person meetings are coming back. While these events may not look the same thanks to new processes and social protocols, we can expect a pre-pandemic level of bookings soon. In fact, meeting volume in the U.S. has multiple consecutive months of strong double-digit growth. To that end, hoteliers should look to prioritize sales staffing and training efforts to enable them to handle the coming demand.”

Larry Hanson, chief marketing officer, ConferenceDirect said: “Meeting planners have continued to evolve and redefine what is possible with events through the latest digital technologies. While they are concerned about constrained budgets and the impact of staff shortages on servicing their meetings, respondents expect in-person meetings to dominate 2022 with approximately 80% of events being face-to-face.”

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