Revenues back to pre-Covid levels next year, says IACC report

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IACC Report Photo Credit: Samuel Pereira on Unsplash

Two-thirds of venues say they will recover to 2019 meeting revenue levels in 2022 or 2023, according to the international venue association IACC's annual Meeting Room of the Future Barometer 2022.

Respondents reported that 2023 would be the first year to surpass 2019 meetings and business events revenue levels. Predictions did differ slightly by country with projected revenues in Denmark to surpass 2019 levels as early as 2022 while the Americas had a slightly longer outlook with revenues not returning to pre-pandemic levels until 2024.

The study shows that in 2021, average meeting and business events revenue was 45 per cent lower than 2019 levels but in 2022, this percentage is expected to shrink to just 8 per cent below 2019 levels.

Sustainability continues to be an emerging topic, with some improvements made since the 2021 report. The report shows that, in general, there is more of a focus on environmental and social responsibility at venues in Europe and Australia when compared with North American venues. 

The study further supports the return to in-person interactions. In 2021, 30 per cent of respondents reported that more than 90 per cent of their live meetings and events also offered virtual access. In 2022 this percentage has dropped to 19 per cent. 

Despite talent shortages affecting the industry, the report revealed a cautious optimism among operators that they will be able to find the right employees to keep their businesses running successfully. The study predicts that talent shortages will be alleviated over time, and overall, respondents do not anticipate that workforce shortages will negatively impact their ability to meet client and attendee needs. As 2022 unfolds, 55 per cent of respondents reported that their venue has or will return to full-staffing levels by the end of 2022.

Mark Cooper, CEO of IACC commented: “The study clearly points to the fact that recovery is moving forward, and the future looks bright for our industry, with a renewed value placed on face-to-face events. However, we still face a number of challenges. Recent social and geo-political events have brought into sharp focus the need to focus on sustainability and the report shows that this is an area where there is significant scope for investment and improvement and which IACC venues must focus on going forward.  

“As we continue to rebuild, IACC is committed to continuing to educate our industry and to providing insights and resources to help venues adapt and ensure they are providing facilities and services that truly cater for event planners needs. I wish to thank our industry partners SHFM, Cvent, MPI and Events Industry Council, for sharing their data and IACC gives appreciation to our sponsoring research partner, Development Counsellors International”.

Read the full report here.


Holly Patrick
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Holly Patrick
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A desire to travel led Holly Patrick to the business meetings and events world and she’s never looked back. Holly takes a particular interest in event sustainability and creating a diverse and inclusive industry. When she’s not working, she can be found rolling skating along Brighton seafront listening to an eclectic playlist, featuring the likes of Patti Smith, Sean Paul, and Arooj Aftab.

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