Influential Leadership and Media: How a Single Statement Can Affect an Industry

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Historically, the most powerful political and organizational leaders have been described as being charismatic. With technology's increasing impact on society, these leaders have widespread access to the masses. Utilizing charismatic leadership and media saliency theories, this study aims to analyze the impact that occurred in the Las Vegas convention industry after the President made specific comments concerning Las Vegas. These comments implied that convention spending in Las Vegas was wasteful, and resulted in the cancellation or relocation of over 400 conventions in one week. This research utilizes monthly, aggregate convention data from January 2002 to March 2014 to evaluate the impact of this comment empirically. Time series regression analysis was conducted to estimate the effect of President Obama's comment, controlling for other factors. The results suggest that President Obama's comments had a significant negative effect on both convention attendance and the number of meetings held. The findings provide insight into the effect of singular comments made by influential leaders.


Attendance; Convention; Las Vegas; Politics; Recession; President Obama

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