San Diego Leads in Group Business Growth in December

Knowland has released the top market performance numbers for December, citing San Diego as having the highest meeting volume improvement, with 29.2 percent year-over-year (YoY) growth. Coming in a close second was San Francisco, where event volume increased 21.5 percent, a positive sign the industry is bouncing back in the cities by the bay. This data is sourced from Knowland’s sales intelligence platform.

San Diego’s healthcare event business segment doubled, and its pharmaceutical/biotechnology events basically tripled from last year. Much of this meeting activity was held in the first half of the month. The top market experienced an average number of attendees of 198, and the average meeting space used was 2,577 square feet.

Key Findings

  • Year-over-year comparison – December 2023 event volume showed 6.7 percent growth over December 2022 for all U.S. markets
  • Top five markets (by YoY growth in event volume) – San Diego ranked highest in the top 25 U.S. markets, hosting pharmaceutical/biotechnology meetings, followed by consulting industry events. San Francisco, Seattle, Orlando and Miami rounded out the top five growth markets. Below is additional insight into the top drivers for these markets.
    • San Diego: Pharmaceutical/biotechnology, consulting, national association, healthcare, charity/non-profit
    • San Francisco: Charity/non-profit, education, training/education, technology, and arts/performing arts
    • Seattle: Charity/non-profit, entertainment/media, healthcare, national association and technology
    • Orlando: Pharmaceutical/biotechnology, healthcare, technology, national associations, wedding and technology
    • Miami: Wedding, travel, education, financial/banking and consulting
  • Top markets outside the top 25 (by YoY growth in event volume) included Colorado Springs, CO; Lexington, KY; and Milwaukee, WI.

The information about the leading industry drivers is intended to provide a clear picture of the groups that are returning to the meeting and event space. Insights presented are a result of the analysis of meetings and events data acquired through Knowland data collection and aggregation methods, including field reporting and automated methods of customer and non-customer data collection in primary, secondary, and tertiary markets, as well as its large historical database.

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