Event Planning Marketplace: Market Size
In the United States, the size of the corporate events planning market is an estimated $166.725 billion.
- The size of the corporate events planning market in the United States is around $166.725 billion as can be inferred from the following data published by the Events Industry Council in 2018:
- In 2017, direct spending on business events in the United States was $325 billion.
- In 2016, direct spending on business events in the United States was $325.045 billion, and planning/production accounted for 51.3% of this amount.
- The Events Industry Council defines business events, direct spending, and planning/production spending as follows:
- A business event, otherwise known as a meeting, is "a gathering of 10 or more participants for a minimum of four hours in a contracted venue." Examples of business events include conferences, congresses, conventions, exhibitions, incentive events, and trade shows.
- Direct spending pertains to "spending directly incurred in the planning and production of business events, travel to business events, and accompanying business events-related activities." It includes the travel and registration expenses of participants, the travel expenses of organizers, the expenses of exhibitors, and the expenses of event hosts and organizers, among others.
- Planning/production spending, a component of direct spending, pertains to the "costs incurred by organizers and hosts to plan and put on the meeting." It is separate from travel/accommodation spending.
- According to the American Express Meetings and Events North American Survey, of the meetings in the United States in 2018, 32% were internal team meetings or training events, 13% were internal or external product launches, 14% were conferences or trade shows, 17% were senior leadership meetings or board meetings, 15% were client advisory board meetings, and 10% were incentive or special events.
- The Events Industry Council reports that, in 2017, the direct impact of the business events industry on the gross domestic product (GDP) of the United States was $184.2 billion, the business events industry supported 2.489 million direct jobs in the United States, there were a total of 252.6 million business event participants in the United States, and the average spend per business event participant in the United States was $1,287.
We initially checked if there are sources in the public domain that readily provide the size of the corporate events planning market in the United States, but we quickly found that no such sources exist. Allied Market Research and Beroe, Inc. have released reports on the global events market and the global meetings and events market, respectively; however, these reports are both paywalled and they do not contain any information on the planning segment of the market. The sources we found most useful were the reports of the Events Industry Council and American Express Meetings & Events. The comprehensive reports of the Events Industry Council on the economic impact of business events or meetings on the United States and global economies helped us triangulate the size of the United States's market for corporate events planning. Page 13 of the Events Industry Council's report Global Economic Significance of Business Events shows that, in 2017, direct spending on business events in the United States amounted to $325 billion. On the other hand, page 10 of the Events Industry Council's report Economic Significance of Meetings to the US Economy shows that, in 2016, direct spending on meetings or business events in the United States amounted to $325.045 billion and that planning/production accounted for 51.3% of this amount. Since there was no marked increase in direct spending between 2016 and 2017, we assumed that current direct spending is not that far from $325 billion and that planning's share of direct spending remains at around 51.3%. With this assumption, we were able to make the following calculation:
Both figures were published by the Events Industry Council in 2018, and the reports of the Events Industry Council are the most comprehensive, non-paywalled business events industry reports available in the public domain. We attempted to determine how direct spending has grown over the years but was unable to find any clue apart from what was provided in the reports of the Events Industry Council. Page 9 of the report Economic Significance of Meetings to the US Economy shows that direct spending had grown at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23.4% between 2009 and 2016, but the fact that direct spending in 2017 remained at $325 billion suggests that we could not use this CAGR to project the current market size. Given the lack of a more up-to-date CAGR specific to business events, we made the assumption that current direct spending on business events is still in the region of $325 billion.
From the report of American Express Meetings & Events on meetings and events, we were able to gather insights about how corporate events break down by type (e.g., internal meetings, product launches, conferences or trade shows, board meetings, incentive events).