Recovery of Business Events Gathered Pace in First Half of 2023

RFP activity for large and medium events reached pre-pandemic levels for the first time (103% of 2019 levels), while small events remain at 88% of 2019 levels.
27th Sep, 2023

Yesterday, the Events Industry Council (EIC), the global voice of the business events industry, released its quarterly Global Events Barometer for Q2 2023, which indicates a second consecutive quarter of an increase in hotel room nights and business event RFPs.

As indicated in EIC’s 2023 Global Economic Significance of Business Events Study released in May, global business events continue to recover from the impacts of the pandemic. A critical piece of that study is understanding the events industry’s recovery as well as where the industry is heading. 

As a companion to that research, EIC’s quarterly Global Events Barometer addresses the need to monitor our progress over time and by key global regions and countries. EIC’s research partner, Oxford Economics, created the Barometer and 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. 

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

  • The RFP activity index increased to 91, representing request for proposals (RFPs) sent by event planners during the quarter for future events equivalent to 91% of 2019 levels. The hotel group room nights index increased to 98, representing stays during the quarter equivalent to 98% of 2019 levels. 
  • RFP activity for large and medium events reached pre-pandemic levels for the first time (103% of 2019 levels), while small events remain at 88% of 2019 levels.
  • RFP activity increased in all regions, with the Middle East and North America leading the way at 128% and 116% of 2019 levels, respectively.
  • The increase in global hotel group room nights was driven by a strong uptick in Western Europe, despite falling room demand in Africa and the Middle East.
  • Looking ahead, cooling economic growth across many countries and regions represents a headwind for the recovery of business events in the second half of 2023, though the longer-term outlook for business events remains favorable. 
  • Business leaders remain cautious, with concerns that geopolitical tensions and tightened lending now pose the greatest threats to the global economy. 

“The total GDP impact of business events would rank as the 13th largest global economy. 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,” said Amy Calvert, CEO, Events Industry Council. “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.”

This latest edition of the builds on the data available in our previous market-leading research, which can all be found on our website here.

Other Articles

About Us

Supported by the Union of International Associations (UIA), the International Association of Professional Congress Organisers (IAPCO) and the Interel Group, the global public affairs and association management consultancy, Headquarters Magazines serve the needs of international associations organising worldwide congresses.