ALEXANDRIA, Virginia — The Convention Industry Council (CIC) released data in a report called the Economic Significance of Meetings to the U.S. Economy. An update to the 2009 study, the new figures show significant increases in meeting participants, tax contribution and job growth from 2009 to 2012.
During the 2012 calendar year, 1.83 million meetings were held in the United States, attended by 225 million participants and contributing more than $115 billion to gross domestic product to fuel the economy. The meetings’ contribution to GDP surpasses that of the air transportation, motion picture, sound recording, performing arts and spectator sport industries.
“The data proves organizations continue to value and place a priority on face-to-face meetings, even during a recovering economy,” said Karen Kotowski, chief executive of the CIC. “Total economic output of meetings was valued at $770.4 billion dollars in 2012, a staggering figure. Not only does that mean more meetings held [but] they were attended by more people.”
“More meetings bring more jobs,” said Kotowski. “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.”
Meetings also generated $88 billion in federal, state and local taxes to fund and support communities across the country. Most meeting participants in 2012 traveled 50 miles or more to attend a meeting, consuming hotel rooms, restaurant meals and transportation services, and having a positive impact on cities and businesses across the country.
An executive summary of the research is available online at