by Michael C. Lowe | July 31, 2013
Traveling for meetings helps the government be more efficient and effective, according to a new study conducted by Rockport Analytics. In contrast, canceling government participation in certain key events can also carry significant costs and inhibits the government from performing important functions. The study found that the cancellation of the 2013 Military Health System Conference, an annual training event for several thousand military medical personnel, cost the government more than $800,000 due to replacement costs and lost revenues. 

Additional findings from the report include: Spending on government meetings operations in 2011 was significantly lower than that of the private sector -- an average of $173 per delegate, per day, compared with $339 for the private sector. Of the private-sector executives surveyed, 74 percent said having government employees present at meetings added value to their firm through knowledge transfer. The majority of government supervisors (89 percent) said meetings benefit citizens, and 85 percent of government respondents agreed that meetings added value to employee development and training.

Government travel for meetings and events had a total economic impact of $24.4 billion in 2011, supported 343,800 U.S. jobs and $14.5 billion in U.S. wages, and contributed $5.5 billion in tax revenue. The results include responses from nearly 600 corporate executives and senior government decision-makers who attended or sent a staff member to a meeting] in the past 12 months.