The big winner location-wise in the meetings industry is Nashville. Events grew an incredible 30% in September, with Los Angeles/Long Beach coming in at 22% over last year. According to Knowland, an event intelligence group, Oahu, Las Vegas, and Denver rounded out the top five markets by event volume growth. They report that national-level associations led the way.
Along with the top cities, here are the topics that led demand:
- Nashville: healthcare, technology, financial services/banking, and manufacturing
- LA/Long Beach: education, charity/non-profit, healthcare
- Oahu: wedding (no surprise!), travel, education, and military
- Las Vegas: technology, education, wedding, and charity/non-profit
- Denver: healthcare, education, technology, and financial services/banking
Accor, a world-leading hospitality group, reveals that meeting expectations worldwide reveals that the value of human connection, balance, and belonging are priorities for 2024. Although this is no surprise to most of us coming out of COVID, it reflects the profound changes the shutdown brought to the industry.
According to Sophie Hulgard, Chief Sales Officer of Accor – The pandemic was a defining moment for the industry. We were thrust into a world of virtual gatherings, with in-person events grinding to a halt. Yet, we adapted and evolved. That evolution continues today and the one thread that connects all the trends we forecast is the human connection. Today, more than ever, it is about the human need to meet, share and thrive.”
According to a survey done by Accor, 78% of respondents said meeting budgets increased 78% since 2022, with 36% saying it had increased more than 25%. In 2024, growth is expected to continue with 80%, expecting increased budgets. Here are additional survey findings:
- Softer Productivity – employees demand more balance and expect employers and meetings to reflect this. Balance purpose along with productivity.
- Belonging – Celebrate the human connection in meetings, thus fostering a sense of belonging.
- Create Experiences – Event professionals are still looking at ROI but are just as concerned now with ROX – return on experience.
- Go Green – Sustainability should be a significant consideration, not an afterthought.
- Technology – More are opting for in-person to bring people together who may only see each other via laptop screens. Good news for us. Specifically, they say, and I love:
Digital has reach. Face-to-face has value. Being in the room matters.
Copyright 2023, Lois Creamer, Book More Business. Lois works with professional speakers who want to book more business, make more money, and fully monetize their message.
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