U.S. Travel Highlights Importance of In-Person Meetings

Face-to-face meetings and business travel creates measurable benefits for companies and organizations—from increased revenue to lasting and effective professional relationships. This is the message the U.S. travel industry—and meetings professionals around the world—shared on Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID), held each March 30.

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

A 2021 Oxford Economics study including 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. And, according to a survey from J.D. Power and Tourism Economics, 81 percent of executives view business travel as essential to company operations. A study reported in the “Harvard Business Review” found that face-to-face requests are 34 times more effective than e-mailed ones.

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

“Professional meetings are critical to the success of other industries like manufacturing, education and healthcare, 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 jump-starting these business travel activities and 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,” he added.

Here’s how some organizations around the U.S. travel industry celebrated the power of meetings on Global Meetings Industry Day:

  • Hilton invited organizations to share their meeting success story for its “The Meeting that Meant Everything” contest
  • PCMA New England partnered with MPI New England to celebrate GMID 2023 in Greater Boston with an educational presentation and networking opportunities
  • Meeting Professionals International hosted a 12-hour broadcast featuring industry leaders sharing insights and experiences on the impact of meetings on the global economy
  • Visit Orlando filmed a video message in downtown Orlando on the power of meetings and events
  • New Orleans & Company hosted an interactive panel on the power of meetings

GMID is powered by the U.S. Travel Association’s Meetings Mean Business Coalition, co-chaired by Meet Boston President and CEO Martha Sheridan and MGM Resorts International Senior Vice President and Chief Sales Officer Stephanie Glanzer.

For more information, visit www.ustravel.org.

Related Stories

Mills James Cites 5 Trends Defining Meeting Experience in 2023

IMEX Frankfurt to Host Event on Gender Equality Challenges

Visit Lauderdale Celebrates Global Meetings Industry Day

AREA15 Adds New Multi-Purpose Venue