Face-to-face meetings and business events are critical to Bellevue and all local economies across the globe and influence how cities are shaped, including who lives there, who works there, and who visits. The 2+ million annual face-to-face meetings and business events held annually in America not only play a critical role in connecting people and driving business results, but also in supporting 5.9 million American jobs and over $500 billion dollars in GDP.

The economic impact of in-person meetings, conferences, conventions, trade shows, and exhibitions go well beyond the walls of the hotel, convention center, or venue.  The impact radius of a meeting has at its center the meeting location, but visitors and attendees provide ancillary impact when they make purchases like staying in a hotel, grabbing coffee or drinks, enjoying meals in restaurants, or business logistics-related spending.  Visitor spending impacts the venue hosting the event but also the local businesses that support each meeting and event.  Every employee who is servicing these attendees increase the radius of that economic impact, too.

Between 2016 and 2019 the average annual economic impact of meetings and conventions in Bellevue was at or near $60 million. The chart below indicates the economic impact by year for Bellevue-based meetings and events. This chart also shows the dramatic impacts of the Pandemic on the Bellevue meetings industry costing our community economy more than $50 million in lost spending.

The overall economic impact of meetings is increased when a destination like Bellevue can provide engaging and inspiring experiences.  Experiences that are attractive to meeting attendees are also attractive to residents and other visitors. Thus, producing and supporting a shared community value and quality of life. The Meetings Industry supported more direct jobs than many large manufacturing sectors, including machinery, food, auto, and chemicals. It sustained more jobs than the telecommunications and oil and gas extraction industries as well. Every dollar spent on face-to-face meetings and business events generated an additional $1.75 for the surrounding economy.

During National Travel & Tourism Week Visit Bellevue wishes to actively engage with all community stakeholders, the media, businesses, and key policymakers around understanding the importance of in-person business meetings and these central principles:

  1. Creating Personal Connections – Personal relationships are at the core of every business decision and face-to-face meetings provide professionals with that personal interaction, culture, and understanding which leads to deeper relationships.
  2. Driving Positive Business Outcomes – Meetings and events deliver profits, help win new accounts, serve as education platforms, and allow colleagues and partners to come together to innovate and achieve positive results.
  3. Building Strong Communities – Outside of the results-driven by business meetings, the events and meetings industry creates hundreds of thousands of jobs, generates billions of dollars of revenue, and economically supports Bellevue as well as communities across America.
  4. Local Meetings is a Shared Corporate Responsibility – Part of shared corporate responsibility to our community is for businesses to support our local economy, small businesses, and community workforce through keeping their meetings, conventions, and events local in Bellevue.