ICCA releases most popular cities and countries for association meetings by participant numbers

Paris and Barcelona top the city charts
22nd Jul, 2015

Like in the city ranking by number of meetings, Paris is ranked first, with an estimated total of 130,516 participants visiting 214 association meetings in 2014, closely followed by Barcelona (fifth in the city ranking by number of meetings with 182 meetings in 2014, which means Barcelona hosts relatively large meetings) with 127,469 participants. Third in both the city ranking by number of meetings and by number of participants is Madrid, with 91,452 participants at 200 meetings. London (sixth in the ranking by number of meetings) is fourth in this ranking, and Vienna (second in the ranking by number of meetings) fifth, with respectively 89,969 and 81,902 participants.

Top 10 city ranking by estimated total number of participants to all meetings organised in 2014, including number of meetings organised in 2014

Rank City # participants #meetings
1 Paris 130,516 214
2 Barcelona 127,469 182
3 Madrid 91,452 200
4 London 89,969 166
5 Vienna 81,902 202
6 Amsterdam 79,356 133
7 Berlin 76,880 193
8 Istanbul 75,864 130
9 Copenhagen 57,551 105
10 Singapore 57,497 142

The top five countries by estimated total number of participants is made up of the same countries as the ranking by number of meetings, but we see some position changes: USA is first in both rankings with 365,338 participants in 2014, Spain is one place higher in this ranking at the cost of Germany, which is third. France and UK switch places compared to the ranking by number of meetings and take fourth and fifth place respectively.

Top 10 country ranking by estimated total number of participants to all meetings organised in 2014, including number of meetings organised in 2014

Rank Country # participants # meetings
1 USA 365,338 831
2 Spain 289,039 578
3 Germany 264,156 659
4 France 233,075 533
5 UK 199,100 543
6 Italy 175,400 452
7 Australia 151,808 260
8 Japan 147,245 337
9 Canada 133,609 265
10 Netherlands 133,105 307

ICCA’s eagerly awaited annual country and city rankings by number of meetings were published on 11 May. To be included, association meetings must be held on a regular basis, have at least 50 delegates, and rotate between at least three countries.

With a track record of over 50 years of consistently collecting information on international association meetings, these rankings are one of the few benchmarks in the international meetings market for identifying and comparing the relative position of destinations, which is why these rankings attract a huge amount of attention of the meetings industry every year.

ICCA points out though that its statistics on international association meetings are often just a small segment of the total amount of international meetings taking place in a city or country, and urges its members to collect their own information on meetings hosted in their destination.

By publishing these rankings by estimated total number of participants, ICCA hopes its members will look beyond the standard ICCA rankings.

ICCA CEO Martin Sirk commented: “We can’t stress this point strongly enough: ICCA’s rankings are a snapshot of a moment in time of a database designed for sales and marketing purposes, for a very specific segment of the market, a segment moreover where decisions are made three to six years in advance. Any destination wishing to accurately present its true performance in the international meetings field needs to complement the ICCA statistics and rankings with its own robust measurement of all meetings business won for the future and hosted in the past year. With our new ICCA Statistics Tool, ICCA members can also now extract data on meetings that are especially important for their destination, for example if they’re primarily interested in meetings of more than 1,000 delegates, or which are related to a particularly important segment of the association market, such as medical sciences – we expect to see many ICCA members communicating their rankings in these specific type of meetings, and not just relying on their position in our overall rankings”.

More extensive rankings by participant numbers, as well as the worldwide and regional rankings by number of meetings are included in ICCA’s public abstract of its 2014 Statistics Report, which can be downloaded from www.associations.iccaworld.com. This public abstract is sent to over 5,300 international associations.

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