Knowland: Tampa-St. Petersburg sees 20 percent growth in February M&E

Denver and Boston placed second and third, respectively

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Tampa-St. Petersburg travel
Tampa-St. Petersburg, Florida, led in meetings and events growth among the top 25 markets in February with a 20 percent year-over-year increase, according to Knowland. Denver and Boston followed in second and third, respectively, with National Associations and Technology groups leading in four of the top five markets.

TAMPA-ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA led in meetings and events growth for the top 25 markets in February with a 20 percent year-over-year increase, according to Knowland. Denver and Boston came in second and third, respectively, while National Associations and Technology groups led in four of the top five markets.

Overall, year-over-year event volume growth for the industry reached 5.3 percent, the report said. Meetings in the top 25 markets used an average space of 3,507 square feet, compared to 2,890 square feet in secondary markets. The top 25 markets had an average of 124 attendees, while secondary markets averaged 118 attendees.

Additional insights into the key industry drivers for the top 25 markets with the highest meeting volumes include:

  • Tampa-St. Petersburg (up 20 percent): national association, healthcare, charity/non-profit/social services, technology and wedding.
  • Denver (up 7 percent): technology, national association, education, healthcare and construction.
  • Boston (up 15 percent): education, healthcare, technology, training/education and travel.
  • Nashville (up 7 percent): technology, manufacturing, national association, healthcare and consulting.
  • Las Vegas (up 5 percent): national association, technology, sports entertainment, charity/non-profit/social services and automotive.

The five high-growth secondary markets and their top industries were:

  • Louisville (up 2 percent) – national association (15.2 percent) and state association (8.1 percent)
  • Colorado Springs, Colorado (up 8 percent) – education (9.3 percent)
  • Greensboro-Winston Salem, North Carolina (up 7 percent) – education (23.8 percent)
  • Wisconsin South, Wisconsin (up 2 percent) – state association (18 percent)
  • Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (up 0 percent) – religious (14 percent)

Knowland recently reported a 50 percent rise in convention and conference center use of its data platform in 2023. Groups now prefer shifting events to alternative markets rather than downsizing within the same chain scale for cost-cutting purposes, presenting non-hotel venues with a chance to compete for group business, Knowland said.