ICCA Survey: U.S. Tops With Meetings Globally; Paris Top City

The latest annual roundup from the International Congress and Convention Association finds that the U.S. hosts more meetings than any other country, though Europe dominates the city charts.

When it comes to the global meetings industry, the United States is atop the association meetings heap.

When you break things down on a city-by-city level, however, the story becomes a lot more interesting and globally diverse.

That’s according to a new analysis from the International Congress and Convention Association. According to the 2019 ICCA Country and City Rankings, the U.S. had by far the most meetings of any country around the world, at 947, but not a single U.S. city ranked in the top 10 for international meetings.

Instead, topping the list for city rankings were eight European cities and two Asian cities—with Paris’ 212 meetings leading the pack. Paris topped the rankings for the first time since 2016, with other major cities in the top five, including Vienna (172 meetings), Madrid (165), Barcelona (163), and Berlin (162). Only one city in either North or South America, Buenos Aires, appeared in the list of top-20 cities.

The American market doesn’t have much to worry about, however—it’s firmly in the pole position for number of meetings, more than 300 ahead of second-place Germany, which hosted 642 meetings in 2018. Other top countries included Spain (595 meetings), France (579), and the United Kingdom (574). Twelve of the top 20 countries were European, while three were Asian, two were North American, two were South American, and Australia also made an appearance.

ICCA CEO Senthil Gopinath characterized the report as the largest annual snapshot of international meetings in the association’s 56-year history, with the 2018 chart capturing 12,937 total meetings, an increase of 379 from 2017. The statistics are based on a narrow assessment of eligibility criteria: meetings that have 50 or more participants, that rotate among three or more countries, and that are held regularly.

(South_agency/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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