Events Council Blog

The Economic Impact of Events: Part Two with Nanette Baecher, CMP

Mar 26, 2018

In February, the Events Industry Council announced the release of its Economic Significance Survey. This survey, which looks at the economic impact of face-to-face meetings and business events, was done in partnership with Tourism Economics, an Oxford Economics company. This research revealed that the events industry accounts for hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue to the U.S. economy and supports 5.9 million jobs. As such, it is important for all events professionals to understand and appreciate the economic value our industry holds.

Nanette-BaecherWe caught up with three CMPs to get their take on the economic impact they are seeing with their events, and the role that they play. In part two we talk with Nanette Baecher, CMP, National Account Manager with Experient.

Events Industry Council: In what ways do you see events that you are involved with making a positive contribution economically?

Baecher: Many will consider the impact of the Superbowl or NCAA tournament but all events are economic contributors.  A single day event at a restaurant or other venue that employs sales and service personnel, that sources food locally will add to the prosperity of a community.  In 1992 PBS created a documentary on the “Invisible Industry”, it was our Meetings and Events Industry.  This invisible industry was brought to light again when the last administration declared some meetings to be frivolous in the wake of the 2009 AIG scandal; for a time crippling our business.  When one takes a look at all of the work that is done to support meetings and conventions, the economic impact is larger than the auto industry! 

Every time we see an economic downturn the first thing corporations cut is meetings and travel. The Meetings Mean Business Advocacy group was formed to provide a platform to show the value derived from business meetings, conferences, conventions, incentive travel, trade shows and exhibitions.  It is important for regular citizens to understand this impact because it touches every city in the nation!

Events Industry Council: In your position and knowing the economic impact that events are having, does it change your approach to the strategy?

Baecher: Today it is all about data. Can your event share demographic data about the people who are coming to an event? Can we partner with convention destinations to help them create a better environment?  Cities can easily calculate the value of an event but if we were to share more demographic data, what guests did when they were in town, cities could begin to spot trends and adjust their offerings to be more attractive.  Is this marketable to a city? 

Events Industry Council: What is the one thing that CMPs should keep in mind as it relates to this topic?

Baecher: As a CMP, I look at my role in the Industry and want to leave it better than when I arrived 30 years ago.  Logistical elements are still vitally important but I see a need now to go beyond and help drive business results for events I work with.  When an event shows positive ROI, the economic impact will take care of itself. 

Read Part One with Kristen Mulieri, CMP here.
Read Part Three with Matt DiSalvo, CMP here.