Anna Luebke - May 18, 2015
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Hosting a large number of international association meetings is obviously something every country and its cities take great pride in, so it’s no surprise that the ICCA’s (International Congress and Convention Association) annual statistics on the countries and cities which held the most rotating international association meetings are eagerly awaited by governments as well as business and tourism professionals from the most prominent countries and cities in the world.

The latest report of ICCA doesn’t, however, bring any big surprises. In fact, neither the top 5 cities nor the top 5 countries have changed significantly since the last report, only trading places among them.

The city which held the most international association meetings in 2014 was again Paris, with 414 meetings taking place in the City of Light during the year, only a mere 12 more than those that took place in Vienna, which took the second place, previously occupied by Madrid, which has dropped to third. Barcelona, the second Spanish city present in the list rounds up the all-European top 5, having hosted 182 of the international association meetings which took place during 2014. While the top 10 cities are predominantly European, two “outsiders” are at number 7 and 9 – Singapore and Istanbul, respectively.

As for the top 20 countries, the USA has reclaimed the top spot, even though no American cities are among the top 20, as 831 meetings took place in the country in 2014, leaving Germany, whose capital, Berlin is the fourth most popular city for hosting international association meetings in second place, with only 659 events hosted in the country during the year. Spain, France and the United Kingdom are also unsurprising presences in the top 5.

Unlike the top 20 of the cities which have hosted the most international association meetings in 2014, the top 20 countries are a lot more diverse, with Japan, China and Brazil among the top 10. Other non-European countries in the top 20 include Korea, Canada, Australia, Turkey and Argentina, the only Latin country in the list. 

The ICCA statistics are published every year, taking into account information relating to international meetings which take place regularly, have at least 50 participants and rotate between a minimum of three host cities. The Association has been making an effort to improve the accuracy of this data, by limiting the parameters which qualify meetings for being a part of these statistics. However, due to the increasingly large number of such events that are taking place every year, which has doubled since 2000, according to the ICCA’s reports, it also becomes increasingly difficult to do so, which is why ICCA considers their own statistics to be more of a ‘snapshot’ of the situation in this market segment than a definitive guide to the featured cities and countries’ performances in the field of international association meetings, which should be complemented by more specific and substantial data, some of which can be acquired through the tools the ICCA puts at the disposal of its members.

However inaccurate this information may be, it is still worth noting that these are positive indicators for marketing and event planning professionals in the countries featured in this report to take into account when devising their strategies for the near future.



Top 10 Cities (no. of meetings in 2014)

1          Paris (214)

2          Vienna (202)

3          Madrid (200)

4          Berlin (193)

5          Barcelona (182)

6          London (166)

7          Singapore (142)

8          Amsterdam (133)

9          Istanbul (130)

10        Prague (118)



Top 10 Countries (no. of meetings in 2014)

1          U.S.A. (831)

2          Germany (659)

3          Spain (578)

4          United Kingdom (543)

5          France (533)

6          Italy (452)

7          Japan (337)

8          China-P.R. (332)

9          Netherlands (307)

10        Brazil (291)

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