Paris storms back to top of ICCA City Rankings in emphatic style

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Paris has returned to the top of the ICCA City Rankings in emphatic style – hosting 40 meetings more than second place Vienna and knocking Barcelona off the summit.

The French capital hosted 212 rotating international association meetings in 2018, 22 more than last time, and returned to the number one position it last occupied in 2016.

The opening of the Paris Convention Centre in late 2017 at the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles exhibition complex significantly contributed to Paris's return to the number one spot.

The centre has already hosted major European and international conferences, such as that of the European Respiratory Society (ERS), which drew some 23,000 delegates.

Pablo Nakhlé Cerruti, CEO, Viparis, said: "We are proud to play a part in enhancing Paris's international reputation. These results once again demonstrate Viparis's expertise in hosting major events. In the field of large-scale international meetings, the competition is increasingly fierce, and Paris's leading ranking – far from being a given – requires that we continue our efforts. The Paris Convention Centre has hosted six conferences since it opened eighteen months ago, and 23 more have already been booked through 2023. Starting in 2019, the centre will welcome the joint congresses of the European Society of Cardiology and the World Heart Federation, with an expected 35,000 attendees."

The Austrian capital, joint second with Paris last year, remains in the runners-up spot – although the city hosted only 178 meetings this time round, 18 fewer than in 2017.

Last year’s number one Barcelona falls to fourth place, with Madrid entering the top-five for the first time since 2015 in third place. Meanwhile Berlin falls to fifth place from fourth in 2017.

Remaining in the top 10 but changing position are London, Prague, Singapore and Lisbon. London, Singapore and Prague drop to seventh, eighth and ninth place respectively, and Lisbon climbs three positions to hold sixth place.

Bangkok rises seven places from 17th to 10th, knocking Seoul out of the top 10. Seoul falls to 15th place, surpassed by top 20 risers and joint position holders Amsterdam and Tokyo, which jump from 16th to 13th place and 18th to 13th place respectively.

Buenos Aires stays in 11th place and Hong Kong rises to 12th. Dublin drops four places to 18th, and Stockholm holds 19th place for another year. Montréal, QC and Rome drop out of the top 20, and newcomers Brussels and Taipei enter in 17th and 20th place.

Meetings trade association ICCA captured 12,937 rotating association meetings taking place in 2018, an increase of 379 meetings on 2017 and the highest annual figure ever recorded.

CEO Senthil Gopinath said: “Although the most comprehensive global benchmark of the international association meetings sector, the ICCA rankings should not be mistaken as providing an overview of the entire meetings industry. We always seek to encourage and advise ICCA members to consult other rankings and collect their own meetings statistics to help them provide a full picture of their performance.”

He added: “We have recorded our largest ever annual snapshot of the immediate past year’s meetings data in 2018. These results closely follow the release of our 55-year history of the international association meetings market in October 2018.

“ICCA’s latest figures uphold the mature, robust growth pattern we identified in this report and provide more evidence of our firm belief that the association sector continues to be an unrivalled stimulator of global societal development and force for progress across the globe.”

Dublin shines in AMI’s Alternative ICCA Rankings

Every year AMI crunches the numbers in ICCA’s Destination Comparison Tool to make two alternative rankings based on meetings with 300 or more delegates and 500 delegates or more.

In the 300+ rankings Paris remains top with 73 meetings, but Barcelona leaps back into second place with 65 meetings dislodging Vienna, 63 meetings, which finished joint third with Singapore.

But Dublin is the big winner, catapulted from 18th spot in the original rankings to sixth spot in the new table, with more than half of its 104 meetings (56) attracting more than 300 delegates.

Dublin gains most in the 500+ rankings, too, finishing in sixth spot with 32 meetings.

In these rankings Paris, 38 meetings, is the most significant loser, dropping back to fourth place, while Barcelona finishes joint top Vienna on 42 meetings.

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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