The Economic Impact of In-Person Meetings and Events

Not only do large, in-person events spur human value and connection—but they also serve as a significant economic driver, injecting valuable spending dollars back into host communities and the U.S. economy.

Professional Meetings and Events: A Big Piece of the Pie

• Professional Meetings and Events (PMEs) accounted for 42% of all business travel spending and 11% of all travel spending in the U.S. prior to the pandemic (2019) 
• The nearly $130 billion in PME-related travel spending in the U.S. directly supported: 

  • 800,000 American jobs 
  • $42 billion in employee payroll 
  • $19 billion in federal, state and local tax receipts

Pandemic Pains: The Profound Ripple Effect of Losses

 • The COVID-19 pandemic has decimated PMEs—a sector that suffered even worse losses than the overall travel industry 

• This once-powerful travel industry segment and major economic driver saw a staggering 76% decline in direct travel spending in 2020. In other words, spending was at just 24% of 2019 levels

• In comparison, overall travel spending in the U.S. (domestic and international) declined by 42%

• $97 billion in PME-related travel spending was lost in 2020 alone. As a result of the reduced travel spending: 

  • 640,000 American jobs were lost 
  • $29 billion in potential payroll receipts were lost 
  • $14 billion in potential travel-generated taxes were lost
A Long Road Ahead 

• In 2021, the PME industry did not make the strides toward recovery that were anticipated as in-person events continued to face ongoing challenges including new COVID-19 variants, negative media coverage and ongoing uncertainty 
• PME-related travel spending remained at just 36% of 2019 levels, and total two-year losses (2020 and 2021) amounted to roughly $180 billion • PMEs are expected to partially recover in 2022, but spending is still projected to remain at just 68% of 2019 levels 
• The sector is not expected to fully recover until at least 2024, based on the latest U.S. Travel Forecast 
• A return to a thriving travel industry—and American economy—is dependent on the swift return of business travel, meetings and events

Source: Meetings Mean Business

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Shopping Cart