by Vincent Alonzo | February 21, 2018

Which industry creates the most jobs?

A) Automotive 
B) Pharma
C) Oil & Gas
D) Meetings

If you selected A, B, or C, you would be wrong.
 
According  to a new report from Oxford Economics -- commissioned by the Events Industry Council (EIC) and supported by the Meetings Mean Business Coalition (MMBC) -- the meetings industry was responsible for creating 5.9 million jobs in 2016, more than the automotive, pharmaceutical, and oil and gas industries. 

The new report, "Economic Significance of Meetings to the US Economy," reveals how the industry has bolstered its role as a crucial segment of the national economy. Other key findings from the report included the fact that meetings generated $325 billion of direct spending and $845 billion in business sales in 2016. 

Adam Sacks, founder and president of tourism economics, an Oxford Economics company, said that the industry's impact grew by 23 percent between 2009 and 2016. 

"Each meeting participant is generating $416 of tax revenue, and when you add up the numbers that equates to $104 billion a year in federal, state, and local taxes," Sacks said. 

The report also concluded that every dollar spent on a meeting generated $1.60 of benefit to the organization hosting the event. 

"That's an ROI of 160 percent," said Paul Van Deventer, president and chief executive officer of Meeting Professionals International (MPI), co-chair of MMBC and board member of EIC. "The results of this study will assist us when it comes to lobbying governments on the local and national level on behalf of the meetings industry and it will make a great contribution in telling the story of how people can build rewarding careers in our industry."

Business services was the industry most impacted by meetings in 2016, with $196.3 billion in total economic output. The finance, insurance, and real estate industry followed with $141.1 billion in total economic output. Following that was the manufacturing industry with $92.6 billion in total output.

Other industries that were positively impacted by face-to-face meetings and events include:

  • Food & Beverage: Meeting organizers and hosts spent $48 billion to provide food and beverage services at meetings
  • Hotels & Lodging: Meetings generated 300 million room nights annually, representing nearly $50 billion of spending on accommodations
  • Travel & Tourism: Meetings-related travel expenses represented 13.2 percent of total travel and tourism spending in the U.S.


"There's been a critical need for information quantifying the significance of face-to-face meetings and business events to the U.S. economy," said Susan Robertson, executive vice president of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) and chair of the EIC. "Hosting an event, convention or trade show brings new revenue to industries across the country. So many people and companies beyond the scope of the events industry itself benefit from its reach."

To obtain a copy of the report, head here.