Report finds group segment stronger, but ‘still fairly weak’

Business speaker giving a talk in conference hall
The report found that despite an improved 24-month outlook, the group business demand trend remained flat. Photo credit: kasto80/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

U.S. hotels will continue to face a challenging group business market going forward, according to the latest “Cvent Group Business Outlook.” Though Jeffrey Emenecker, senior director of analytics at Cvent, said the group booking pace picked up slightly from the group’s Q1 report, he described the overall 24-month view as “still fairly weak.”

The “Cvent Group Business Outlook” is a 24-month forward-looking report highlighting United States group booking activity through the Cvent Supplier Network. A meeting, events and hospitality technology provider, Cvent works with more than 27,000 customers and 300,000 users worldwide. Its Cvent Supplier Network database looks at around 260,000 venues globally, which together account for more than $16 billion of group business annually.

“As we look at the next two years, our sourcing data shows a relatively flat awarded group rooms pace and a slight downturn in awarded [request for proposal] activity within the U.S. market,” Emenecker said in a statement. “Supply continues to increase, but booking pace is not keeping up, which means a drop in group occupancy across the board.”

Cvent highlighted three findings from its report:

  1. Though the 24-month view improved from last quarter, the group business demand trend remained flat. As supply continues to increase, Cvent predicts hoteliers will have to work harder to attract and win group business.
  2. Overall awarded RFP activity was below average in Q2 and down from Q1. Last quarter, Cvent attributed a slowdown in this activity to commission policy changes that went into effect in 2019 and resulted in greater activity in the fourth quarter in 2018. The group said this quarter’s results could be affected by this Q4 2018 push but also could signal more general softness in the market.
  3. The Q1 report noted a significant increase in group room block size (4 percent). In Q2, this metric decreased slightly to a value more in line with expectations, prompting Cvent to label last quarter’s increase “just a blip.”