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

For the first time ICCA publishes country and city rankings by estimated total number of participants in 2014, as part of its public abstract of the ICCA statistics report, aimed at international associations.

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.

Table 1: 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.

Table 2: 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

U.S.A.

365,338

831

2

Spain

289,039

578

3

Germany

264,156

659

4

France

233,075

533

5

United Kingdom

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.

ICCA assists the international association community to run more efficient and effective meetings. Associations can register for the ICCA Association Portal on www.associations.iccaworld.com -a unique online platform providing a safe environment through which Association Executives could get in touch with peers to exchange valuable advice and information on their meetings.

From next year onwards, ICCA will publish its rankings by estimated total number of participants at the same time as its rankings by number of meetings.

- ENDS

See also “ICCA 2014 statistics released: Paris remains number one city, USA top country”: http://www.iccaworld.com/npps/story.cfm?nppage=4852 

About ICCA 
ICCA -the International Congress and Convention Association- is the global expert in international association meetings. ICCA represents the main specialists in organising, transporting, and accommodating international meetings and events, and comprises almost 1,000 member companies and organisations in over 90 countries worldwide. ICCA specialises in the international association meetings sector, offering unrivalled data, communication channels, and business development opportunities.