U.S. Executives Say Face-to-Face Meetings Grow Revenue

According to Oxford Economics research, every dollar U.S. companies spend on business travel yields a $5.90 return on investment.

Geoff Freeman, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association
Geoff Freeman, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association

Face-to-face meetings and business travel create measurable benefits for companies and organizations — from increased revenue to lasting and effective professional relationships, according to the U.S. Travel Association.

This is the message the U.S. travel industry — and meetings professionals around the world — will share March 30 on Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID), the annual international day of advocacy showcasing the value that business meetings, trade shows, incentive travel, exhibitions, conferences and conventions bring to people, businesses and the economy.

“Business leaders know the most persuasive communication doesn’t happen through a screen — it happens when you meet face-to-face,” said Geoff Freeman, president and CEO of U.S. Travel. “Even in a tight economy, face-to-face meetings matter for businesses and workers.”

A 2021 Oxford Economics study featuring statistical modeling over 26 years and 14 industries determined that for every dollar invested in business travel, U.S. companies experienced a $5.90 return in terms of revenue.

According to a December 2022 survey from J.D. Power and Tourism Economics, 81 percent of executives view business travel as essential to company operations. And a report in the Harvard Business Review found that face-to-face requests are 34 times more effective than emailed ones.

Meetings Impact on the Economy and Jobs

Professional meetings fuel economic growth and local job creation, as well. In 2022, there was nearly $100 billion in events-related travel spending — representing 38 percent of all business travel expenditures. That spending supported 600,000 U.S. jobs.

“Professional meetings are critical to the success of other industries, like manufacturing, education and health care, bringing together decision-makers across the public and private sectors,” said Freeman. “When you think about it, there is practically no industry sector that doesn’t rely on professional travel to advance its business or goals.”

The federal government has a significant role to play in jumpstarting these business travel activities, and its employees should be encouraged to return to the office and get back on the road.

“The federal workforce can provide incredible value to meetings and events while simultaneously setting the tone for private-sector companies looking to return to the road,” added Freeman.

Find out more about how organizations around the U.S. travel industry are celebrating the power of meetings on GMID, which is overseen by the U.S. Travel Association’s Meetings Mean Business Coalition.