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Exhibitions Day is aimed at promoting the value of the exhibitions and events industry by engaging key audience segments in a more direct forum on Capitol Hill.

The Industry’s Perspective

The Jobs Originated through Launching Travel (JOLT) Act of 2013 is a bipartisan issue that would leverage the benefits of inbound international travel to the United States to increase economic growth, create more jobs, generate additional tax revenue and boost U.S. exports – strengthening the U.S. exhibitions market.

More about JOLT

  • House of Representatives (HR. 1354) – Introduced by Rep. Joseph J. Heck (R-NV-3) in March 2013 and has gained more than 150 cosponsors.
  • Senate (S. 744) – Passed by the Senate (not under the name JOLT) in April 2013 as part of comprehensive immigration reform.
  • Modernizing Visa Waiver Program (VWP) – Expanding the VWP to allow more travelers from countries closely allied to the United States to travel into the country.
  • Easing and Expediting Visa Processing – Facilitate the use of secure remote videoconferencing technology for visa interviews to reduce wait times.
  • Expanding Global Entry Program – Expand the Global Entry program that expedites entry for preapproved, low-risk international travelers.

Key Data Points

The economic contributions of the events and exhibitions industry, and in turn, the country’s competitiveness in this space, are at risk if government restrictions on travel into the U.S. are not reduced.

  • There are more than 11,000 exhibitions conducted in the U.S. every year, attracting nearly 2 million exhibiting companies. (CEIR)
  • Attendees spend an estimated $44.8 billion at U.S. events while exhibitors spend an estimated $24.5 billion each year. (CEIR)
  • Direct spending on business travel by domestic and international travelers totaled $259 billion in 2012, including $103 billion on expenditures on meetings, events and incentive programs. (Oxford Economics)


Current policies are driving foreign and domestic audiences to shift investments to events in more “traveler-friendly” markets overseas. Simultaneously, international companies are reducing how many representatives they send to the U.S. for exhibitions due to current visa restrictions and regulations.

  • Visitor visa issues impede participation in trade shows, acting as a barrier to foreign trade as U.S. companies fail to meet with current or potential prospects. Additional export losses are experienced in the form of lost international visitor spending in the hospitality and meetings industries.
  • Visa issues precluded 116,000 international participants from attending U.S. exhibitions. This includes 78,400 international attendees and 37,900 international exhibitors who were hindered from participating. (Oxford Economics)
  • 44 percent of business travelers say that they would not visit the U.S. in the next five years due to the difficult entry process. (Consensus Research)


Economic Impact:
The U.S. exhibitions industry contributes more than $79.3 billion directly to the GDP in attendee and exhibitor spending. (CEIR)

  • Job Creation: Events and exhibitions support 1.8 million jobs across the country. (CIC)
  • Tax Revenue: Meetings as a whole generate $88 billion in federal, state and local taxes each year which funds and supports our communities. (CIC)

Exports: International buyers and attendees spend an average of $13,600 when they visit a U.S. trade show, and international exhibitors spend an average of $36,100. (Oxford Economics)