Meetings Mean Business

May 4, 2012

This content provided by the Destination Marketing Association International.

Face-to-face business meetings have gotten a bad rap recently, but the fact is that responsible meetings mean business for both companies and communities.

FOR COMPANIES

Successful businesses utilize meetings to educate, collaborate, innovate, and secure business.

Travel and sales are inextricably linked: Business travelers estimate that 50% of prospects become customers when an in-person meeting takes place. Additionally, trade shows and exhibitions represent an important source of sales for participating companies. U.S. businesses estimate these events generate an average of 20% of their company’s annual revenue (that can often make the difference between a successful or failing company).

Spurs innovation: Even digital giants like Facebook and Google hold face-to-face meetings to launch new products. Over two thirds of executive travelers (70%) believe that business travel is “extremely” or “very” important to innovation and to “added productivity/efficiency.”

Cutting back travel is risky business: Furthermore, cutting back on business travel is seen as a significant business risk. Nearly 40% of respondents estimate that between 25% and 49% of their current customers would switch to a competitor without in-person meetings.

All in all, business travel improves corporate productivity, yielding a return on investment of 10:1. These details are from the World Travel & Tourism Council’s 2011 report, “Business Travel: A Catalyst for Economic Performance,” conducted by Oxford Economics.

FOR COMMUNITIES

Throughout the nation, business travel and meetings generate spending and create local jobs.  Annually, 1.8 million meetings directly support 1.7 million U.S. jobs – more than the US auto industry. Additionally, these meetings generate $263 billion in direct spending, $14.3 billion in federal tax revenue and $11.3 billion in state and local tax revenue.

Investing in your official destination marketing organization (DMO) to attract meetings to your destination can provide great returns for your community,” said Michael D. Gehrisch, President & CEO of Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI).

CALCULATING ROI ON EVENTS

DMOs can utilize DMAI’s new Event Impact Calculator to better articulate and understand the substantial economic impacts events have on their communities.

"Return on investment metrics are crucial to understanding the value of attracting and hosting particular events," commented Gehrisch.  DMAI's calculator outputs direct and indirect spending, jobs supported, wages earned, and state and local tax impacts. This comprehensive, flexible and localized data provides DMOs and their community stakeholders real insight into the significance of a meeting’s fiscal impact.

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