Face-to-Face Meetings and Business Events Have Big Impact on the Economy

Every Dollar Spent on Face-To-Face Meetings and Business Events Generates an Additional $1.60 in Benefits for the U.S. Economy
Nan Marchand Beauvois, Senior Vice President, U.S. Travel Association

(Washington, DC, Wednesday, October 10, 2018) - Meetings and business events support 5.9 million jobs across the country. In 2016, 1.9 million meetings were held in the United States, generating $845 billion in economic impact. Every dollar spent on face-to-face meetings and business events generates an additional $1.60 for the U.S. economy.

In an age of Skype, social media and conference calls, many have come to assume that face-to-face business meetings and business events like industry conventions are obsolete and unnecessary—but new economic impact data shows that could not be farther from the truth.

A new research study from Oxford Economics, commissioned by the Events Industry Council and supported by U.S. Travel’s Meetings Mean Business Coalition, shows that the meetings and events industry (which includes convention center staff, meetings and events planners, etc.) directly supported more jobs than many large manufacturing sectors, as well as even the telecommunications and oil and gas extraction industries.

In 2016, face-to-face business meetings and business events supported a total economic impact of:

  • 5.9 million U.S. jobs
  • $845 billion in economic output (business sales, put simply)
  • $446 billion in U.S. GDP
  • $104 billion in federal, state and local tax revenue.

That last one is important. On average, each participant in a face-to-face business meeting, whether they traveled to another office across town for a meeting or flew to a different city for a convention, supported $416 in tax revenue (specifically, $251 in federal tax revenue and $165 in state and local tax revenue). Calculated across the country, that means every in-person meeting attendee helped save the average U.S. household $879 in total taxes.

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