Australian meeting venues post fastest recovery globally

meeting venues

Two-thirds of meeting venues globally say they will recover to 2019 meeting revenue levels in 2022 or 2023 with Australia and Denmark forecasting the fastest recovery.

IACC’s annual Meeting Room of the Future Barometer 2022 showed 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% lower than 2019 levels but in 2022, this percentage is expected to shrink to just 8% below 2019 levels.

Sustainability continues to be an emerging topic, with some improvements made since the 2021 report. The report shows there is more of a focus on environmental and social responsibility at venues in Europe and Australia when compared with North American venues. Nearly half (46%) of respondents reported that they are receiving increased requests from clients to either state or provide social responsibility and environmental credentials.

There is one sustainable practice where venues have shown considerable improvement since 2020, and that is the ability to donate unused food to local community outreach programmes. More than one-half of responding venues report this option compared with only 23% of venues in 2020, and North American venues reporting a greater likelihood of offering healthy food options and the ability to donate unused foods than other regions.

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

The study also forecast 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% of respondents reported that their venue has or will return to full-staffing levels by the end of 2022.

“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,” said Mark Cooper, CEO of IACC.

“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.”