According to a report by the "Big 4" accounting firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC), in 2012there were "1.83 million corporate and business meetings, trade shows, conventions, congresses, incentive events and other meetings in the U.S."
I love their definition of a meeting:
A meeting is defined as “a gathering of 10 or more participants for a minimum of four hours in a contracted venue.”
I have no idea how they track this data. But the good folks at PWC are good at their jobs, so I believe them when report these meetings had the following economic impact:
- $280B in direct spending
- 1.78M U.S. jobs
- $115B contribution to GDP
- $28B in federal, state and local tax revenue
- $66.8B in U.S. labor income
Based on these numbers, the meetings industry contribution to U.S. GDP is greater than the motion picture/recording industry ($113B), performing arts/spectator sports/museums ($87B) and information and data processing services ($80B).
Futurists have long predicted the end of this these types of events due to replacement by virtual meetings and trade shows. So far, this forecast has been very wrong.
This is another example of the paradox of place, which is despite the growing use of virtual systems and connective technologies place continues to be very important. So does face to face communications.