ICCA 2011 statistics: international association sector is resilient and showing healthy growth
16 May 2012
With the release of the 2011 Top 20 Rankings for cities and countries, ICCA is reporting another year of continued strength in international association meetings market.
For the first time ever, more than 10,000 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 2011, over 800 more than identified a year previously.
Table 1: ICCA country and city ranking measured by number of meetings organised in 2011
The top 10 countries showed little change, with the top six repeating their rankings, led by the USA, Germany and Spain. The Netherlands and Austria appeared at 9th and 10th respectively, taking the place of Switzerland, which dropped from 10th to 12th, and Japan, which in the aftermath of cancellations due to the earthquake and tsunami, understandably dropped from 7th to 13th. The USA saw by far the biggest jump in the number of events held, up by 136 to a new record 759 meetings.
In the city rankings, Vienna retained its number one status, and below it Paris overtook Barcelona in the 2nd and 3rd place duel. The biggest climber in the top ten was London, with the 2012 Olympics effect pulling them up from 14th to 7th, and Beijing, which led the way amongst the fast growing BRIC destinations by climbing from 12th to 10th.
“There are always going to be short-term competitive changes to annual rankings, some caused by external factors and some by marketing successes” said ICCA CEO Martin Sirk, “but the most important thing to note is that international association meetings continue to be in tremendously good health when compared with the overall situation in the global meetings industry. We’ve seen consistent annual growth in the number of international association meetings throughout the last few years of global economic instability, something no other sector can claim, even though we’re also hearing about increasing challenges in raising sponsorship amongst a sizeable minority of organisers.”
“I strongly believe that any destination wanting to achieve long-term overall success in the meetings business needs to invest in the research and specialised marketing and bidding skills required to attract these international association events.”
ICCA, the International Congress and Convention Association, represents the main specialists in organising, transporting and accommodating international meetings and events, and comprises over 900 member companies and organisations in 87 countries worldwide.
The full ICCA statistics report is only available to ICCA members. A public abstract of the report including comprehensive rankings for all countries and cities and analysis of ten-year trends can be dowloaded from the ICCA website.
Please note that the ICCA database is not designed to include all association meetings taking place worldwide, it is a sales and marketing resource which allows our members to search for association meetings that are likely to come to their destination. This is why all association meetings in the ICCA Association Database must:
a) rotate between at least 3 countries
b) attract at least 50 participants
c) be held with a certain frequency (we do not register ad hoc meetings)
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