2018 was a record-breaking year for congresses in Paris. The Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau published its annual study – «Congress Activity» – to decipher the characteristics and evolution of meetings sector, a strategic one for the French capital, which largely contributed to the positive attendance record of the destination in 2018.
In 2018, Paris welcomed a total of 1,192 congresses (+7.4% / 2017) and 882,405 delegates, an increase of 14%, among whom were 278,616 foreign delegates (+6%).
The International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) ranked Paris the top international destination for international congresses in 2018. Outstripping Vienna by an exceptional margin of 40 congresses, Paris clocked up a total of 212 congresses (126,000 participants) according to ICCA criteria, an increase of 11.6%.
Record economic impact
Never have the ensemble of congresses analyzed in the study generated such significant economic benefits. In 2018, congress activity generated 1.34 billion euros in economic benefits (+5.5% compared to 2017) and more than 22,650 jobs in the sectors of event organization (site rental, catering, etc.) and tourism (transport, hotels, restaurants, outings, etc.). French delegates spent an average of 218 euros per day during a congress, while foreigners spent 355 euros.
A continuing increase in big congresses and a growing diversification of sectors
The number of congresses with more than 5,000 participants increased by 6.7%, totalling 32 congresses. They represent only 3% of the total but gathered 32% of delegates. 66% of congresses stayed loyal to Paris and 44% were international in scope, welcoming at least 20% of foreigners.
Medicine remains the most represented subject area (37%) followed by technology (15%) and economics (10%).
The city of Paris accounted for 86% of congresses. As for venues, they were mainly divided up between scientific sites, which hosted 39% of events, and convention centres, with 34%. However, the latter accounted for 73% of delegates. The most popular months were June, October and November, which together represent 44% of the year's congresses.
To download the study “Congress Activity in 2018”, visit this page.
Corinne Ménégaux, Managing Director of the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau, sums up these good results: “With an average of 1,000 events per year for more than 10 years, Paris has carved out an enviable position for itself in the congress sector and retains its leadership status. The list of upcoming congresses enables us to face the future with optimism and contributes to the reputation of the capital. The transformations that the City has already started (creation of hotels, major transport projects) will take on their full importance in the coming years and will all be arguments for choosing Paris.”
2019-2025 big congresses in Paris
- 2019: 47th IUPAC World Chemistry Congress & 50th General Assembly – IUPAC (3 000 participants); World Congress of the World Federation of the Deaf – WFD (4 000 participants); European Society of Cardiology Congress – ESC (33 000 participants); 19th Euretina Congress (5 000 participants); 10th Eucornea Congress (1 000 participants); 37th Congress of the European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery – ESCRS (9 000 participants).
- 2020: Bio Europe Spring (3 500 participants); European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases – ECCMID (12 500 participants); EUROPCR (13 000 participants); 6th Congress of the European Academy of Neurology (6 500 participants); International Society for Cellular Therapy Annual Meeting – ISCT (1 500 participants); IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation – ICRA (2 500 participants); 14th World Congress in Computational Mechanics and ECCOMAS Congress (3 000 participants); Toastmasters International Convention (2 000 participants); World Poultry Congress – WPSA (3 000 participants); CIGRE (10 000 participants); 25th Congress of the European Association for Cranio Maxillo Facial Surgery – EACMFS (2 500 participants).
- 2021: Advanced Technologies & Treatments for Diabetes – ATTD (2 500 participants); International Astronautical Congress - IAC (6 000 participants); International Bar Association Annual Conference – IBA (3 000 participants).
- 2022: 18th Congress of the World Federation of Occupational Therapists – WFOT (5 000 participants); European Congress of Sports Traumatology (4 500 participants); Knee Surgery and Arthroscopy – ESSKA (4 500 participants); Federation of European Neuroscience Societies Forum – FENS (8 000 participants); European Congress on Intensive Care Medicine – ESICM (6 000 participants).
- 2023: Congress of the International Institute of Refrigeration – ICN (1 100 participants).
- 2025: International Congress of Nutrition – ICN (5 000 participants).
The full report “Paris Congress Activity in 2018” prepared in collaboration with the Paris Tourism Research Department, Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau is available here.
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