Record-breaking congress activity in Paris in 2018!

Paris welcomed a total of 1,192 congresses in 2018, up 7.4% from 2017, and 882,405 delegates, up 14% from 2017. These figures are unprecedented for the French capital, a city already focused on the future and aiming to continue this trend.

An open and welcoming city, Paris landed the title of ‘world’s number one destination for international congresses’ in the International Congress and Convention Association’s 2018 ranking. With 212 congresses meeting ICCA criteria, the French capital sits in first place ahead of Vienna (172) and Madrid (165).

Never before have congresses in Paris yielded such significant economic benefits. In 2018, congresses generated €1.34 billion, up 5.5% from 2017, as well as 22,650 jobs (full-time equivalent) in the sectors of events management (venue hire, catering, etc.) and tourism (transport, hospitality, dining, outings, etc.).

Another notable area of growth in 2018: the number of congresses with over 5,000 participants rose 6.7% from 2017, with a total of 32 congresses. Medicine was the most represented sector, in line with previous years, followed by technology (15%) and the economy (10%). 31.6% of participants were international delegates, who attended 53.5% of congresses held in Paris.

After such good results in 2018, Paris has no intention of slowing down: the City has already secured more high-profile congresses, starting with the congress of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) in August 2019, as well as the congress of the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO), who have just announced that their congress will be held in Paris for the first time in 2021.


Key figures:

• 3.2 congresses per day on average in Paris

• 73% of congresses take place annually

• The majority of congresses take place in June, November, October and March

• Average duration is 2.2 days (2.7 for international congresses and 1.7 for national congresses)

• 66% of congresses are sedentary (always take place in Paris or the Île-de-France region)

• 48% of congresses involve international participation (at least 20% international participants)

• 69% of congresses (820) had fewer than 500 delegates and 3% had more than 5,000 (32 congresses)

• Scientific venues welcomed 39% of events compared with 34% for congress centres, though these received 73% of delegates

• 335 venues in Paris welcomed congresses

Download the study on congress activity in 2018