Knowland: Las Vegas, Oahu lead May meetings & events growth

Top 25 and secondary markets averaged around 3,600 square feet for meeting space

Las Vegas meeting space growth
Las Vegas experienced 18.5 percent year-over-year growth in group business in May, with Oahu Island, Hawaii, following closely with a 17.9 percent increase, according to Knowland.

LAS VEGAS SAW 18.5 percent year-over-year growth in group business this May, while Oahu Island, Hawaii, ranked second with a 17.9 percent year over year increase, according to Knowland. The average meeting space in the top 25 markets was 3,615 square feet, compared to 3,625 square feet in secondary markets.

The top 25 markets averaged 128 attendees, while secondary markets had 127 attendees, Knowland said.

Las Vegas led the top 25 U.S. markets in meeting growth in May, with an average space of 7,803 square feet and 287 attendees, the report said. Key drivers included technology events like the Electronic Distributor Show and national associations such as the International Council of Shopping Centers.

Key markets and trends

Technology, national associations, weddings, consulting and finance sector events drove growth in Las Vegas, while Oahu Island, Hawaii, was buoyed by travel, weddings, education, social services and consulting.

  • Nashville up 1 percent: Financial/banking, healthcare, manufacturing, national association, and technology.
  • Denver up 1 percent: Technology, national association, financial/banking, healthcare, and charity/non-profit/social services.
  • Seattle up 2 percent: National association, technology, charity/non-profit/social services, and education.

Top secondary markets and key drivers

Scranton-Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, saw an uptick of 149.4 percent in event bookings in the secondary markets, with education as the leading industry driver.

  • Florida Keys (113.9 percent): Wedding
  • Texas East (87.1 percent): Wedding
  • New Mexico North (81.3 percent): Social services
  • Lexington, Kentucky (47.7 percent): Education

Knowland recently reported a 38 percent year-over-year increase in meetings and events for Nashville in April. Las Vegas experienced steady growth at 22.8 percent, while the industry overall saw a marginal 1.3 percent increase in meeting volume year-over-year.