Study: Meetings Generated $770 Billion in Economic Impact in 2012

In 2012, 1.83 million meetings were held in the United States, up from approximately 1.8 million in 2009, according to the Convention Industry Council (CIC), which today published an update to its 2009 study, The Economic Significance of Meetings to the U.S. Economy.

“More meetings bring more jobs,” CIC CEO Karen Kotowski said in a statement. “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.”

Meeting attendance and economic impact also were up, according to the study. In 2012, it found, 225 million people attended U.S. meetings, contributing more than $115 billion to GDP — more than the GDP contribution of air travel, motion pictures, sound recording, performing arts and spectator sports. By contrast, attendance and GDP contribution were 205 million and $106 billion, respectively, in 2009.

“The data proves organizations continue to value and place a priority on face-to-face meetings, even during a recovering economy,” Kotowski said. “Total economic output of meetings was valued at $770.4 billion dollars in 2012, a staggering figure.”

Meetings also generated $88 billion in federal, state and local tax revenue, according to CIC, which said the majority of meeting participants in 2012 traveled 50 miles or more to attend a meeting — consuming hotel rooms, restaurant meals and transportation services that positively impacted cities and businesses across the country.

An executive summary of the research — which supports the industry’s new “Meetings Mean Business” campaign — is available at

“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 of the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE), chairman-elect of CIC and a coalition member of 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.”

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