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by Sarah J.F. Braley | February 12, 2014

The Convention Industry Council released new data Tuesday in its report, "Economic Significance of Meetings to the U.S. Economy." The update to a 2009 study, the figures show 1.83 million meetings were held in the United States in 2012, attended by 225 million people and contributing more than $115 billion to the country's gross domestic product. "The data proves organizations continue to value and place a priority on face-to-face meetings, even during a recovering economy," said Karen Kotowski, CMP, CAE, chief executive of the Convention Industry Council. "Total economic output of meetings was valued at $770.4 billion in 2012, a staggering figure," she added. The report also said meetings generated $88 billion in federal, state and local taxes. Most attendees traveled 50 miles or more, requiring them to spend money on hotel rooms, meals and transportation services. Read the executive summary here. An infographic illustrating the study's findings can be found here.