Exhibition, Convention & Meeting Industry - Statistics & Facts

Events within the exhibitions, conventions and meetings industry involve the gathering of groups of people with a common interest. This could include business, industry, hobbies and more. In 2017, there were 250 convention centers in the United States. The largest convention center in the U.S. was McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois at 2.6 million square feet. Globally, the largest exhibition center can be found outside of the United States in Hannover, Germany - the Hannover Messegelände has a gross hall capacity of 463,165 square meters.

Of the largest exhibitions and conventions in the United States, over 30 percent had more than 2,500 attendees and only six percent had fewer than 200 participants. Although attendance is high this does not reflect the number of exhibitors that attend exhibitions in the U.S., with over 35 percent reporting less than 50 exhibitors and only five percent reporting 500 or more.

While they are an important part of corporate culture, sending employees to such events comes at a, sometimes, high price for companies. In 2017, the average cost per attendee for conferences and trade shows in the United States was 523 U.S. dollars. Incentive and special events were even more costly, coming to 640 U.S. dollars per attendee.



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