Meetings Spending Tops Trillion-Dollar Mark

A study conducted by Oxford Economics, released at IMEX America, sees big spending on events.


Direct spending on meetings and events has passed the $1 trillion mark. Those were the preliminary results of a worldwide study on the economic significance of meetings announced by the Events Industry Council at IMEX America in Las Vegas yesterday.

Conducted by Oxford Economics and co-sponsored by the EIC, IMEX, Hilton, the MPI Foundation and the PCMA Education Foundation, the report's trillion-dollar estimate reflects spending on the planning, producing, attending and/or hosting business events, which include meetings, conferences, conventions, exhibitions and incentive travel.

"This research is a critical tool in demonstrating why business events are key to growth and development in every corner of the world," said Tina Wehmeir, CMP, CAE, Chair of the EIC.

Other stats that paint a picture of what meetings looked like in 2017, when the study was conducted, include:

• Meetings involved more that 1.4 billion participants across more than 180 countries
• On average $711 was spent per participant
• Most spending was done in 50 countries which accounted for 96 percent of the global total

Here is how the spending total breaks down: 

• North America: $381 billion 
• Asia: $290.9 billion 
• Western Europe: $266 bilion
• Latin America and the Caribbean: $33 billion 
• Africa: 23.4 billion
• Central and Eastern Europe: $23.2 billion 
• Middle East: $12 billion