Barcelona and the US take top spots in ICCA’s 2019 rankings

Barcelona and the US have topped the city and country rankings by estimated total number of participants respectively, in ICCA’s recently-released 2019 Statistics Report.

Barcelona, fourth in the ranking by number of meetings, tops the chart for an estimated total number of participants with 157,000 delegates. Given their high rankings for their number of meetings, Paris comes in second place, followed by Madrid then Lisbon who are only separate by 500 delegates.

Barcelona (pictured) is the top city in ICCA’s list for the second year running

Vienna and Berlin dip slightly in the rankings moving down to fifth and sixth, while London enters the top 10 moving into the seventh spot. Milan, takes the eight slot and joins the likes of Hamburg, Prague, Beijing and Athens, all making the top 20 city rankings after not appearing in last year’s statistics.

There’s less change in the country rankings than can be seen in the city rankings.

Titleholders US remain in the first position for the country rankings with 357,000 delegates hosted and sit in the top five with almost exactly the same order of countries as last year; Spain, Germany, France, with Italy making it to fifth place this year instead of last year’s Canada.

The UK remain in sixth place with Japan, China, Canada and Netherlands moving up or down slightly but remaining in the top 10.

These statistics were based on a total of 13,254 rotating association meetings taking place in 2019, a record number. This is an increase of 317 additional meetings compared to the same time in 2018.

The months September, October and June are still the most popular choices for the association sector to organise meetings, while Winter months December, January and February remain at the bottom of the list. Medical Science (17 per cent), Technology (15 per cent) and Science (13 per cent) are the three most popular international association meeting topics.

In 2019, the average total expenditure on all meetings in the ICCA Association Database was almost US$11 billion – excluding spin-off investments and economic development.

ICCA CEO, Senthil Gopinath said: “Year on year, ICCA has seen a promising consistent growth pattern in the association meetings market. Given the current circumstances, with Covid-19 continuing to have a huge effect globally, particularly on the events industry, 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.”

Only meetings that meet ICCA’s 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.

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