As 2012 comes to an end, it’s been a good year for Omaha, and 2013 is starting off in the same fashion. Big events, such as the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in January, continue to put Omaha on a national stage and create great buzz for our city. This time of year, we’re also reminded that sometimes the smaller, less shiny things can also be valuable.
Case in point, John Deere and Company held its 2012 North American Dealer meeting in Omaha this past August, bringing with it more than 4,100 overnight visitors. The economic impact of this one meeting was $7.3 million, including more than a half-million dollars generated in local taxes. In 2012, meetings booked through the Omaha Convention and Visitors Bureau infused more than $25 million into Omaha’s economy.
This illustrates the power meetings have on our local economy in terms we can all understand. It’s been challenging to convey the economic importance of meetings to the local community, but we now have a new way to accurately calculate the impact and pass this important information along to the public.
In partnership with Destination Management Association International, the Omaha CVB has developed a new system of calculating the economic impact of meetings in Omaha and their value to the city and its residents. A trained researcher is now on staff to determine the impact and provide details, including the amount of money spent by visiting participants, meeting planners, and exhibitors, along with the taxes generated by the meeting. The Omaha CVB will calculate the impact for all meetings booked through its office and will provide the service to other entities interested in determining the value of meetings at their facilities.
Happy Holidays, and here’s to a new year of toasting Omaha’s economic health.