ARLINGTON, Va. - Today, Knowland, the leader in meeting and events analytics, and ConferenceDirect, a full service in-person, virtual, and hybrid meeting solution company, announced the results of a survey entitled, 2020 Planner Survey: The State of the Meeting Industry, designed to help industry professionals understand the planner and event manager perspective on recovery.

The inability to meet, collaborate and ideate as a group has substantially impacted businesses during this disruption. Getting back to the business of business is at the heart of the meeting and events industry. With the reality of a vaccine in distribution and new norms in place, the future of the meeting industry does include the return to in-person meetings in 2021. Meetings may not look the same, but the value of face-to-face connections will not be overlooked.

Highlights from the survey include:

  • 76 percent of meeting planner respondents are now rebooking meetings
  • Following local safety guidelines and communication of safety protocols were ranked as highest reasons planners could be encouraged to book a facility (78.9 percent and 75.8 percent, respectively)
  • 60 percent cited flexible low-risk hotel contracts as an extremely important requirement for in-person meetings, second only to a vaccine (65.3 percent)
  • 45 percent of planners expect meeting size (attendees) will return to pre-COVID levels in 2023

Kristi White, vice president of product management, Knowland, said: "The survey confirmed what we are seeing in Knowland's data. Small, local meetings are happening today with almost 60 percent being corporate events, due in part to the fact that hotels and venues are enabling organizations to come together confidently and safely."

Larry Hanson, chief marketing officer, ConferenceDirect said: "Meeting planners have redefined what is possible with events through the latest digital technologies and creative problem solving. The return to in-person meetings in 2021 will have a new playbook with even more innovation that boosts financial health for the industry overall."

Download the 2020 Planner Survey: The State of the Meeting Industry here.

About ConferenceDirect

Based in Folsom, California, ConferenceDirect is a full-service global meetings solution company whose portfolio of services includes: Virtual/Hybrid Meetings, Site Selection & Contract Negotiation, Conference Management, Housing & Registration Services, Event Technology, Strategic Meetings Management Programs, Incentive Programs, Cruise Services and Marketing Support. Our 450+ Associates manage over 13,000 meetings, conferences and events for more than 4400 customers. For more information, visit

About Knowland

Celebrating its 20th year in 2024, Knowland is the world's leading provider of data-as-a-service insights on meetings and events for hospitality. With the industry's largest historical database of actualized events, thousands of customers trust Knowland to sell group smarter and maximize their revenue. Knowland operates globally and is headquartered just outside Washington, DC. To learn more about our solutions, visit or follow us on X @knowlandgroup.

Katrina Pruitt-Andrews
Vice President, Marketing KNOWLAND