The release of 2018 Country and City Rankings marks yet another successful year for the association meetings market, with the global meetings industry trade association capturing a total of 12,937 rotating association meetings taking place in 2018, at an increase of 379 additional meetings compared to the number recorded at the same time in 2017. The highest annual figure the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) has ever recorded in its yearly Statistics, these new rankings signal industry growth is continuing on a strong and robust trajectory.
Paris, which previously held the top city spot in 2016, returns in 2018 to claim first place. The U.S.A. continues to top the country rankings.
Association meetings market expansion solidifies
According to ICCA Statistics, between 1963 and 2013, the number of international association meetings doubled every 10 years. Released in October 2018 to coincide with its 55th year anniversary as an association, ICCA’s latest industry report on the 55-year growth of the international association meetings market, “A Modern History of International Association Meetings – Update: 1963-2017”, confirmed that this exponential growth trend has now slowly transcended into a more mature, yet still solid, growth pattern between 2013 and 2017. The 2018 figures seem to confirm this trend.
2018 City rankings: Paris storms ahead in first place
Paris climbs to the top of the city rankings by a number of international association meetings with a landslide margin of 40 meetings above second place holder Vienna. In 2017, Paris and Vienna held joint second place, with 190 meetings each. Last year’s number one Barcelona falls to fourth place, with Madrid entering the top 5 for the first time since 2015 in third place. Among the top 5 cities for another year, Berlin falls to fifth place from fourth in 2017.
Remaining in the top 10 but changing position are London, Prague, Singapore, and Lisbon. London, Singapore, and Prague drop to seventh, eighth and ninth place respectively, and Lisbon climbs three positions to hold the sixth place. Bangkok rises seven places from 17th to 10th, knocking Seoul out of the top 10. Seoul falls to 15th place, surpassed by top 20 risers and joint position holders Amsterdam and Tokyo, which jump from 16th to 13th place and 18th to 13th place respectively. Buenos Aires stays firmly in 11th place and Hong Kong rises to 12th. Dublin drops four places to 18th, and Stockholm holds the 19th place for another year. Montréal, QC, and Rome drop out of the top 20, and newcomers Brussels and Taipei enter in 17th and 20th place.
Table 1: Top 20 city ranking by number of meetings organized in 2018
2018 Country rankings: The U.S. remains unchallenged
In an unsurprising turn of events, the U.S.A. remains in the top country spot, unchallenged for over two decades. Germany remains in second place and 2017’s number three the United Kingdom drops to fifth place, overtaken by Spain, which rises to third. After exiting the top 5 last year, France re-enters in 2018 in fourth place. Italy replaces France in sixth place, and Japan and China-P.R. remain in seventh and eighth place for another year. The Netherlands and Canada swap positions, coming in at ninth and 10th respectively.
Portugal remains in 11th place and the Republic of Korea climbs one position to 12th. Brazil and Poland fall one place to 17th and 19th respectively, and Switzerland drops to 20th place, while Australia and Sweden climb to 13th and 14th. Austria remains in the top 20 but falls four places to 16th. Newcomer Argentina regains its position in the top 20 after falling to 21st place in 2017, knocking Denmark from 20th to 22nd place.
Table 2: Top 20 country rankings by number of meetings organized in 2018
|12||Republic of Korea||273|
The most respected global comparison of destinations’ performance in attracting international meetings, ICCA’s annual country and city rankings are highly anticipated by the meetings industry. However, ICCA continuously seeks to emphasize that this annual report is a snapshot of just one segment of the meetings industry, focused on charting the growth of international association meetings. Only those meetings that meet ICCA’s stringent assessment criteria – rotating between at least three countries, have a proven attendance of at least 50 participants, and are held on a regular basis – are recorded within the global association’s annual statistics.
ICCA CEO Senthil Gopinath said, “Although the most comprehensive global benchmark of the international association meetings sector, the ICCA rankings should not be mistaken as providing an overview of the entire meetings industry. We always seek to encourage and advise ICCA members to consult other rankings and collect their own meetings statistics to help them provide a full picture of their performance.”
“We have recorded our largest ever annual snapshot of the immediate past year’s meetings data in 2018. These results closely follow the release of our 55-year history of the international association meetings market in October 2018. ICCA’s latest figures uphold the mature, robust growth pattern we identified in this report and provide more evidence of our firm belief that the association sector continues to be an unrivaled stimulator of global societal development and force for progress across the globe,” said Gopinath.
“Future Meeting Space” research to focus on role of events in corp comm
The GCB German Convention Bureau has launched the third phase of its “Future Meetings Space” research project, looking into the value of meetings and events in a changing business environment.
The GCB German Convention Bureau has launched the phase III of its “Future Meeting Space” research. Scheduled to be completed in December 2020, this latest project is designed to build on the prior two research phases by looking at the following five questions:
- What is the future role and purpose of meetings and events in organizations’ communications mix?
- What are the different purposes and objectives of business events?
- Based on the above, what are the requirements and expectations of target groups and stakeholders?
- What is a successful event and what means are there to measure success?
- What are the required competencies and skills needs by organizations and employees?
The project is supported by the GCB and the European Association of Event Centres (EVVC) as well as Maritz Global Events Inc., Xing Events GmbH, KFP Five Star Conference Service GmbH, SevenCentres of Germany and Radisson Hotels. Research is carried out by the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO, which is part of Fraunhofer Society, Europe’s largest application-oriented research organization.
