Paris shrugged off the disruptive gilets jaunes protests to host more international association meetings than any other city last year, according to the 2019 ICCA Country and City rankings.
The French capital hosted 237 regularly occurring meetings – 25 more than last year – holding onto the coveted top spot for the second consecutive year.
Lisbon, which had the highest increase (38 meetings) moved up four places to grab second spot. Regular contenders of the top 5, Berlin (3rd), Barcelona (4th) and Madrid (5th), have made it once again, but Berlin and Madrid have swapped places from last years’ rankings.
Year on year, ICCA has seen a promisingly consistent growth pattern in the association meetings market. The ICCA Association Database now includes 21,000 regularly occurring meeting series, 260,000 meeting editions and 12,000 international associations.
ICCA CEO Senthil Gopinath said: "ICCA’s annual statistics report is one of few that compares destinations’ meetings-related performance on a global scale and therefore provides great insight into global trends in the meetings industry. Given the current circumstances, it is great to once again highlight the consistent growth in association meetings globally. These figures show the need and importance of face-to-face events, and consequently that the industry will be instrumental in the global recovery when the time is right."
Impressive newcomers to the Top 50 by number of meetings are Valencia (44 places higher) and Istanbul (40 places higher), respectively holding 48th and 44th position.
Titleholder for the last two decades, the U.S.A., remains in the top country spot.
The Top 20 remains relatively unchanged with some countries moving up or down one place. France moves up to take third position from Spain, who find themselves one position lower. Similar rank swapping of one position takes place between China-P.R and Japan, Portugal and Canada, Australia and Republic of Korea, and Belgium and Sweden.
Only those meetings that meet ICCA’s stringent assessment criteria - rotating between at least three countries, have a proven attendance of at least 50 participants, and are held on a regular basis - are recorded within the global association’s annual statistics.
The full ICCA statistics reports are available now to ICCA members only in the ICCA Destination Comparison Tool. A public abstract of the report, including rankings for all countries and cities will be released to the public in mid-June.
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.