Meeting Professionals International Foundation

Meeting Professionals International Foundation

August 18, 2008 16:30 ET

MPIFC: Meetings Industry a Serious Contributor to Canadian Economy

Meeting Professionals International Foundation Canada Releases Results of the "Canadian Economic Impact Study"

TORONTO, CANADA--(Marketwire - Aug. 18, 2008) - Meeting Professionals International Foundation Canada (MPIFC) today released findings of the first research study ever conducted on the economic impact of meetings in Canada.

The study, conducted by Maritz Research Canada and the Conference Board of Canada, provides data on industry revenues and delegate spending in the Canadian meetings and events sector, and on the direct and indirect benefits that the sector contributes to the Canadian economy.

According to the study, the meetings sector in Canada generated $32.2 billion in direct spending in 2006, with 70.2 million total participants, and 235,500 full-year jobs. While 57 percent of meeting participants were local residents, 39 percent were Canadians from outside the local area, and nearly 4 percent - over 2.4 million - came from the United States or other countries. Of all participants, 45 percent attended meetings in purpose-built venues like convention centres, 46 percent in hotels and resorts, and 7 percent in special event venues. These summary figures are but a small portion of the detailed results, which illustrate the sector's direct, indirect, and induced contributions to: gross domestic product (GDP); wages; jobs; and tax revenues to municipal, provincial, and federal governments.

The release of the study culminates nearly two years of data gathering and analysis. It is a milestone achievement for MPI in Canada, and for MPIFC. This is the first study to utilize the United Nations World Tourism Organization's (UNWTO) measurement model, which permits quick and accurate comparisons of meetings industry performance against other industries and the economy as a whole. Coherent definition of the "meetings sector" will lead to greater recognition of meetings and events as an economic driver.

MPIFC's founding chair, Rita Plaskett, CMP, CMM, has frequently characterized the study as the "jewel in the crown" of MPIFC's achievements to date. "The study provides the first unified methodology data measurement of dollars spent, jobs created, and tax revenues generated by meetings and events in Canada," Plaskett says. "The results demonstrate the seriousness and the value of meetings in the economy as a whole, in participating organizations, and as a profession. The Canadian Economic Impact Study is a great achievement for Canada, and MPI Foundation Canada is committed to continuing its ongoing efforts to advance the future of our industry."

Besides detailing the meeting industry's impact on the economy and employment, this groundbreaking report also provides a lens to bring focus to MPI's broader commitment to practice and promote corporate social responsibility (CSR).

"By measuring the size of the Canadian industry, MPIFC has demonstrated the potential for meeting professionals to make a difference and create a common language for education and communication across industries," says Plaskett. "This study also underscores the opportunity and the ethical obligation for the Canadian meetings industry to practice corporate social responsibility, through environmentally sustainable practices and by delivering best-in-class adult learning programs." She said this potential is consistent with a focus on the "triple bottom line" of people, planet, and profit.

"There is evidence that Canadian meeting professionals are aligning rapidly with this new imperative, and the economic impact study shows just how much professionals in the meetings industry can hope to achieve by doing so," she added.

To view or download the research results, please visit www.mpiweb.org.

About MPI

Meeting Professionals International (MPI), the meeting and event industry's largest and most vibrant global community, helps our members thrive by providing human connections to knowledge and ideas, relationships, and marketplaces. MPI membership is comprised of more than 24,000 members belonging to 69 chapters and clubs worldwide. For additional information, visit mpiweb.org.

About MPI Foundation

The MPI Foundation powers the vision of Meeting Professionals International (MPI), the meetings and events industry's largest and most vibrant global community comprised of more than 24,000 members representing 80 countries worldwide. Contributions from MPI members, chapters, and organizations are invested in high-impact programs to support a rich, global meetings and events industry and shape the future of the meetings and events profession. The MPI Foundation Canada brings development resources and support to the Canadian industry. For more information, visit mpifoundation.org.

Contact Information

  • Local Press Contacts:
    FLIP Publicity & Promotions Inc. (Toronto)
    Liz Armstrong
    416-533-7710 ext. 237
    416-434-5237 (cellular)
    liz@flip-publicity.com
    or
    Gen Blouin (Montreal)
    514-887-8187 (cellular)
    gen.blouin@gmail.com
    or
    Janette Chun Marketing Communications
    & Event Management (Vancouver)
    604-926-0840
    604-726-8247 (cellular)
    janettechun@shaw.ca
    or
    National Press Contact:
    Knock on Wood Communications + Events
    Cristina Greco
    613-236-8452 ext. 505
    613-286-3350 (cellular)
    cristina@kowpr.com
    or
    MPI Contact:
    Meeting Professionals International Headquarters (Dallas)
    Lauren Manford
    Manager of Public Relations and Communications
    972-702-3044
    lmanford@mpiweb.org