'Exponential growth' in number of international association meetings, says ICCA

New ICCA industry report on the 55-year history of international association meetings shows strong growth has continued.

Europe remains the most popular destination for association meetings, with the US, Germany and the UK hosting the most, a new ICCA report has found.

ICCA says that since 1963, the number of meetings counted through its association database has grown by about 10% each year, with the number of meetings doubling every decade.

ICCA President Nina Freysen-Pretorius said: "The results of our 55-year advocacy report demonstrate how new avenues of possibility are opening up for our industry with this new phase of growth; to ensure our industry’s continued longevity, we must adapt to any upcoming challenges that rapid societal developments will bring." 

Popular countries and cities change

Comparing the period 2008-2012 to 2013-2017, Spain dropped from third to fifth place in the rankings, being overtaken by the UK and France, which moved up to places three and four respectively.

Top five cities (meetings 2013-17)

1. Paris - 1,079
2. Vienna - 950
3. Berlin - 945
4. London - 945
5. Barcelona - 918 

In terms of the top five cities: Barcelona has dropped two places to fifth place, as Berlin moved one position up to third. London has entered the top five and moved two places up to fourth position at the cost of Singapore, which dropped one place to sixth.

Europe remains the most popular region for meetings, but the region’s market share has gradually fallen from 71.8% in 1963- 1967 to 53.6% in 2013-2017.

Meanwhile, Asia has seen a slow and steady rise in market share, from 8.4% (1963-1967) to 18.5% (2013-2017).

 

Number of meetings skyrockets

ICCA says the relative number of annual meetings has drastically increased over the past 55 years, from 36.1% in the first 5 years to 59.8% in the last five years.

Top ten countries (meetings 2013-17)

  1. US - 5,014
  2. Germany - 3,633
  3. UK - 3,117
  4. France - 2,868
  5. Spain - 2,830
  6. Italy - 2,666
  7. China - 2,186
  8. Japan - 2,032
  9. Netherlands - 1,722
  10. Canada - 1,596

ICAA says there have been 225,243 association meetings between 1963 and 2017 in its A Modern History of International Association Meetings – Update: 1963-2017, which was released to celebrate the global association’s 55th anniversary.

There has been a parallel in the growth of association meetings and progress in the fields of science, healthcare and technology, ICCA says.

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