Paris has reclaimed the top spot the latest International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) worldwide city rankings, while Singapore remains the highest ranked city in Asia Pacifc.

Released this week, the rankings compare cities and countries based on the number of international association meetings held annually. To be counted, meetings must have at least 50 delegates, and rotate between at least three countries. 

Despite social and political unrest and a number of terror-related incidents, Paris is back on top after hosting 196 meetings in 2016. The usual suspects appear in the top five, albeit in a reshuffled order. Vienna climbs two places to second and Barcelona remains third. Berlin drops from first to fourth place and London remains fifth. Singapore is the first Asian city jumping one place from seventh to sixth. Madrid drops two places from a shared fifth in 2015 to a shared seventh in 2016.

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Newcomers in the top 10 compared to last year are Amsterdam, twelfth last year and now sharing seventh place with Madrid, and Seoul jumping from 13th to tenth. Like last year, Lisbon is ninth.

Rank

City

No. of meetings in 2016

1

Paris

196

2

Vienna

186

3

Barcelona

181

4

Berlin

176

5

London

153

6

Singapore

151

7

Amsterdam

144

 

Madrid

144

9

Lisbon

138

10

Seoul

137

11

Prague

126

12

Bangkok

121

13

Dublin

118

14

Copenhagen

115

15

Beijing

113

16

Budapest

108

17

Buenos Aires

103

18

Stockholm

101

19

Hong Kong

99

20

Rome

96

Meanwhile, the top 10 country rankings are made up of the same countries as last year, with some minor shift and one newcomer, Portugal, in a shared tenth place.

Rank

Country

No. of meetings in 2016

1

U.S.A.

934

2

Germany

689

3

United Kingdom

582

4

France

545

5

Spain

533

6

Italy

468

7

China-P.R.

410

 

Japan

410

9

Netherlands

368

10

Canada

287

 

Portugal

287

12

Austria

268

13

Republic of Korea

267

14

Sweden

260

15

Brazil

244

16

Australia

211

17

Poland

195

18

Belgium

194

19

Argentina

188

20

Switzerland

184


ICCA captured a record 12,212 rotating international association meetings taking place in 2016 – with 136 additional meetings compared to 2015.

The 2016 research also marks another decade of growth for the sector as ICCA identified more than double the number of association meetings in a decade: from just under 6,000 in 2006 to more than 12,000 in 2016.

ICCA CEO Martin Sirk says: “Once again our report provides clear evidence of the resilience and long-term continued growth of the international association meetings sector.  

“Anecdotally, we hear that it is not just the traditional association meetings business that is in a healthy state: new association-type events are being created by groups of scientists and doctors, destinations are designing and hosting their own world-class meetings and festivals, online discussions are migrating to the real world of concrete face-to-face interactions, and even corporate events are evolving into community gatherings of suppliers, clients, partners, investors, users, and academics, blurring the lines between the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors.  

“Traditional association meetings are growing strongly, but they are definitely no longer the only game in town!”