Key Industry Clusters

While Raleigh, N.C., is not the perfect fit for every type of event, our area can accommodate the majority of meetings and conventions held in the U.S. each year. Our area especially excels when hosting the conferences and conventions of three key industry clusters: Life Sciences and Biotechnology, CleanTech and Technology.

There are a number of reasons why, but we find the primary drivers are an impressive supply of well-educated and innovative people living and working here (approximately 50 percent of those age 25+ hold a bachelor's degree or higher) and a strong, collaborative environment among our academic communities, state and local governments and private industry.

If you are a meeting planner representing one of these three industry clusters and looking to attract the same kind of talented people to attend your event who already live and work in our area, then Greater Raleigh is a perfect meeting destination for you. Here are more details on why Raleigh excels at hosting your industry's meetings and events:

Life Sciences and Biotechnology

N.C. is home to the third-largest biotechnology cluster in the U.S. The vast majority of those companies are located in the Raleigh area, meaning we lead the state in both size and sophistication. Our region, the Research Triangle Region of N.C., is among the 10 leading regions in the world for biotechnology. Close to 500 life sciences companies also call this area home; among them are pharmaceutical companies, advanced medical technology and agricultural biotechnology companies and contract research organizations.

Learn more on Wake County Economic Development's website


The Research Triangle Region is one of the world's top 10 CleanTech clusters. Area universities are actively engaged in fundamental and applied research in sustainable sectors such as electric vehicles, better technologies and renewable energy. But our area's work on smart grid technologies is really what's placing the Raleigh area at the forefront of CleanTech.


More than 50 companies here operate across every segment of the smart grid value chain, with major areas of focus being information and communications technology integration, building energy management, distribution grid management and advanced metering infrastructure. An exciting addition to the local cluster is ABB's Smart Grid Center of Excellence. Located on North Carolina State University's Centennial Campus, the center includes a testing and development laboratory, a verification center and a demonstration center. 

Learn more on Wake County Economic Development's website


IBM made the decision to move to our area's renowned Research Triangle Park (RTP) in 1965 because the company knew it could find the kind of people required to lead its busines to future growth. Ever since, the expansion of major industry players continues to enrich our economy, and technology-oriented speakers and potential attendees abound here today, as a result of the workforce jobs to be had in RTP, North Carolina State University's Centennial Campus or area towns.


More than 50 defense contractors call the Research Triangle Region home, and we are just a short drive from eight military installations, including Camp Lejeune and Fort Bragg. Our state is home to the headquarters for the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) and the U.S. Army Forces Command (FORSCOM). Centrally and conveniently located, the Raleigh area is an ideal location from which to draw defense business leaders and technology experts as convention speakers and attendees.

Learn more on Wake County Economic Development's website 


The Research Triangle Region is home to 30+ video game and simulation technology companies, including Epic Games and Red Storm Entertainment, and the area is already leading the nation in the development of these advanced learning technologies. From an economic development standpoint, our county is poised to build on its position as the East Coast hub for this cluster, and conference and convention planners here can tap into the area's burgeoning offerings.

Learn more on Wake County Economic Development's website 


Within the technology sector, the Raleigh area also excels in the software development and open source industries. With a corporate roster including SAS, the world's largest privately held software company, and Allscripts, a leading healthcare IT firm, there is no doubt that our area is a hotbed. Downtown Raleigh is also now the headquarters of Red Hat, the global leader in open source software; the best and brightest technical talent is literally footsteps away from downtown's convention campus.

Learn more on Wake County Economic Development's website

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Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau

421 Fayetteville St., Ste. 1505  
Raleigh, NC 27601   1.800.849.8499

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