UK meetings industry contributes £58.4 billion to economy, according to report

The meetings industry is Britain’s 17th biggest contributor to its gross domestic product (GDP) with a worth of around £58.4 billion, according to new research.

After months of waiting, the UK Economic Impact Study (UKEIS), commissioned by the MPI Foundation, has finally revealed the significant impact that UK-based meetings have on the economy.

According to conference-news.co.uk, the industry generates three times more for UK GDP than agriculture and also contributes £21.1 billion in taxes.   

Undertaken by the International Centre for Research in Events, the report also named the meetings industry Britain’s 16th largest employer with more than 515,000 members of staff employed directly – double that of the burgeoning telecoms industry.

UKEIS research showed that over 1.3 million meetings were held in the UK in 2011, with guests spending just under £40 billion to be in attendance.

The demand for spaces to hold these meetings has seemingly never been higher, and it’s a good job the UK currently houses 10,000 event venues to service clients. When spread out, this is the equivalent of 6,000 football pitches and could seat 13.5 per cent of the British population at any given time.

Commenting on what this highly positive study could mean for the industry, MPI president and chief executive officer Paul Van Deventer told meetpie.com: “At MPI, we believe this research provides an invaluable tool for professionals in our industry to use to enhance the perception of the meetings industry in the UK.”