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Meeting & Event Planning

12 Eye-Opening Statistics About the Meeting and Events Industry

Posted April 12, 2018 By Andrew Littlefield

Meetings and events are big business.

Today (April 12th) is Global Meetings Industry Day—an advocacy effort organized by Meetings Mean Business to draw attention to the economic impact the meetings and event industry has in the U.S. and beyond.

The events industry supports jobs, brings money to local economies, and boosts dozens of industries. We wanted to help quantify that impact. Here are 12 eye-opening statistics on the impact of the meeting and event industry.

Happy #GMID18, everyone!


Event planning job growth outpaces the average by 4%

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth for meeting and event planners is expected to grow at a rate of 11% from 2016 to 2026. Compared to the total expected growth of 7%, event planners appear to have a bright future ahead of them on the job market.

One less thing for planners to stress about.


There were 1.9 million meetings in 2016

1.9 million meetings across one year—more than 5,200 every single day.

This figure only includes gatherings of 10 or more people, for a minimum of four hours in a contracted venue. So if you wanted to use this number to get out of your daily standup, we can’t help you there.


Meetings and events account for $325 billion of direct spending

Those 1.9 million meetings resulted in some big spending. If you add up planning, production, travel, and other direct expenditures, meetings and events account for $325 billion of direct spending in the U.S. Of that figure, $120 billion comes from travel alone.



Meeting and Event Stats


The meetings industry supports 2.5 million jobs

All that money directly supports 2.5 million jobs. This doesn’t include another 1.5 million indirect jobs and 1.9 million induced jobs, all across a wide cross-section of industries.


The meetings industry supports $95.6 billion in salary and wages

$95.6 billion in salary and wages comes from the meetings industry—bigger than the GDP of 147 countries.


42% of corporate meeting planners expect to have bigger budgets this year

Corporations are putting more resources into their event efforts, with growing budgets and bigger teams.


Every dollar spent on face-to-face meetings and business events generates an additional $1.60 for the U.S. economy

Every dollar spent on meeting planning and production results in another $1.60 spent downstream—an increase of 160%.


Event and Meeting Industry Stats


There were 251,236,000 meeting participants in 2016

If those meeting participants all formed their own country (motto: Cogitare extra arca archa), they would be the 5th largest in the world, behind China, India, the United States, and Indonesia.


Every 43 meeting participants supported one U.S. job

How many meeting participants does it take to support one job? 43. So if you want to help grow the economy—sign up for more meetings.


98% of U.S. federal employees say that in-person meetings, conference, and events are important to advancing their agency’s mission.

Trying to get 98% of people to agree on anything is a feat—I honestly don’t think you’d get 98% of people to agree that golden retriever puppies are cute. Yet 98% of U.S. federal employees agree that in-person meetings are important for their agency.


96% of small business owners say in-person meetings yield a return on investment

When you run a small business, it’s all about keeping overhead low. Yet 96% of small business owners think in-person meetings are worth the investment.


93% of senior-level business managers believe face-to-face meetings improve their ability to close deals

You can email and call all you want, but 93% of senior-level managers agree that a face-to-face meeting improves their ability to close a deal.





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