Exhibition, Convention & Meeting Industry - Statistics & Facts
Events within the exhibitions, conventions and meetings industry involve the gathering of groups of people for a common interest, such as business, industry or hobbies. As of October 2016, there were 252 convention centers in the United States. California and Florida had the largest number with 20 locations each, followed by Nevada which had 19 centers. The largest convention center in the U.S. was McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois at 2.6 million square feet. The largest exhibition center in the world, however, is found outside the United States in Hannover, Germany. The Hannover Mesegelände has a gross hall capacity of 463,165 square meters, McCormick Place, which ranked 9th globally, had a capacity of only 241,549 square meters.
Of the largest exhibitions and conventions in the United States, over 30 percent had more than 2,500 attendees and only ten percent had fewer than 200 participants. Although attendance is high, engagement by visitors is not ensured. A 2015 survey found that only eight percent of business travelers were engaged in 100 percent of the program when attending a tradeshow, conference or exhibition. Ten percent of the respondents admitted that by the second day of a tradeshow or conference they were 'just going through the motions'.
Attendees' lack of engagement may be a concern to businesses, as sending employees to such events is not cheap. The average cost per attendee for meetings and trade shows in the United States was 609 U.S. dollars as of August 2015. If that was not expensive enough, the cost of a meeting per person is projected to increase by four percent in North America in 2017.
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