Meetings and Events are Worth Billions to the U.S. Economy

Missy JPost written by Missy Johnson, Principal, MJMeetings, LLC | Meetings Consultant | Gourmet Food & Wine Enthusiast | Sports Fan

Recently, the Meetings Mean Business Coalition, in conjunction with the Events Industry Council, released updated research on the economic impact of the meetings and events industry on the U.S. economy.

The findings of the Economic Significance Study (ESS), conducted by Oxford Economics, are significant and exciting. Here are a few of eye-popping numbers:

  • In a single year, meetings generated $845 billion in economic impact and supported 9 million American jobs.
  • Every dollar invested in meetings creates an additional $1.60 for the U.S. economy.
  • The meetings industry supported more direct jobs in 2016 than many other large industries – including machinery, food, auto and chemicals.
  • On average, each meeting participant supported $416 of tax revenue in 2016, including $215 of federal tax revenue and $165 of state and local tax revenue. The total impact was $879 per U.S. household.

They defined a meeting for the purpose of this study as a gathering of 10 or more participants for a minimum of four hours in a contracted venue. This includes business meetings, but excludes social, educational or recreational activities, as well as consumer exhibitions.

The data revealed that the total number of meetings equaled 1.9 million (in just 2016 alone) with 251 million participants.

ESS Social_Biz GrowthThe data is clear and the impact is significant. Now, the question we must ask ourselves as event organizers is:

What are we going to do with this information and how are we going to use it to our advantage?

This study tells a powerful story of our industry’s strength and power, but it will do have little impact unless we continue to educate lawmakers, stakeholders and local legislators why it’s so important.

As event organizers, we must sound the alarm and bring the economic impact of our industry to the forefront…and to keep it there.

Personally, I’m always looking for opportunities to share important stats and relevant facts about our industry with those around me.

Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID) is just around the corner on April 12, 2018. I encourage everyone to help spread the word and get this message out to those who may have no idea how truly impactful our industry is to the local and national economy.


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