The numbers are in. The meetings industry has a tremendous impact on the U.S. economy. The coalition of 14 leading meetings industry membership organizations joined forces to figure out the real impact of face-to-face meetings on the economy. The study, spanning throughout 2010 and based on 2009 data, was conducted by the PwC US research firm.
The study was based on the United Nations World Tourism Organization’s (UNWTO) definition of meetings, which is defined as a gathering of 10 or more participants for a minimum of four hours in a contracted venue. This definition includes conventions, conferences, congresses, trade shows and exhibitions, incentive events, corporate/business meetings and other meetings that fall within those guidelines. However, social and recreational activities, and certain educational, political and consumer shows were excluded from the study.
“As the nation grapples with effective ways to work its way out of a recession, the meetings industry plays a critical role in supporting jobs in communities across America, creating environments that foster innovation, consensus and business success,” Karen Kotowski, Executive Director of the Convention Industry Council, said in a press release announcing the results on February 17, 2011. “Two years ago, the value of meetings, one of America’s top economic and social engines, was misunderstood by overnments and the public. This new research quantifies the economic significance of our sector for legislators, regulators and economists alike.”
The full study report can be purchased on the official study website at www.MeetingsMeanBusiness.com