Understanding the international associations meetings industry

An estimated 24,000 association meetings are organised on a regular basis. The ICCA association database has information on approximately 80% of them.

The association market includes a wide range of meeting types and categories: 


In terms of size, budget, duration, and complexity, there are massive variations among and within categories. ICCA data has been able to identify similarities among them all. For instance, almost every speciality has an association that holds one or more meetings. These meetings typically take place at regular intervals (i.e. annual, biennial, etc.). These meetings tend to have a very long lead time, sometimes of 5 years or more.

The destinations for these meetings rotate. Organisations rarely return to the same destination within a short timespan.

The initiative to host a meeting often comes from the local counterpart, e.g. the national association. An estimated 25% to 30% of the decision-making processes no longer include an official bidding procedure. A “central initiator” selects the location and venues based on predetermined criteria.