Home' micenet eMag : micenet October 2018 Contents stop holding meetings to save money.
In response, an industry-wide coalition was
established in the United States under the “Meetings
Mean Business” banner to help demonstrate the value
that business meetings, tradeshows, incentive travel,
exhibitions, conferences and events bring to people,
businesses and communities.
Today the coalition of more than 50 members
continues to push the Meetings Mean Business
cause, commissioning and releasing reports on the
value of the business event sector to the U.S.
economy (see report opposite).
Despite this initiative and some small research
papers conducted in Australia, there remains a
perception that events are frivolous and a waste
It is interesting that this is deemed to be the case
by mainstream media journalists in the case of
Hostplus at the royal commission when Hostplus is in
fact a superannuation fund designed for people
working in the hospitality sector. Ironically, those who
work in hospitality would work at events like the
So why does Hostplus do it?
At the royal commission, Mr Elia said corporate
hospitality was used for the sole purpose of retaining
the membership of Hostplus.
“It’s a great way certainly from my perspective and
the executive team’s perspective to establish very
early on and retain the relationships that are absolutely
critical in terms of retaining the default fund status of
our members and therefore retaining members,” Mr Elia said.
Speaking on hosting key employers, key stakeholders, and alliance partners at the Australian
Open in 2017, he said Hostplus worked in a competitive marketplace.
“Our competitors are doing exactly the same thing. In fact they were there [at the
He said he wished that he didn’t have to spend as much money on hospitality “but the
reality is that it is a competitive landscape that we are dealing with. Unashamedly we utilise
entertainment and corporate hospitality in order to strengthen the relationships we have with
So there you have one of the top CEOs of an Australian company which manages around
$34 billion in funds, has more than one million members, and is considered one of the best-
performing super funds in terms of member returns, being questioned about sending a small
proportion of the company’s budget on “wining and dining at the Australian Open”.
So why bag events?
Because events continue to be regarded as less than serious. Because really there is no
evidence to prove that they work.
Those working in the events industry know they do. But until someone or some organisation
commissions some real research and then develops a campaign to spread the word about the
effectiveness of events, we will continue to see headlines about the apparent frivolity of events
for years to come. m
The 2018 Economic Significance
Study* commissioned by the
Meetings Mean Business alliance
and conducted by Oxford
Economics has found that
meetings generated $325 billion
of direct spending.
The study examined meetings business
undertaken in the U.S. in 2016. Among other
findings it found:
• 1.9 million meetings occurred, with 251
• Meetings generated $325 billion of direct
• $167 billion to plan and produce meetings;
• $120 billion for meeting travel; and,
• $38 billion of other direct spending such
as spending by exhibitors.
• Meetings direct spending is growing,
expanding 23 per cent since 2009,
primarily due to an expanding number
of meeting participants.
• On average, $1294 was spent per
• Two-thirds of meeting spending was
associated with domestic overnight
• Six million international meeting participants
generated $38 billion of meetings direct
spending (11.5 per cent of the sector total).
• Meetings generated 300 million room nights.
• The meetings sector supported 2.5 million
jobs, with $95.6 billion of direct wages and
salaries. The sector directly generated
$184.2 billion in GDP.
Meetings supported a total economic impact
in 2016 of:
• $845 billion of output (business sales).
• 5.9 million jobs with $249 billion of
• $446 billion of GDP (representing
contribution to U.S. gross domestic product).
• $104 billion of federal, state and local taxes.
• The meetings sector supported more direct
jobs than many large manufacturing sectors,
including machinery, food, auto, and
chemicals. It also sustained more jobs than
the telecommunications and oil and gas
extraction industries. m
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