Global Business Events Industry on Sustained Road to Recovery, According to Latest EIC Barometer

December 5, 2023

The business events industry’s ongoing recovery is holding strong and showing sustained improvement in 2023 compared to 2022, according to the Events Industry Council’s (EIC) quarterly Global Events Barometer for Q3 2023.

The latest report, released on Nov. 29, highlights a notable milestone: for the first time since the pandemic, group hotel nights reached the same booking levels as in 2019. The data gauged Q3 guest stays that were reserved within group bookings or room blocks – a metric largely associated with business events, according to EIC officials. Additionally, the uptick in RFP activity during this same period signifies an increase in business professionals seeking venues and accommodations for future events.

Amy Calvert, EIC
Amy Calvert, EIC

Most indicators point to the global business events industry’s continued strength, however, various factors, including weakening economies and global tensions, demonstrate the potential to spur a slowdown in 2024, according to the Barometer. Still, the forecast is overwhelmingly positive for an industry that was greatly impacted by the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, according to EIC officials

“Since we launched the Barometer in January 2022, we have observed a sustained uptick in events activity,” said EIC CEO Amy Calvert. “This points the way to a promising full recovery and continued evidence of the relevance of our sector and our industry’s true purpose — fostering human connections and collaboration.” 

Key findings from EIC’s Q3 Global Events Barometer include:  

  • The recovery in global hotel group room nights was driven by continued strength in Asia Pacific, as North America and Western Europe neared full recovery. 
  • RFP activity for large and medium events reached 101% of 2019 levels, while small events declined to 87% of 2019 levels. 
  • The latest global economic outlook anticipates 2024 will be characterized by weaker economic activity, with a slowdown early in the year followed by tepid growth – conditions that will keep business leaders cautious. 
  • Geopolitical tensions such as those related to the Middle East, China-Taiwan and Russia-NATO are perceived as the top downside risk to businesses in the near term. More than a quarter of businesses now cite the risk that sticky inflation could keep interest rates higher for longer.

Back story

The latest Barometer supports findings from the EIC’s 2023 Global Economic Significance of Business Events Study released in May 2023, which measured the full scope of the $1.6 trillion global business events industry, its recovery and where the industry is heading. Released in May 2023, the study revealed that global business events are continuing to recover from the impacts of the pandemic, with global event spending expected to reach 2019 levels by 2025. 

Designed to provide key data points tracking the full scope of the post-pandemic recovery, the quarterly Global Events Barometer monitors the industry’s progress over time and by key global regions and countries. Created by EIC’s research partner, Oxford Economics, the Barometer uses data provided by Amadeus Hospitality, Cvent, the Global Business Travel Association and STR Global to monitor the changes within the market relative to pre-pandemic levels. 

Serving as a global champion for event professionals and event industry excellence, the Events Industry Council boasts a global membership of more than 30 member organizations representing more than 103,500 individuals and 19,500 firms and properties involved in the events industry. Besides its Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) program – a credential globally recognized as the badge of event industry excellence, its four signature programs – Sustainability and Social Impact, Accepted Practices Exchange (APEX), Knowledge and Leadership – represent the association’s key initiatives, assets, services and products. 


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