December U.S. monthly meetings and events volume decreased 39 percent over the previous month, according to the latest data from Knowland, the leader in group hospitality analytics for hotels, convention and visitor bureaus, conference centers and other meeting venues.
The two-week pause of the holidays drove most of this decline. However, a few key markets entering different stages of shutdown also drove some of the lower performance. It is anticipated that January will see volumes begin growing again.
- Average attendees decreased – The average number of attendees in December 2020 was 40 compared to 59 in December 2019.
- Average square footage used decreased – The average space used in December 2020 was 1,545 square feet while meetings in December 2019 averaged 1,829 square feet.
- Individual markets still grew – Despite overall declines, a few markets still realized month-over-month growth. The top five growth markets were Mobile, AL, Little Rock, AR, Daytona Beach, FL, Sarasota, FL, and Grand Rapids, MI.
- Corporate meetings represent the largest meeting segment – Corporate meetings produced most of the activity with 57.8 percent of total meetings for the month.
While numbers contracted in December, this is in line with declines in previous years from a percentage perspective.
Kristi White, vice president of product management, Knowland, said: “As we step into a new year, corporate business maintains its drive in the market. While Q1 might be a bit soft, the available vaccines should build confidence in the marketplace which will fuel growth in subsequent quarters. Now is the time for sales teams to ramp up their prospecting efforts to capitalize on that growth.”