Twice now, the Convention Industry Council (CIC) has released a report titled, “The Economic Significance of Meetings to the US.” The latest version of it, published in early-2014, presents some rosy statistics.
For instance, between 2009 and 2012 (the years of observation for the study), the meeting industry’s contribution to the United States GDP increased 8.97 percent, from 106.09 billion dollars to 115.61 billion dollars. Consequently, the “industry’s contribution to federal, state and local tax dollars increased by 9.59%” (from 25.61 billion dollars to 28.06 billion dollars) and approximately 130,000 new jobs were created too (from 1.65 million jobs to 1.78 million jobs).
A distinction between meetings and events
It’s important to note that this study focuses specifically on business meetings (e.g. corporate or business meetings, conventions, trade shows, and incentive meetings). So while a 115.61 billion dollar contribution to GDP is a very impressive figure, it’s only a piece of the whole picture. This figure is omitting social events like weddings, religious ceremonies, concerts, festivals, etc., so one can imagine that the broader events industry is much, much larger. I don’t have any immediate numbers to share in regard to those types of events (if anyone does, please share), but all said, the events industry is an economic behemoth offering some impressive signals of growth.