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Convention Industry Council, an advocator of meetings and exhibitions, released data from the “Economic Significance of Meetings to the U.S. Economy.”

This update to a 2009 study shows significant increases in meeting participants, tax contribution and job growth from 2009 to 2012.

“The data proves organizations continue to value and place a priority on face-to-face meetings, even during a recovering economy,” said Karen Kotowski, CMP, CAE, chief executive, Convention Industry Council. “Total economic output of meetings was valued at $770.4 billion dollars in 2012, a staggering figure. Not only does that mean more meetings held — they were attended by more people.”

During 2012, 1.83 million meetings were held in the U.S., attended by 225 million participants, providing more than $115 billion in contribution to GDP to fuel the economy. Meetings contribution to GDP surpasses that of the air transportation, motion picture, sound recording, performing arts and spectator sport industries.

“More meetings bring more jobs,” continued Kotowski. “Meetings increased employment at a time when many industries didn’t have the same opportunity. In 2012, meetings employed nearly 1.8 million people. That translates to 8.3 percent more jobs created by meetings in 2012 than in 2009, nearly double the average employment growth rate during that time.”

Meetings also generated $88 billion in federal, state and local taxes to fund and support communities across the country. The majority of meeting participants in 2012 traveled 50 miles or more to attend a meeting—consuming hotel rooms, restaurant meals and transportation services, positively impacting cities and businesses across the country. As a coalition member of Meetings Mean Business, CIC and this research will be a part of the broader campaign to define and understand the link between meetings and business success.

“These findings from CIC’s Economic Significance of Meetings report are another feather in the cap for the meetings, exhibitions and events industry, further proving our incredible value in driving tax revenue, generating billions of dollars and creating jobs,” said David DuBois, president, IAEE; chairman-elect, CIC; and leading coalition member, the Meetings Mean Business campaign. “Meetings really do mean business, and we are proud to say that our industry is using one voice to ensure policymakers, consumers and business leaders truly understand our worth and impact.”

When the study was originally commissioned in 2009, the research represented much more than hard data. It served as an industry-wide statement. Collectively, CIC and its members took a position and made a commitment to better understand the value of meetings. The update to the study is a reflection of that vision and a continued commitment.

An executive summary of the research is available at www.economicsignificancestudy.org.

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