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5 Jul

Top 20 Most Popular Cities for Conferences

ICCA (international Congress and Convention Association) announces their rankings, and you thought the women’s world cup was exciting!

2018 City rankings: Barcelona hosts most delegates despite fewer number of meetings

Table 1: City ranking by estimated total number of participants in 2018

RankCity2018
1Barcelona134,838
2Paris126,243
3Vienna104,775
4Munich93,443
5Berlin87,623
6Amsterdam85,549
7Toronto, ON84,600
8Copenhagen80,618
9Madrid71,885
10Singapore69,261
11Lisbon67,382
12Buenos Aires60,848
13Seoul58,996
14London54,788
15Montreal, QC54,122
16Bangkok53,668
17Dublin51,313
18Tokyo48,787
19Sydney, NSW48,272
20Hong Kong47,630

2018 Country/Territory rankings: U.S.A. remains in the top spot

The U.S.A. remains in the top country spot with an estimated total of 384,035 participants hosted in 2018. Per this ranking, Spain and Germany swap places compared to the rankings by number of meetings, with Spain in second place and Germany in third. France also remains in fourth, as with the ranking by number of meetings.

Canada, 10th in the ranking by number of meetings, enters the top 5 by estimated total number of participants, jumping from 168,000 to 203,000 participants in 2018, at an increase of 20% compared to 2017.

Table 2: Country/Territory rankings by estimated total number of participants in 2018

RankCountry/Territory2018
1U.S.A.384,035
2Spain296,825
3Germany293,337
4France241,044
5Canada203,429
6United Kingdom181,149
7Italy168,578
8Japan168,248
9Netherlands149,513
10China-P.R.146,982
11Austria120,981
12Australia116,000
13Portugal113,154
14Brazil106,045
15Republic of Korea105,084
16Argentina95,632
17Denmark91,975
18Sweden83,796
19Switzerland75,640
20Belgium72,846

Global association meeting trends

According to ICCA Statistics released in 2013 to mark the 50-year growth of the association sector, between 1963 and 2013, the number of international association meetings doubled every 10 years.  ICCA’s latest industry report on the 55-year growth of the international association meetings market confirmed that this exponential growth trend has now slowly transcended into a more mature, yet still solid, growth pattern between 2013 and 2017. The 2018 figures seem to confirm this trend.

ICCA’s statistics provide an extensive picture of how the association meetings sector is continuing to diversify, especially in terms of regional rotation area and regional popularity for hosting business events. In keeping with tradition, Europe remains by far the most popular region for association meetings, but Asia-Pacific and the Middle East are rapidly increasing their share of the market.

Unsurprisingly, Medical Science (16.9%), Technology (14.2%) and Science (13.5%) are the three most popular international association meeting topics. September remains the most popular month for organising international association meetings. In another strong indication of healthy market growth, the average total expenditure at all international meetings in the ICCA Association Database has increased by a promising 4% in 2018, from 10.6 billion EUR in 2017 to over 11 billion EUR in 2018.

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