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New study shows business events inject more than one trillion dollars into the global economy

Oct 17, 2018

Las Vegas, NV – The Events Industry Council (EIC) announced today preliminary results of an unprecedented worldwide study on the economic significance of face-to-face business events.

The Global Economic Significance of Business Events, conducted by Oxford Economics is the first-ever comprehensive study on the impact of business events. The research was made possible by a ground-breaking industry collaboration with the EIC in partnership with IMEX, Hilton, the MPI Foundation and the PCMA Education Foundation.

The trillion-dollar (USD outlay reflects the direct spending attributed to planning, producing, attending and/or hosting business events which include meetings, conferences, conventions, exhibitions and incentive travel. As a commercial engine, this would rank the business events sector alongside consumer electronics in terms of size and scope.

“IMEX America, which brings together more than 13,000 of the industry’s leading decision-makers and influencers, is the ideal place to share the powerful effect business events have – economically, socially and culturally,” said Tina Wehmeir, CMP, CAE, Chair, Events Industry Council. “This research will be a critical tool in demonstrating why business events are key to growth and development in every corner of the world.”

In 2017, business events brought together more than 1.4 billion participants in over 180 countries.


While North America had the highest spend, every major region is a contributor:

Business events direct spending by region:

Source: Events Industry Council; Oxford Economics

The EIC expects to make the full research report available on its website 9 November, which will also include the total economic impact of business events, including jobs and GDP, as well as ranking of the top 50 countries.  EIC is also sharing the link via #BE1TrillionStrong.

Events Industry Council CEO, Karen Kotowski, CMP, CAE noted “The Global Economic Significance of Business Events offers a compelling snapshot of the broad reach, scope and strength of our industry. The findings will help us tell a more complete story of how and why business events serve as a major economic generator. We are especially fortunate that industry champions Hilton, IMEX, the MPI Foundation and the PCMA Education Foundation made it possible to quantify the real value of business events.”

To access the summary report, click here.                                               

Media inquiries:
Susan Iris


About Events Industry Council

The Events Industry Council’s more than 30 member organisations represent over 103,500 individuals and 19,500 firms and properties involved in the events industry. The Events Industry Council promotes high standards and professionalism in the events industry with the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) and four signature programmes – Sustainability, Industry Insights, Knowledge and Leadership. Learn more at

About Oxford Economics

Oxford Economics is one of the world’s foremost independent global advisory firms, providing reports, forecasts and analytical tools on 200 countries, 100 industrial sectors and over 4,000 locations. Our best-of-class global economic and industry models and analytical tools give us an unparalleled ability to forecast external market trends and assess their economic, social and