Meetings No 19
Intro
Artificial Intelligence
Atti Soenarso: AI is soon an everyday commodity.
Cover Story
Anders Sörman-Nilsson
Gazing into the future of the meetings industry.
Intermission
Europe is not a market
It is the will to live together.
Radar
Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre
“Our vision is to create Europe’s most attractive venue.”
ROI
Padraic Gilligan
Why ROI for meetings and incentives is a waste of time.
ROI
Elling Hamso
Why ROI is not a waste of time.
Radar
ICC Sydney
An important contributor to innovation.
Strategy
PCMA
Radar on penetrating the ­European meetings industry.
HR Technology
The Rise of AI
Rohit Talwar and Alexandra Whittington: On AI and HR.
Sustainable Growth
GDS-Index
Scandinavian sustainability initiative expands.
Intermission
In a Hole
Lending a hand.
Radar
ICCA
Record number of association meetings in 2016.
Collaboration
Best Cities Global Forum
“Unlocking the collective intelligence.”
Sharma
My 23 Best Tactics for Personal Greatness
Robin Sharma: “Protect your willpower.”
Radar
Technology and Meetings
Tech is key in creating purposeful meetings.
Radar
IMEX Frankfurt
Packed with opportunities.
Cyber Security
The Anti-Cloud
Jaak Geens and Linas Bukauskas on geens.com.
Kellerman
Cyber vs. Personal
Roger Kellerman: “Now is the time to improve online security.”
classifieds
news
Award
Reykjavík
named best MICE destination in Europe.

Madrid
new member of BestCities.
Business Intelligence
The Philippines
will host the 6th UNWTO Conference on Tourism Statistics.
the convention industry
Paris back as number one
in the city rankings for international congresses.
Africa Meetings
Africa Rising
in the ICCA statistic 2016.
business Intelligence
Saudi Arabia to launch into MICE sector
worldwide by exhibiting at IMEX in Frankfurt.
New position
Aoife Delaney
new Director of Marketing and Sales at DMC Network.
Redefining meetings
Sarawak goes tribal
to boost business.
Links
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ICCA – Record Number of Association Meetings in 2016

More than five decades of doubling every ten years

This was another decade of great success for the sector as ICCA identifies more than double the number of association meetings in a decade: from just under 6,000 in 2006 to over 12,000 in 2016. This confirms the trend of exponential growth, as identified in ICCA’s advocacy report A modern history of international association meetings: 1963–2013, published at ICCA’s 50-year anniversary in 2013. ICCA’s researchers also spotted an additional 710 meetings for 2015, and 524 for 2014. The ICCA Association Database now includes 20,000 regularly occurring meeting series, 220,000 meeting editions and 11,500 international associations.

2016 City rankings: Paris reclaims the top spot

Paris, number one in 2014, takes over first place again with 196 meetings in 2016 – one more meeting than last year’s number one Berlin. Even though the order is quite different, this year’s top five cities were also represented in last year’s top 5. 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. Newcomers in the top ten compared to last year are Amsterdam, twelfth last year and now sharing seventh place with Madrid, and Seoul jumping from thirteenth to tenth. Like last year, Lisbon is ninth.

2016 City rankings

1. Paris

2. Vienna

3. Barcelona

4. Berlin

5. London

6. Singapore

7. Amsterdam/Madrid

9. Lisbon

10. Seoul

11. Prague

12. Bangkok

13. Dublin

14. Copenhagen

15. Beijing

16. Budapest

17. Buenos Aires

18. Stockholm

19. Hong Kong

20. Rome

2016 Country rankings: France climbs one place

The top 10 is made up of the same countries as last year, with some minor shifts and one newcomer in shared tenth place. USA remains number one with 934 meetings in 2016; nine more than in 2015. Germany remains second and The United Kingdom remains third. France and Spain swap places: France is now fourth and Spain fifth. Italy and Japan remain sixth and seventh, while Japan now shares seventh place with China-P.R., which climbs one place. The Netherlands drops one place from shared eighth to ninth and Canada remains tenth but is now joined by Portugal, which was twelfth last year.

2016 Country rankings

1. USA

2. Germany

3. United Kingdom

4. France

5. Spain

6. Italy

7. China-P.R./Japan

8. Netherlands

9. Canada/Portugal

12. Austria

13. Republic of Korea

14. Sweden

15. Brazil

16. Australia

17. Poland

18. Belgium

19. Argentina

20. Switzerland

As one of the very few reports which compares destinations’ meetings-related performance on a global scale, the annual ICCA rankings are one of the most eagerly anticipated industry publications. Due to lack of global figures on other meeting segments, they are often mistakenly perceived as the destination rankings for the meetings industry as a whole, even though they only cover a narrow segment of the total meetings market: To be included, meetings must be organised by associations, must be held on a regular basis, have at least 50 delegates, and rotate between at least three countries.

Whilst these ICCA rankings provide some evidence of a city or country’s relative performance, it is only when all data on all the meetings taking place in a destination are considered – corporate, intergovernmental, non-rotating, etcetera – that a true, complete picture can be seen.

“Once again our report provides clear evidence of the resilience and long-term continued growth of the international association meetings sector,” says ICCA CEO Martin Sirk. “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 STEM meetings and festivals (science, technology, engineering, maths), 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.”

“The Information Revolution and Knowledge Economy are experiencing continuing exponential growth, so it’s hardly surprising that the entire association meetings community is responding in such a dynamic fashion. Traditional association meetings are growing strongly, but they are definitely no longer the only game in town.”

Photo © iStock.com/Pietro_Ballardini