Business Events Accelerate Recovery During First Half of 2023, According to EIC Global Events Barometer

October 9, 2023

The Events Industry Council (EIC), the global voice of the business events industry, recently unveiled its Q2 2023 Global Events Barometer, which reveals a second consecutive quarterly uptick in hotel room nights and business event requests for proposals (RFPs).

The 2023 Global Economic Significance of Business Events Study, which EIC released in May, demonstrated the ongoing recovery of global business events from the impact of the pandemic. A vital aspect of this study involves understanding the industry’s recovery trajectory and its future direction, according to EIC officials. 

A companion to that research, EIC’s quarterly Global Events Barometer, developed in collaboration with research partner Oxford Economics and using data from industry sources including Amadeus Hospitality, Cvent, the Global Business Travel Association and STR Global, monitors market changes relative to pre-pandemic levels.

“The total GDP impact of business events would rank as the 13th largest global economy,” said EIC CEO Amy Calvert. “It is vitally important for our sector and stakeholders that we continue to measure and share the industry’s wide-ranging impact and leverage this forecast model to tell our best story.”

She continued, “Trade shows, association conferences, corporate events and incentive events also produce catalytic effects. Areas such as knowledge sharing, innovation and employee engagement go well beyond direct event spending.” 

Key findings from EIC’s Q2 Global Events Barometer include: 

  • RFP Activity Index: Increased to 91, indicating event planners sent RFPs for future events equivalent to 91% of 2019 levels.
  • Hotel Group Room Nights Index: Rose to 98, representing stays during the quarter equivalent to 98% of 2019 levels.
  • Events by Size: RFP activity for large and medium events reached pre-pandemic levels (103% of 2019 levels), while small events remained at 88% of 2019 levels. 
  • Regional Breakdown: RFP activity increased in all regions, with the Middle East and North America leading at 128% and 116% of 2019 levels, respectively. 
  • Hotel Nights Uptick: Global hotel group room nights increased significantly in Western Europe, despite declining room demand in Africa and the Middle East.
  • Future Outlook: Cooling economic growth in various regions poses challenges for business events in the second half of 2023, although the long-term prospects remain positive. Business leaders express caution due to concerns about geopolitical tensions and tightened lending affecting the global economy.

The latest edition of the Global Events Barometer builds on the data available in EIC’s market-leading research, which can be found here.


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