Meeting Intelligence – Looking to 2024

You’re going to love 2024! The outlook for our industry continues to be optimistic. Summarizing reports from Northstar Meetings Group, AMX meetings, and Knowland:

  • American Express Global Business Travel reports 82 percent of respondents to their survey are optimistic about their business — 5 percentage points higher than a year ago.
  • Again, according to AMEX, Seven out of 10 meeting professionals globally expect their 2024 attendance to meet or exceed 2019 figures. More than a quarter report they’ve already achieved prepandemic attendance levels for their events this year, representing a faster return to “normalcy” than many predicted.
  • North America leads the pack in attendance expectations, with a full 77 percent projecting a return to 2019 levels next year. A third of planner respondents to the most recent Northstar/Cvent PULSE Survey expect 2024 attendance to exceed this year’s, with 8 percent anticipating gains of 10 percent or more.
  • Projections vary based on event type. Internal team meetings and client/customer advisory board meetings lead the way for attendance gains, with 42 percent of planners expecting increases in those categories, respectively, according to Amex. Next are incentives and special events, for which 38 percent expect higher attendance. More significant events will also draw more attendees: More than a third of respondents globally (35 percent) expect more people at their conferences with trade shows.
  • According to Knowland, corporate meetings account for most of the rebound, as remote work requires team gatherings. In Q3 2023, 70 percent of the meetings drew an average of 200 attendees or fewer, according to the Hospitality Group and Business Performance Index. More than one-fifth had between 100 and 200 participants.
  • Looking ahead to 2024, meeting professionals expect a rise in meeting volume – across the board, particularly for small and medium-sized gatherings, according to a global hotel giant Accor report. Its Meetings & Events Industry Forecast Survey found that 78 percent of 70 high-level planners with established meeting programs expect to hold more events for fewer than 100 attendees, and an equal percentage anticipate more meetings for 100 to 300 attendees. More than 57 percent also predict a rise in significant events for more than 300 attendees.

From Knowland: Thirteen of the country’s top 25 markets already have recovered to pre-pandemic volume:

  • Austin, Texas
  • Dallas
  • Denver
  • Detroit
  • Los Angeles
  • Miami
  • Minneapolis Nashville
  • New Orleans Phoenix
  • San Antonio
  • San Diego
  • Tampa, Fla.

And six more cities are on pace to recover in 2024:

  • Atlanta
  • Houston
  • Las Vegas
  • New York City
  • Orlando
  • Seattle

The remaining six are likely to recover in 2025 or later.

  • Boston
  • Chicago
  • Philadelphia
  • San Francisco
  • St. Louis
  • Washington, D.C.

For more information, visit the resources I used in this report.

Copyright 2023. Lois Creamer. Lois works with professional speakers, consultants, and experts who want to book more business, make more money, and monetize their message! She can be reached in the following ways:

Phone: 314-374-4007
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