Toulouse, a special destination to host international scientific congresses

Toulouse will host to the ESOF (European Science Open Forum) congress in July, the largest inter-disciplinary gathering devoted to science and innovation in Europe and a first for France. The country’s fourth city in terms of the number of congresses hosted according to the ICCA rankings, Toulouse benefits from a significant scientific community and a renowned expertise in the latest scientific fields with regards to innovation (French Tech Label). These characteristics allow the fourth largest city in France to stand out and position itself as a leading destination for hosting scientific congresses.

The Toulouse Métropole Development Agency, through its Convention Bureau, works towards encouraging the staging of professional events of major international significance, such as the ESOF, in its capacity as co-organiser alongside the Federal University of Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées who are responsible for this international congress.


A veritable gateway to staging professional events, the Convention Bureau presents Toulouse’s bids to host major international science congresses.

In addition to events such as IFAC (International Federation of Automatic Control), the first ever congress in Toulouse to have welcomed 3,500 delegates from more than 50 countries over 5 days in 2017, the Convention Bureau has also won the bidding for other leading professional events that the Toulouse metropolitan area will soon be welcoming.

For each of these events, the agency’s support has proved to be a determining factor when meeting the specifications of the organising bodies: mobilise the local business ecosystem (officials, businesses, research laboratories …), interface with professionals, host visits, find suitable venues and offer support in setting up the event itself:

  • Toulouse will host the 24th congress of the International Planetarium Society (IPS), the international gathering for planetarium professionals. The council of the International Planetarium Society has selected France for the very first time. Over 5 days, 500 professionals from the world of planetariums, including facilitators, programmers, scientists, builders and operators of planetariums, from 5 continents will come together. From 1st to 5th July 2018 at the Cité de l’Espace.

  • FAB14, the largest international event dedicated to digital manufacturing, will be held for the very first time in France here in Toulouse. This congress brings together 500 laboratories devoted to digital manufacturing from across the globe, more than 1,000 members of the Fab Lab network and 50 workshops. More than 16,000 visitors are expected at the Pierre Baudis Congress Centre from 16th to 22nd July 2018.

  • The Development Agency is a founding partner of Emtech Europe, the headline conference of the MIT Technology Review and will host this event once again for the fourth consecutive year. The conference is aimed at a professional audience (start-uppers, scientists, company directors and entrepreneurs) that will be attendance in order to explore the technologies of tomorrow in sectors as varied as artificial intelligence, biotechnologies and even blockchain. 500 delegates are expected on 2nd and 3rd October 2018 at the Quai des Savoirs.

  • Toulouse White Biotechnology received support from the Development Agency in putting together its bid to host the EFIB (European Forum of Industrial Biotechnology and the Bioeconomy) conference in 2018. EFIB is recognised around the world as the leading annual meeting place for the various companies and organisations in charge of policy and the economic aspects that govern biotechnology. More than 600 international participants drawn from around thirty different countries are expected from 16th to 18th October 2018 at the Pierre Baudis Congress Centre.


Toulouse boasts a brand new facility, the new Exhibitions Park & Convention Centre, which will open in 2020.

Key figures: 7 exhibition halls covering 40,000m², a Convention Centre of 15,000m², capacity for 3,400 people in plenary sessions, an outdoor space of 25,000m², 5,000 parking spaces…. This new facility, unique in France, will allow Toulouse to confirm its place as the reference point for destinations hosting international science congresses.


Part of the Toulouse Métropole Development Agency, the main mission of the Convention Bureau is to promote Toulouse to project leaders across the MICE and congress sectors and to convince these professionals that Toulouse is the perfect destination for their events. The Convention Bureau is also responsible for providing advice and support to these event organisers and acts as a facilitator for the entire Toulouse destination. It can also provide:

  • Support in creating bid documents

  • Liaison with private and public partners in the destination

  • Help in finding professionals that meet the needs of the project

  • Access to a personalised event management platform

  • The organisation of inspection visits

  • The implementation of the « welcome pack »

In order to support its development strategy, the Convention Bureau also launched a brand new web site:


Camille FAURE
Congress and Events Development Manager - Toulouse Convention Bureau
+33 5 81 31 30 28