Prague Congress Centre (PPC)

Prague Ranks Sixth Globally, Fifth in Europe for Meetings in 2023

According to the latest data, Prague has significantly improved in the number of meetings and conferences held in 2023. Nearly 5,000 professional events were hosted in the Czech capital, attracting almost 700,000 delegates.

In an international comparison, Prague landed in sixth place among the most sought-after meeting destinations globally. It surpassed major cities such as Madrid, Seoul, London, Berlin, and Tokyo.

Prague’s meetings industry is recovering well after the pandemic hiatus. In 2023, the city hosted 4,889 meetings and conferences, with 691,103 delegates attending. This marks a year-on-year increase of 25% in events and 12% in delegates.

However, the city has not yet surpassed the record year of 2019. “In terms of the number of delegates, we are at almost 97% of 2019’s performance, but in terms of the number of events, we are only at 82%,” says Roman Muška, Managing Director of the Prague Convention Bureau, the organisation that officially represents Prague’s meeting industry.

Muška added, “These data only confirms the trend of recent years, when fewer meetings and conferences are held, but with a much higher turnout of delegates. In our statistics we see that the number of events attended by 500 or more delegates has increased year on year. At the same time, we see an increase in the average length of an event, mainly due to a sharp increase in the number of meetings that last four or more days and a decrease in the segment of shorter, mostly two-day, events.”

Prague aims to attract high net-worth delegates who typically attend meetings in spring and autumn. These delegates spend up to three times more than average tourists. The number of international meetings in Prague has increased by 54% year-on-year, balancing international (49.3%) and local events (50.7%).

Most events come from Europe, but the United States was the top source country in 2023, followed by the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and Belgium. Popular topics include medical sciences, economics, finance, business, and IT.

Prague remains the top choice for international event organizers in the Czech Republic. In 2023, 35.5% of all events in the country were held in the capital. Other leading regions include South Moravia, Olomouc, and Central Bohemia.

On the international stage, Prague held its position among the top meeting destinations. According to the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), Prague ranked sixth globally and fifth in Europe. Despite hosting 4% more association events year-on-year, Prague was overtaken by Singapore, which rose to second place.

The tourism industry, as well as the meeting industry, started to take off later in Asia, when compared to the rest of the world, due to longer-lasting pandemic restrictions.

We are now seeing the return of Asian destinations in full strength, with Seoul (10th), Tokyo (13th) and Bangkok (15th) completing the top 15 convention destinations.

“The increase in the number of association conventions occurs mainly due to the joint efforts of all stakeholders over the past years. In most cases, it takes several years from launching the candidacy process itself to the subsequent implementation of major association meetings.

However, to remain at the top of the meetings destinations in the future, we need to continue to develop and invest in the meetings industry. In addition to association congresses, which we have been focusing on for a long time and which are systematically supported by the City of Prague in the form of various incentives, we must not neglect the segment of corporate conferences and incentive events, which have high spending rates in destinations and thus fit in with the City’s targeting of creditworthy clients,” comments Roman Muška.

Prague's MICE Statistics for 2023 infographic

What will the year 2024 be like?

From 2022 onwards, we can observe a revival of the meetings industry not only in Prague, but also in other global destinations. What’s more, according to the International Congress Association’s recent “ICCA 60 Years Report”, the number of congresses has more than doubled in the last 60 years, so the competition Prague faces is immense. The report also predicts that globally in 2023 the number of events will return to 90% of 2019 and the number of delegates to 95%, which the Czech capital has only partially achieved.

In 2024, according to expert estimates, the congress industry should surpass 2019 figures by 37% in terms of delegate numbers and 1% in terms of events.

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