Barcelona has claimed first place in the latest, 2017 ICCA city rankings for the first time since 2004. The city overtook Paris and Vienna to claim the first spot. The top five cities remain the same, albeit in a different order. Berlin (4th) and London (5th) make up the others in the top five.
The association meetings market continues to show robust growth, according to the new data released by ICCA. There were a record number of 12,558 rotating international association meetings during the year under review, with 346 additional meetings taking place compared to 2016. This is the highest annual figure that ICCA has ever recorded in its yearly analysis of the immediate past year’s meetings data.
In the city rankings Paris drops down to a joint second place with Vienna.
Madrid stays in seventh place for another year, and last year’s other number seven Amsterdam drops out of the top 10 to 16th place, making way for Prague to climb three places to join the top 10 in eighth place.
As in 2016, Singapore, Lisbon and Seoul remain in sixth, ninth and 10th place respectively. Notable risers are Buenos Aires, jumping from 17th to 11th place, Budapest, jumping from 16th to 12th, and Hong Kong, jumping from 19th to 13th. Rome remains in 20th place for another year. Newcomers to the top 20 in 2017 are Tokyo and Montreal.
Table 1: Top 20 city ranking by number of meetings organised in 2017
Since 2016 there has not been much change in the top 10 country rankings, apart from a minor shift in positioning. As it has done for the past two decades, USA remains in the number one position with 941 meetings, seven more than reported at this time in 2016. The cities in the top 3 have not changed, with Germany and UK remaining in second and third place after the USA. France exits the top 5 and drops to sixth place with the rise of Spain and Italy one place to fourth and fifth, and Japan retains seventh place for a second year running. China P.R. drops one place to eighth. Portugal drops out of shared 10th place to 11th in 2017. Argentina falls two spots to 21st place and Denmark enters the top 20 at 20th place.
Table 2: Top 20 country rankings by number of meetings organised in 2017
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The annual ICCA country and city rankings report only includes international association meetings that rotate between at least three countries, have a proven attendance of at least 50 participants, and are held on a regular basis. The ICCA rankings should not be mistaken for providing an overview of the entire meetings industry.
ICCA CEO Martin Sirk said: “In a world of disruption and unpredictability, the continuing growth in international association meetings is a welcome anomaly, but is not that surprising. We are still in a period of revolutionary change in terms of scientific and technological advancements, which are transforming traditional association fields such as healthcare and trade. To make sense of the tsunami of new data and information, association communities need to meet. Not just at their traditional, well-established meetings, but in new gatherings specifically invented to serve new academic fields or to reach out to new audiences. These are the pressures that we believe will continue to boost the sector for many years to come.”
The full ICCA statistics reports are available now to members only via ICCA’s Destination Comparison Tool. The rankings for all countries and cities will be released to the public in mid-June.