Definition: Congresses and conferences
Congresses and conferences form an economic sector defined by the concentration of people in time and space around specialised knowledge or themes requiring multipartite meeting. The transmission, exchange and renewal of knowledge constitutes the main objective of an activity whose social, cultural and economic repercussions are abundant. However, other congresses focused on leisure and non-scientific themes do exist, contributing to the exchange of experiences and lifestyles.
If concentrating people is the main object of the activity, tourism is the environment in which it is produced. All congresses generate movements of people, often from great distances, and have their own tourist needs, requiring certain specific conditions. Congresses and conferences have been widely recognised within professional tourism.
Eurostat, "Methodological manual for statistics on congresses and conferences", Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg, 2000