Barcelona hosts most international association delegates in 2018

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Barcelona hosted more international association delegates than any other city last year.

The city welcomed 134,838 delegates in 2018, according to new figures published by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) based on its annual statistics report.

That put it top of the pile, ahead of Paris in second place and Vienna in third, despite the fact it only finished in second place in the official 2018 City Rankings, which capture the number of international association meetings per city.

A stand-out example of how measuring delegate numbers can present a completely different view of the meetings industry than measuring meeting numbers comes in the form of Munich.

The city jumps from 87th place in 2017 to fourth place in 2018 by estimated total of participants – an impressive 93,444. This is due to the fact the city hosted two major medical conferences in 2018: the Congress of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) with 32,858 participants, and the Congress of the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO) with 27,700 participants.

Senthil Gopinath, ICCA chief executive officer, said: “Our industry is facing challenges from saturation, consolidation and new entrants, to erosion of traditional business models and fragmentation. There are also great opportunities, including market growth, disruptive innovation, digitisation, new players, less market barriers, new audiences and new scalable models. Alongside all these developments, the number of events is continuing to grow exponentially. The most respected global comparison of destination performance in attracting international meetings, our annual statistics reports are highly anticipated by the meetings industry. They continue to provide a unique overview which encompasses – and simultaneously celebrates - the global growth of association meetings, a sector which is only set to soar in strength, influence and progress.”

Number of delegates per city

1              Barcelona            134,838

2              Paris      126,243

3              Vienna  104,775

4              Munich 93,443

5              Berlin    87,623

6              Amsterdam        85,549

7              Toronto, ON       84,600

8              Copenhagen      80,618

9              Madrid 71,885

10            Singapore            69,261

11             Lisbon   67,382

12            Buenos Aires     60,848

13           Seoul     58,996

14           London 54,788

15           Montreal, QC     54,122

16           Bangkok               53,668

17           Dublin   51,313

18           Tokyo    48,787

19           Sydney, NSW     48,272

James Lancaster
Written By
James Lancaster

AMI editor James Lancaster is a familiar face in the meetings industry and international association community. Since joining AMI in 2010, he has gained a reputation for asking difficult questions and getting lost in convention centres. Proofer, podcaster, and panellist - in his spare time, James likes to walk, read, listen to music, and drink beer.

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