It’s probably no surprise to you that global business events continue to recover from the impacts of the pandemic. But what may surprise you, however, is that request for proposal (RFP) activity for large and medium events is reaching pre-pandemic levels for the first time, according to the Events Industry Council’s recently released Global Events Barometer for the Second Quarter of 2023. The report also indicates a second consecutive quarter of an increase in hotel room nights and business event RFPs.

The Events Industry Council says other key findings from the report include:

  • The RFP activity index increased to 91, representing an equivalency of RFPs sent by event planners during the quarter for future events 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.
  • 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.

As the global voice of the business events industry, the Events Industry Council aims to understand the industry’s recovery as well as theorize where it is heading. The Events Industry Council’s quarterly Global Events Barometer addresses the need to monitor the industry’s progress over time, and by key global regions and countries. The council’s research partner, Oxford Economics, created the barometer and uses data provided by Amadeus Hospitality,  vent, the Global Business Travel Association and STR Global.

“The total gross domestic product 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,” says Amy Calvert, CEO of the Events Industry Council. “Trade shows, association conferences, corporate events and incentive events produce catalytic effects. Areas such as knowledge sharing, innovation and employee engagement go well beyond direct event spending.”