ICCA Names Top 20 International Meeting Destinations of 2012

The International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) has released its annual rankings of the world’s most popular international association meeting destinations, it announced today, revealing that the United States and Germany — No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, since 2004 — once again were the two most popular countries for international association meetings, while Vienna and Paris were the two most popular cities.

ICCA based its rankings on a survey of qualifying events — events that are organized by international associations, take place on a regular basis and rotate between at least three different countries — that took place in 2012. Last year, there were more than 11,150 such meetings, it said, up by more than 1,000 since 2011.

“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,” ICCA CEO Martin Sirk said in a statement. “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, health care 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.

“All this augurs well for continuing growth in the future, and any destination or company that wishes to be a serious long-term player in the international meetings business should in ICCA’s view make sure they are involved in the international association sector.”

According to ICCA, the top 10 countries for international association meetings were as follows in 2012:

1. United States (833 meetings)
2. Germany (649 meetings)
3. Spain (550 meetings)
4. United Kingdom (477 meetings)
5. France (469 meetings)
6. Italy (390 meetings)
7. Brazil (360 meetings)
8. Japan (341 meetings)
9. Netherlands (315 meetings)
10. China (311 meetings)

The top 10 cities for international association meetings, meanwhile, were:

1. Vienna (195 meetings)
2. Paris (181 meetings)
3. Berlin (172 meeting)
4. Madrid (164 meetings)
5. Barcelona (154 meetings)
6. London (150 meetings)
7. Singapore (150 meetings)
8. Copenhagen (137 meetings)
9. Istanbul (128 meetings)
10. Amsterdam (122 meetings)

No U.S. cities ranked among ICCA’s top 20 cities.

According to ICCA, its rankings are meant to serve as a practical tool helping associations identify potential new destinations for their meetings.

For more information, including the complete country and city rankings, visit ICCA's website, www.iccaworld.com.