Why Meetings Matter
Benefits Include Human Interaction, Even Global Economy
“Humans have a fundamental need to belong,” says Dr. Nathan DeWall, a psychologist at the University of Kentucky, “just as we have needs for positive and lasting relationships. This need is deeply rooted in our evolutionary history.”
The need for creating and fostering meaningful connections is as old as the human race. Just take inventory of your own memory bank. Warm family gatherings, fun meet-ups with friends, unforgettable family vacations, enjoyable moments at a company retreat – that’s the stuff good times and happy memories are made of.
In fact, when humans meet other humans, science tells us that the brain responds by releasing neurotransmitters – including dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine – creating energy, focus and motivation. Every time we have a positive interaction with another person, our brain “lights up,” firing neurotransmitters and activating receptors. It’s part of our DNA.
This also applies to business meetings, where these science-backed findings have long been taken into consideration by savvy meeting planners. Intentional planning has great impact on the meeting outcome and the experience we deliver to meeting participants. Some of these planning methods include interactive program points with audience participation, technology and gamification in meetings, unique team-building activities and healthy food choices.
Meetings Deliver Value
But there is more. The benefits of business meetings are multi-layered. Be it for brand recognition, knowledge transfer, collaboration, innovation, career growth, new business opportunities, future sales – whatever the business purpose is, meetings deliver value*:
- Event organizers ranked relationship management, awareness and new customers as the most important ways they measure the catalytic impacts of business events.
- 67% view building relationships through face-to-face interaction as most difficult to replace.
- As much as 22% of new customers are generated through in-person events.
- The reduction of business events due to COVID-19 led to significant loss of innovation, with 65% reporting a reduction in research and development prioritization.
- Organizers believe an average of 44% of revenues would be lost without hosting in-person events.
In addition, meetings profoundly impact the domestic economy with a trickle-down effect to local communities. The US Travel Association reports:
“Prior to the pandemic (2019), meetings and events accounted for 42% of all business travel spending and 11% of all travel spending in the U.S. The nearly $130 billion in meetings-related travel spending in the U.S. directly supported 800,000 American jobs, $42 billion in employee payroll and $19 billion in federal, state and local tax receipts.”
On a global scale, the impact of meetings is even more staggering*. Total impacts of global business events (2019):
- Accounting for indirect and induced impacts, business events supported a total global economic impact in 2019 of:
– $2.8 trillion of output (business sales)
– 5 million jobs
– $1.6 trillion of GDP (representing contribution to global gross domestic product)
- The business events sector directly generated more output (business sales) than many large global sectors, including telecommunication equipment and air transport.
- The $1.62 trillion of total GDP supported by global business events would rank as the 13th largest economy globally.
- Based on its $662.6 billion direct GDP impact, the business events sector would rank as the 21st largest economy globally.
Now you know why we at RMI love meetings. Meetings matter on a personal human, local economic and definitely global economic level. If you are looking for professional support with your meetings, whether it’s in the strategic planning phase or the on-site execution, reach out to us. Event management is a service that RMI offers to help clients succeed. I would love to hear from you and discuss how we can help.
*Source: Global Economic Significance Study 2023. Events Industry Council in collaboration with Oxford Economics. Used with permission.