April 20, 2024

The Growth Trajectory of the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions (MICE) Industry in the United States: Economic Impact, Leading Destinations, and Adapting to the New Normal Post-Covid-19

U.S. Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions Industry

Growth of MICE Industry in the United States

The Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) industry in the United States has experienced tremenedous growth over the past few decades. The industry saw an annual growth rate of over 5% between 2010-2015 according to industry reports. This has made the US MICE industry one of the leading and largest in the world.

Some of the key factors that have contributed to the strong growth include the rise of the knowledge-based economy, technological innovations, increased globalization of business, expansion of the tourism industry and the infrastructure developments in major convention cities. Large event facilities, upgraded hotels, improved transportation and communication networks have made the US extremely conducive for hosting all kinds of professional and corporate events.

Economic Impact of MICE Industry

The MICE industry has a huge impact on the US economy. As per recent studies, the industry contributes over $115 billion to the GDP annually and supports over 1.1 million jobs nationwide. The positive ripple effect is seen across various related sectors as well like transportation, accommodation, F&B, entertainment and more.

Meetings are the largest segment in terms of both economic output and employment. Business meetings and conferences held domestically generate over $40 billion in direct spending every year. International meetings bring in additional billions through foreign delegate spending.

Incentive travel is another lucrative segment within MICE. Companies invest billions in motivating employees and rewarding top performers through travel to exciting destinations. This helps boost local tourism and hospitality industries significantly.

Exhibitions and trade shows attract large business gatherings and are important platforms for networking, commerce and deal-making. Major conventions in cities like Las Vegas, Orlando, Chicago, Atlanta etc. significantly lift local and regional economies.

Leading Convention Destinations

Certain cities have emerged as the leading MICE hubs in the country due to their world-class infrastructure and expertise in hosting corporate events. Let’s look at some of the top convention destinations.

Las Vegas tops the list as it hosted over 21,000 meetings and conventions in 2019 attracting nearly 7 million delegates. With its iconic integrated resorts and hundreds of meeting venues, Las Vegas is considered the ultimate destination for incentives as well.

Orlando is another fast-growing convention hotspot especially due to its array of theme parks which are ideal for hosting incentive groups. Over 12,500 meetings were held in Orlando in 2018 generating $4.3 billion in total spending.

Chicago hosted over 1,500 conventions in 2020 despite the pandemic, demonstrating its resilience. With venues like McCormick Place, Donald E. Stephens Convention Center and multiple hotels, Chicago guarantees seamless events.

Atlanta hosted over 2,000 association meetings in 2019 making it one of the most popular spots on the East Coast. Its innovative facilities, southern charm and accessibility have cemented its place among top convention cities.

Other notable convention centers that deliver large-scale events include Orange County Convention Center, Austin Convention Center, Los Angeles Convention Center, Miami Beach Convention Center and Georgia World Congress Center.

Adapting to the New Normal

The Covid-19 pandemic posed immense challenges for the entire MICE industry globally. Strict travel restrictions and social distancing regulations led to mass cancellations and postponements of planned events. However, embracing technology ensured the show could go on in a virtual/hybrid avatar.

Major convention centers, hotels and event planners had to pivot quickly and adapt their spaces, infrastructure and services for hybrid and virtual events. Live streamed keynotes, interactive online panels, virtual exhibitions and networking sessions became the new normal to ensure business continuity.

While in-person activities are catching pace again in 2022, the industry expects hybrid models to stay. This will unlock new opportunities by combining the physical and virtual worlds, making events more inclusive and sustainable worldwide. With innovation and resilience, the MICE industry in the US is rebooting strongly and gearing up for greater growth ahead.

1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it