March 30 is Global Meetings Industry Day, and GMID 2023 isn’t just a cele­bration but also a reminder that the meet­ings and event indus­try makes essen­tial economic and social contri­butions and still needs tailored programs to thrive. Meetings Matter. They provide undeniable value to people, businesses and communities, and their return will accelerate the travel industry’s recovery, further bolstering the world economy.

Let’s ensure elected leaders and media understand that meetings, events and business travel are essential to our economy – generating billions in travel spending, directly supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs annually, and the proven benefits to businesses bottom line. 

The following messages convey that nothing can replace face-to-face – with the intention of underscoring the unwavering value of our industry with leaders in business, government and the media. 

Topline messages:
  • There’s power in convening. Meetings provide undeniable value to people, businesses and communities – and their return will accelerate the travel industry’s growth. 
  • The economic benefits of in-person meetings and events are clear – and in 2022, the segment accounted for 38 per cent of all business travel spending in the US. 
  • Meetings drive education, knowledge and communal understanding on critical subjects – advancing fields crucial to our societal well-being. 
  • In 2022, there was nearly $100 billion in meeting and events-related travel spending – revenue critical to national and local economies in the US. 
  • The nearly $100 billion in meetings and event-related travel spending in the U.S. directly supports more than half a million American jobs. 
  • Business and convention travel is back – and convention centre bookings for 2023 are pacing 13 per cent over 2022.1
  • The benefits of meetings range from the tangible to intangible – benefiting local economies and businesses while fueling individual growth, long-lasting connections and mutual respect.
#MeetingsMatter to people
  • Strong relationships are the key to sustained business success – and meeting face-to-face is the best way to strengthen them.
  • While virtual meetings may be convenient, they are less effective in developing lasting relationships. The data shows that face-to-face meetings are the best way to capture a person’s full attention.
    • Face-to-face requests are 34 times more effective than emailed ones.2
    • More than eight in 10 executives prefer in-person meetings to virtual contact.3
  • When people meet face-to-face, relationships are developed in a way that technology cannot recreate or match.
  • Meetings create a shared sense of mission and purpose, foster empathy across organisational lines and build camaraderie that positions an organisation for success.
#MeetingsMatter to communities
  • Meetings support small and local businesses in the communities they are hosted, often providing long-lasting benefits not visible to meeting and event attendees.
  • Meetings and events help drive travel and tourism into communities and are often the lifeblood of visitor spending in many destinations.
  • Hosting an event, convention or trade show stimulates a region’s economy by bringing in new visitors who stay in area hotels, eat in local restaurants, shop in neighbourhood stores and bring new revenue to the destination.
#MeetingsMatter to business
  • A return to a thriving travel industry – and the American economy – depends on the return of business travel, meetings, events and conventions.
  • In fact, 81 per cent of executives consider business travel essential.4 5
  • Face-to-face meetings offer wide-ranging benefits to the economy and business: including helping organisations build a competitive edge and increase bottom-line revenue gains.
  • Conventions and conferences serve as critical education platforms for professionals and are vital for developing advanced skills and training.

Source: US Travel Association and Meetings Means Business, Canada.

1 Lodging Analytics Research & Consulting
2 Bakjac Consulting
3 Forbes
4 JD Power, 2022
5 JD Power, 2022