Americas: If You Plan It, Will They Come?
The CEO of Estée Lauder once suggested using a “lipstick index” as an economic indicator, in the belief that sales of lipstick go up in hard times because women can’t afford higher priced items like clothes or shoes. These days a better symbol may be a name tag, because there is no better metric of the health of the global economy than meetings. International and domestic conventions, conferences, and events are the best way to sell products, educate colleagues and clients, and exchange ideas and research.
Anyone doubting that these activities are integral to the financial health of the United States should take a look at the most recent Meetings Mean Business Economic Impact Statement. The taxes from meetings and events—just taxes, not overall spending or indirect benefits—total $19.9 billion. To put that in context, it is more than enough to cover the $19.3 billion budget for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration with enough
left over to fund the National Endowment for the Arts. Hey astronauts and jazz musicians, you’re welcome.