As an award winning producer of meetings and events Destination South is on the front lines of an industry responsible for driving a large segment of the economy. The International Special Events Society (ISES) and The Convention Industry Council (CIC) recently teamed up to produce a study that demonstrates just how extensive this industry impact is. As an ISES member we’re excited to share the findings with you.

In 2010, and again in 2013, ISES partnered with the Convention Industry Council to produce the study entitled “The Economic Significance of Meetings to the U.S. Economy”. This study addresses the many elements that make up the meetings industry. To highlight some of the key findings this infographic is a great resource. You can also reference the full report at


A few key findings that Destination South Meetings and Events found interesting:

Direct Contributions to the U.S. Economy

1.83M corporate and business meetings, trade shows, conventions, congresses, incentive events and other meetings take place in the U.S., resulting in:

  • $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

Meetings Industry Volume, Lodging and Attendees

  • 225M attendees participate in the nation’s 1.87M conventions, conferences, congresses, trade shows and exhibitions, incentive events and corporate/business meetings.
  • Of the 1.87M meetings, 1.3M are classified as corporate or business meetings• 85% of meetings are conducted at venues with lodging, generating more than 275M room nights.
  • Of the 225M attendees, 179M are delegates, 18.5M are exhibitors and 27M are others, including event organizers, staff, press, etc.

GDP Contributions Breakdown

  • The meetings industry’s direct contributions to GDP are $115B
  • Meetings’ $115 billion contribution to the U.S. GDP is greater than, for example, motion picture/recording industry ($113B), performing arts/spectator sports/museums ($87B) and information and data processing services ($80B)
  • Combined direct, indirect and induced effects of the meeting industry to GDP total $393B

Federal and State/Local Tax Revenue Breakdown

  • $14.8B in federal tax revenue is directly generate by the meetings industry
  • $13B in state and local tax revenue is directly generated by the meetings industry

Those that contributed to this study: Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) Convention Sales Professionals International (CSPI) Event Service Professionals Association (ESPA) Financial and Insurance Conference Planners (FICP) International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) International Special Events Society (ISES) National Speakers Association (NSA)