Grab Your Passport: International Meetings Growth Continues, Study Says

According to new data from the International Congress and Convention Association, the growth streak for international meetings that started after the 2008 financial crisis continued through 2013. The United States and Paris topped the lists of countries and cities with the most meetings held.

Last week brought more news demonstrating growth in the international meetings market.

According to data from the International Congress and Convention Association, 11,685 association events that regularly rotate between at least three countries took place in 2013—that’s 535 more than in 2012.

“It shouldn’t be surprising that our 2013 figures have demonstrated the strength of the international association meetings sector, since the overall picture for our industry is significantly better than has been the case for quite some time,”ICCA CEO Martin Sirk said in a statement. “But it should be remembered that this is a sector that has shown significant growth in every single year since the financial crisis hit the world economy in 2008. The international association meetings sector is a solid, reliable performer, in good times and bad, and the longer term trends are the most critically important factors when preparing strategic plans and investment decisions.”

The United States again topped the list of countries with the highest number of events, with 829 meetings. Following the United States were

  • Germany with 722 meetings
  • Spain with 562 meetings
  • France with 527 meetings
  • United Kingdom with 525 meetings

Paris took over the number-one spot from Vienna on list of cities with the most meetings in 2013. The City of Lights hosted 204 meetings last year. Following Paris were

  • Madrid with 204 meetings
  • Vienna with 186 meetings
  • Barcelona 179 meetings
  • Berlin with 178 meetings

The new survey follows one ICCA released last fall that found higher attendance numbers at international events held 2013. For example, 32 percent of respondents reported more attendees at their events last year than in previous years—a 4 percent increase from 2012 and 2011.

And according to a 2014 Marketing Challenges International survey, 40 percent of association executives reported increased budgets and higher attendance at international events from the previous two years. Ninety-one percent of planners also expect those budgets to increase or remain the same for their upcoming events.


Katie Bascuas

By Katie Bascuas

Katie Bascuas is associate editor of Associations Now. MORE

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