Economic Impact of Meetings Industry Tops $1 Trillion

The business events and meetings industry drives $1.03 trillion of direct spending into the global economy each year, according to the preliminary findings of a new report from Oxford Economics released at IMEX America in Las Vegas. The report, Global Economic Significance of Business Events, contrasts the total to a similar economic footprint for the entire consumer electronics industry.

Speaking at IMEX, MPI CEO Paul Van Deventer stressed that the resulting economic stimulus could be multiples of that number. “This represents only the direct spend planning, producing and traveling to events,” he said.

Created in partnership with the Events Industry Council (EIC), IMEX, Hilton, MPI Foundation and PCMA Education Foundation, the study combines the findings of multiple, national-level studies conducted on behalf of the World Travel and Tourism Council, and models formulated by Oxford Economics.

EIC calls the study a critical tool. CEO Karen Kotowski said, “[It] offers a compelling snapshot of the broad reach, scope and strength of our industry. The findings will help us tell a more complete story of how and why business events serve as a major economic generator.”

Collecting data from 2017, Oxford Economics found that the meetings industry had 1.4 billion participants, across 180 different countries. While the monetary contribution and participation from North America, Asia and Western Europe make up the majority of the impact—spending $381 billion, $290.9 billion, and $266 billion respectively. The top 50 countries account for 96 percent of the global totals, roughly $0.99 trillion in direct spending, but all countries play a role in delivering the bottom line.

Oxford Economics will release the full report featuring rankings and more details about the industry’s economic impact on November 9.

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