Knowland: San Diego leads YOY growth for group business in December

Pharma and non-profit sectors dominate four of the top five markets

San Diego leads YoY growth in December meeting volume with a 29.2 percent increase, closely followed by San Francisco with a 21.5 percent increase, signaling a positive rebound in these crucial event markets, according to Knowland. San Diego's healthcare events doubled, and pharmaceutical/biotechnology events nearly tripled from the previous year.

SAN DIEGO LED year-over-year growth in meeting volume in December with a 29.2 percent increase, according to Knowland. San Francisco followed closely with a 21.5 percent increase, signaling a positive rebound in the events industry in the Bay Area.

Moreover, December 2023 saw a 6.7 percent growth in event volume compared to December 2022 across all U.S. markets.

The leading market averaged 198 attendees, using 2,577 square feet of meeting space, Knowland said. San Diego’s healthcare events doubled, and its pharmaceutical/biotechnology events nearly tripled from last year. A significant portion of this meeting activity took place in the first half of the month.

In YoY event volume growth among the top 25 U.S. markets, San Diego led, hosting primarily pharmaceutical/biotechnology and consulting industry events, followed by San Francisco, Seattle, Orlando, and Miami.

Below is additional insight into the top drivers for these markets:

  • San Diego: Pharmaceutical/biotechnology, consulting, national association, health care, 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.

Meanwhile, top markets outside the top 25 (by YoY growth in event volume) include Colorado Springs, Colorado; Lexington, Kentucky; and Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

In December, Knowland introduced the Knowland Certification Program, featuring three credentials to help hotel sales professionals enhance their skills, elevate their professional profiles, and showcase proficiency in management.