Recovery across the business events sector slowed slightly in Q1 2022, according to the 2022 Q1 Global Business Events Barometer recently released by the Events Industry Council (EIC). Download a copy of the report here.
The slowdown in recovery was due in part to the impact of the Omicron variant in key markets. The slight step back was indicated by both RFPs (-2% from 2021 Q4) and hotel group room nights (-10% from previous quarter).
However, the Barometer also revealed that 80 percent of global companies surveyed resumed domestic travel in 2022 (+16% from 2021 Q4) and more than half (55%) had resumed international travel (+77% from the previous quarter) following the easing of Covid travel restrictions across the world. And in the business events sector there were some modest recoveries in group activity through the start of 2022, occurring in the Middle East, North America and Asia Pacific regions, as indicated by the hotel group room nights index.
Other key findings include a slight decrease (-3%) from the previous quarter in events booked with shorter lead times (within 12 months), and that RFP activity for events in future periods increased slightly (+2%) from the previous quarter but was still significantly lower than 2019 levels.
Commenting on the 2022 Q1 Barometer, EIC CEO Amy Calvert said: “The start of 2022 hasn’t been without its challenges, with the reality of variants and adjusting to living in an endemic state as well as the Russia-Ukraine war and unstable geopolitical and economic realities impacting our performance and our people. While there has been an ease in recovery for the global business events sector it is important to reflect on the progress that we have made so far and to recognize and celebrate the efforts that have been made to adapt and innovate to offer experiences that drive impact.
“We will face the inevitable ebb and flow caused by these realities; however, I am confident that we will continue to demonstrate resilience and collaborate in an effort to share best practices and insights as we navigate our continued recovery.”
Adam Sacks, managing director of Oxford Economics said: “Global business events face a longer recovery trajectory than other travel segments, but in-person events remain indispensable to business competitiveness, and we expect continued recovery as global travel resumes.”
About the Global Business Events Barometer
The Global Business Events Barometer was created by Oxford Economics using data provided by Amadeus Hospitality, Cvent, the Global Business Travel Association and STR Global.
The report has also been generously supported and sponsored by a number of leading organizations including ADMEI, AHLA, ASAE, Freeman, IACC, IAEE, IRF, Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, Maritz Global Events, Meetings Mean Business, MGM Resorts International, MPI, Northstar Meetings Group, NYC and Co, PCMA, RCMA, SISO and SITE.