Meetings

Updated Study to Show How Meetings Boost U.S. Economy

By / Jan 21, 2014 (Stockbyte/Thinkstock)

In conjunction with the launch of the Meetings Mean Business campaign, the Convention Industry Council released new figures on the economic impact of the meetings industry.

Participation at meetings and events in the United States increased by 10 percent between 2009 and 2012, according to new, top-line data released last week by the Convention Industry Council (CIC) during the launch of the Meetings Mean Business campaign.

Other figures, based on 2012 data, showed

  • a 9 percent increase in meetings’ contribution to GDP, providing $115 billion to the economy
  • a 9.6 percent increase in the industry’s contribution to federal, state, and local tax figures, providing $28 billion in tax receipts
  • an 8.3 percent increase in the number of jobs in the industry, which totaled 1.7 million.

These are early data points from the yet-to-be-released 2014 Economic Significance of Meetings study, commissioned by CIC and conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, which updates the original study published in 2010. While they constitute just a fraction of the full report, these early indicators have been encouraging to industry leaders.

“From the number of meetings and the number of participants to the increase in GDP and tax revenues at all levels, the updated CIC economic impact study really demonstrates the substantial impact of meetings on the economy,” said John H. Graham IV, CAE, president and CEO of ASAE, a CIC member.

CIC CEO Karen Kotowski, CAE, said the updated figures confirmed expectations about a resurgent meetings industry.

“We were pretty sure that we were going to see an increase in our direct economic impacts, given that 2009 was a pretty bad year for the meetings industry,” she said. “We were pleased that that in fact did happen, and we think it’s a pretty strong statement that meetings are a necessary part of the way we do business.”

One of the key pieces of data that Kotowski is most interested in seeing in the final report is how the meetings business stacks up against other industries.

“That was something that everybody related to last time around, noting that the meetings industry was larger than the U.S. auto industry, financial services, and some of the other industries that we compared ourselves to,” she said. “That’ll be telling, one way or the other.”

By releasing the updated study in concert with the launch of Meetings Mean Business, CIC hoped to provide more context to the campaign.

“These numbers will help support some of the other communications coming out of the coalition about not only the economic value, but also some of the social and business values of meetings,” Kotowski said.

The full report is expected to be available by the end of the month.

Rob Stott

Rob Stott is a contributing editor for Associations Now. More »

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