The goal of this third piece of “Future Meeting Space” research is to establish the ongoing value of meetings and events at a time when technology is enabling new ways to interact. The final research report will identify requirements for industry stakeholders and provide appropriate strategies as well as develop competency profiles for event planners and suppliers. With a view to measuring success, the research will also identify relevant KPIs so that in particular event planners within corporations and organizations can document the value of meetings and events.
As part of the research process, a catalog of innovations that were produced in the first research phase in 2016 will be updated to reflect digital developments, trends and innovations (e.g., big/smart data, social profiling, 5G, AI, cybersecurity) and their relevance for meetings and events. “If phase I looked at the ‘how to’ aspect of future meetings, and phase II determined the ‘who’ aspect, including evaluating different participant needs, phase III will now complete the picture and explore the ‘why’ of meetings and events,” says GCB managing director Matthias Schultze.
Apart from the innovation catalog, six so-called future meeting scenarios were developed in phase I of the Future Meeting Space research. Phase II, which ended last December, focused on event success factors, concluding that to satisfy attendees, event planners should focus on knowledge transfer as well as surprising or disruptive elements that bring about a change. The survey also identified different attendee types that need to be considered when creating events. Results from from phase I and II are available here: www.future-meeting-space.de
Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre launches Exhibition Service Centre portal
The Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (the Centre) marked the fourth annual Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID) by launching its new ESC (Exhibition Service Centre) portal. The ESC portal allows event organisers and their exhibitors to easily access and order a variety of add-on services for their events – 24/7.
According to the Centre’s Deputy General Manager, John Burke, “We are delighted to be launching this new service in conjunction with GMID. Event organizers and exhibitors play an important role in driving the global meetings industry that contributes so much both financially and intellectually (via knowledge transfer) to our economies, and as such we are excited to be launching a service which should help make their events more successful and their lives a bit easier.”
He continued, “An exhibitor typically books their attendance and booth needs through their event organizer. This currently involves a lot of paper-based service order forms and manual data entry. The 24/7 ESC portal, now allows exhibitors at the Centre to place their orders and pay online in their own time – at any time – minimizing hassle. It is especially beneficial for international participants as they don’t have to worry about time differences.”
The wide range of services available to order on the ESC portal including audiovisual, food and beverage, as well as IT equipment and services.
Burke added, “Providing exhibitors with the capability to book their additional services directly with the Centre significantly reduces the workload for the event organizer, allowing them to focus on improving the content and participation in their events. This, in turn, benefits the exhibitors. It is about making it easy for our customers.
The portal is fully customizable, allowing the Centre to provide tailormade links and landing pages to suit particular event requirements for each organizer, which will provide easy access and tracking for them and their exhibitors. It will also help streamline the data entry and payment process and avoid confusion by ensuring participants do not accidentally register for additional services at the wrong events.
John concluded, “Initially ESC will be an order portal which at a later stage, we are looking to expand to include a communication and collaboration interface. For example, floorplans, orders, contracts, etc., will all be accessible in one place.”
In addition to the launch of the ESC portal, the Centre marked GMID with a number of other activities, particularly highlighting the contribution of the business events industry to Malaysia via its social media and other communication channels. Since opening in 2005, the Centre has hosted over 15,000 events, which have attracted over 24.5 million participants and generated more than RM8 billion in economic impact for Malaysia, reinforcing the GMID message of the proven value that business meetings, conferences, conventions, incentive travel, trade shows, and exhibitions bring to businesses and the economy.
Do you specialize in MICE tourism? New Zealand is looking for hosted buyers
Do you specialize in MICE tourism? New Zealand is looking for hosted buyers
New Zealand’s only national business events exhibition, CINZ MEETINGS is raising the bar again this year with a wider range of exhibitors, more international and domestic buyers, and more networking opportunities.
Held in host city Auckland from May 28 to May 30, MEETINGS continues to be the focal point of the year for the New Zealand business events industry. Staged annually by Conventions and Incentives New Zealand (CINZ), the show combines opportunities to discover regions, network and sign business, across two days.
CINZ Chief Executive, Sue Sullivan says this year over 190 exhibitors from 20 regions, including 14 in the Luxury Collection, will be at ASB Showgrounds to showcase the experiences, venues, and accommodation on offer around the country.
“MEETINGS connects highly qualified meetings and incentive professionals looking to plan programmes in New Zealand, with suppliers who know their fields and their regions inside out. Hotels, resorts, convention bureaux, caterers, entertainers, speakers, styling and production experts are all part of this diverse mix,” she says.
“With valued support from the principal sponsor, Air New Zealand and our partner hotels we are able to bring these qualified buyers from all over New Zealand, Australia, and the world to meet in Auckland.
“Our hosted buyer places are always in high demand and this year key conference and event organizers have been signing up early. We take care of all accommodation, travel, and transfers to ensure our buyers can get on with business, and make valuable new connections,” she says.
Tourism New Zealand and Air New Zealand are bringing over 30 international hosted buyers and media from the United States, Canada, China, and Asia including Japan and Korea to MEETINGS, and giving them the opportunity to explore regional New Zealand.
“Our message to international convention and incentive organizers is that traveling here is not only a bucket-list experience, it is also extremely cost-effective – and not as far as you think. New Zealand is just an overnight sleep from the Americas, China and Asia-Pacific regions, and just three hours from Australia’s Eastern centers.”
CINZ MEETINGS 2019 includes a pre-touring programme with places for 52 Australian hosted buyers to five regional destinations. Northland, Rotorua, Wellington, and Queenstown prior to MEETINGS and a new signature event, a special post-MEETINGS famil to Christchurch.
Applications for the CINZ MEETINGS 2019 hosted buyer programme close on March 29. Event organisers can apply now on the MEETINGS website.
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