This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

March 23, 2011

Trends in Corporate Learning

Building on its previous research, The Convention Industry Council recently released a new study, "The Economic Significance of Meetings to the U.S. Economy". This landmark study revealed that the United States of the face-to-face meetings industry directly supports 1.7 million jobs and provides a $106 billion contribution to GDP. Moreover, it is responsible for $263 billion in spending, $60 billion in labor revenue, $14.3 billion in federal tax revenue, and $11.3 billion in state and local tax revenue.

Sponsored by an alliance of 14 organizations and conducted by PwC US, the study is the first-ever study of the size and scope of its kind. Though somewhat self-serving, the research quantified the economic contributions made by the 1.8 million meetings, trade shows, conventions, congresses, incentive events and other meetings that take place across the country.

In 2009, a similar study demonstrated the return on investment and the value of face-to-face meetings. The meetings industry can play a critical role in supporting jobs in communities and helping bring the US out of its economic slowdown. Meetings can create environments that foster innovation, consensus, and business success.

This new research quantifies the economic significance of the sector for legislators, regulators, and economists. Conducting this research was a very important move to eliminate the possibility of what happened in 2008, when the current administration came down hard on financial institutions that had planned large expensive meetings.

The 1.7 million jobs generated by the meetings industry are larger than many other US industries. Those jobs generate $60 billion in labor income and support another 4.6 million workers, including industry suppliers and others. All told, the Total Economic Output provided is $907 billion to the US economy, about 16 percent of the GDP, and kept a total of 6.3 million people employed in full- and part-time jobs.

In spite of the popularity of new electronic media, we expect the face-to-face meetings industry to continue to grow and to continue to contribute more to the US GDP. We also believe that were the studies available for other parts of the world, we would see similar, if not greater, increases.

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