Meetings Mean Business recently launched the above video and updated their findings about the number of meetings, GDP effect and taxes generated from meetings. In fact, the meeting industry’s contribution to the GDP was greater than the motion picture, performing arts and spectator sports industries.

While this study “The Economic Significance of Meetings to the U.S. Economy” was originally produced in 2009, it was updated to reflect findings in 2012. Below are the key indicators from this study, including increases in spend that occurred from one time period to the next.


  • 1.83 million corporate meetings, trade shows, conventions and incentive meetings took place in 2012
  • Of those meetings, 71% were corporate meetings
  • Of the 225 million people present last year:
    • 80% were attendees
    • 12% were event planning staff, media, sponsors or others and
    • 8% were exhibitors
  • 85% of the meetings were conducted at venues with lodging, generating 275M room nights


  • Combined direct and indirect spend was $393B
  • Direct GDP contribution was $115B


  • 1.78M Jobs are tied to the meeting industry
  • US Labor income contribution was ~$67B from those jobs


Meetings generated a total of $28B in federal, state and local tax revenues of which:

  • 54% were in federal revenue and
  • 46% were in state and local taxes


From the year 2012 compared to the year 2009, the following increases occurred:

  • 12% increase in meeting participant spending
  • 10% increase in meeting attendance
  • 10% increase in tax contribution
  • 9% increase in GDP contribution and
  • 8% increase in jobs

Karen Kotowski, Chief Executive Officer at Convention Industry Council, sums up these findings in the following way, “The total economic output of meetings was valued at $770B in 2012. Meetings increased employment at a time when many industries didn’t have the same opportunity. 8% more jobs were created by meetings in 2012; nearly double the average employment growth rate during that time.” 

Are you responsible for event planning in your organization? SmartSource Rentals can provide you with a comprehensive offering when renting audio visual equipment for your next meeting or event. Face-to-face meetings are still important and SmartSource Rentals can help make yours shine!