The Top Meetings Destination in Europe Is...

London Bridge night

Cvent, Inc., the Tysons Corner, VA-based cloud-based enterprise event management platform, today announced its inaugural list of the "Top 25 Cities for Meetings and Events in Europe." The list was compiled according to meeting and event booking activity through the Cvent Supplier Network, looking at more than 2,500 European cities. Last year, Cvent sourced more than $8 billion in meetings and events through its marketplace.

This year's inaugural list also marked the first time that Cvent looked at top international meeting destinations. "We are a global organization, and the Cvent Supplier Network support 234,000 properties worldwide, and we also have planner-users all over the globe," Kevin Fliess, vice president of Cvent Supplier Network Product Marketing, told Successful Meetings. "We thought it was time to produce our first international list."

Across the pond, competition among cities to attract meetings and events is packed, especially in smaller markets that are investing heavily to lure away markets from major cities.

Fliess noted, in particular, the appearance of both Manchester and Birmingham on the list, in addition to the top city, London. "When you look at the U.K., London took the top spot. But what you also see are Birmingham and Manchester on that list," he said. "We thought that was interesting, and an excellent example of up-and-coming cities challenging the major domestic market of London."

The diversity of list, as well, which stretches from London to eastern European destinations as far as Budapest and Istanbul, was also something to be noted, said Fliess. "It does show planners are conducting meetings across the continent, and the trends are good indications of where business is likely to be headed as  we look to the new year."

The top 25 European cities for 2015 are:

1. London, England
2. Barcelona, Spain
3. Paris, France
4. Amsterdam, Netherlands
5. Berlin, Germany
6. Frankfurt, Germany
7. Madrid, Spain
8. Rome, Italy
9. Brussels, Belgium
10. Dublin, Ireland
11. Prague, Czech Republic
12. Istanbul, Turkey
13. Vienna, Austria
14. Munich, Germany
15. Copenhagen, Denmark
16. Lisbon, Portugal
17. Manchester, England
18. Stockholm, Sweden
19. Athens, Greece
20. Budapest, Hungary
21. Milan, Italy
22. Hannover, Germany
23. Birmingham, England
24. Zurich, Switzerland
25. Edinburgh, Scotland

"Destinations and venues are working in tandem to be more attractive to event organizers to retain and grow group business which is an important economic driver, and for venues often generates more profitable revenue," said David Chalmers, European marketing director at Cvent. "The strength of cities like Istanbul on the periphery of the European Union and Athens in economically-challenged Greece highlight the rivalry between countries. Manchester and Birmingham are excellent examples of up-and-coming cities challenging their major domestic market."

For this inaugural list, activity was tracked from July 2014 to June 2015 and the rankings were then determined by a set of qualifying criteria consisting of:

· Unique Request for Proposals Received
· Total Room Nights Requested in RFPs
· Awarded Request for Proposals
· Awarded Room Nights
· Percentage of Qualified Meeting Venues
· Number of Profile Views

In response to Cvent's announcement, Tracy Halliwell, MBE, director of Business Tourism & Major Events at London & Partners, the official Convention Bureau for the city said in a statement, "We are delighted that London has been named the number one meeting destination in Europe by Cvent. This has been a great year for the city with amazing events including the European Society of Cardiology's congress held at London's ExCeL, Advertising Week Europe returning to the capital for the second year running and another hugely successful London Technology Week. The meetings and events industry is constantly evolving and we are thrilled to see that our strategy to keep London at the forefront of innovation is delivering significant returns for the city."

"While many big name cities like London and Barcelona often make event organizers' initial lists, they are more likely to share the lists with a broader set of international choices and smaller domestic cities," said Stephen Morton-Prior, director of Clearwater Events, in a statement. "Event organizers have become more sophisticated in how they source events, both in their practices and the technology that is used, to identify destinations and venues that deliver an excellent attendee experience at an attractive price."

Fliess also noted that this will be the first of many more internationally focused destination lists from Cvent. "This is our first international list, and it definitely won't be our last. We know this provides a lot of value for our readers in the U.S., as well as interesting information for our audience in Europe." He says the next international list will most likely focus on the Asia-Pacific region.