ICCA reported another year of continued strength in the international association meetings market.
For the first time ever, more than 11,150 regularly occurring association events which rotate between at least three countries were identified by ICCA members and ICCA’s in-house research team as having taken place during 2012, over 1,000 more than identified a year previously.
The top 10 countries showed little change in ranking, with the top seven repeating their positions, led by the USA, Germany and Spain. United Kingdom, France, Italy, and Brazil are on places 4 through 7. After the aftermath of cancellations due to the earthquake and tsunami, Japan jumped back into the top 10 from 13th to 8th place. The Netherlands remained 9th and China-P.R. dropped from 8th to 10th place. Austria just falls out of the top 10 to 11th place.
In the city rankings, Vienna retained its number one status with 195 meetings in 2012, and Paris is second again. Berlin climbs one place to third. Spanish cities Madrid and Barcelona are respectively 4th and 5th and London and Singapore share 6th place. The biggest climber in the top ten was Copenhagen, taking eighth spot with 137 meetings, 39 more than last year. Istanbul and Amsterdam took ninth and 10th spot, displacing Beijing, which fell three places to 13th.
ICCA CEO Martin Sirk commented: “Once more our members and researchers have identified that the international association sector has been growing strongly over the last year, as has been the case throughout the last few years of global economic uncertainty. Why is this so?”
“Firstly, almost all international associations have a statutory duty to meet on a regular basis, and their annual or biannual main congresses have become increasingly “mission critical” for their communities of members and stakeholders.”
“Secondly, economic strength in certain regions of the world is stimulating growth in regionally rotating association meetings, particularly in Asia and Latin America, but we now also see this trend starting to emerge in regions such as Africa and Middle East.”
"And thirdly, association congresses are to a large extent driven by scientific, healthcare and technological advances, and we are continuing to live in an era where the accelerated expansion of discovery and innovation is at an unprecedented level, creating entirely new associations and events to share insight into and develop new business from this new knowledge.”
Klaus Wowereit, Governing Mayor of Berlin, says: "Berlin is moving to the top of the international congress business. With additional event capacities, such as the new CityCube Berlin, the city is also well-positioned for the convention business for the long term and is well able to handle the diversity of the requests. Berlin is also such an attractive city that large organisations and companies like to put on their events in the German capital. Every international congress that is held in Berlin is thus also a positive testimony on the city."
Last year, in addition to hosting the Olympics and Paralympic Games, London hosted a record number of global business events which has now elevated the city’s status to sixth place globally. The city has also recently secured some of the most prestigious medical congresses and annual general meetings. Events of this scale typically bring up to £80 million in economic benefit to the host city and support the business events industry which is worth £40 billion to the UK overall economy.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, commented: ‘London’s popularity as a host for major business events continues to rise thanks to a concerted effort to capture more of the fiercely competitive business tourism market. We have the expertise, the transport system, venues and accommodation to ensure these events will receive a world class experience. The city’s extraordinary success in hosting last year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games will only build on this success.’
As part of ICCA’s 50 year anniversary a special 50 year edition of its international association meetings Statistics Report “A modern history of international association meetings” will be published in September 2013.
ICCA’s International Association Meetings Tables are published every year. To be included, meetings must be held on a regular basis, have at least 50 delegates, and rotate between at least three countries.