Email the editor

London rises to fifth in latest ICCA rankings

Capital ties with Madrid while Berlin leads 2015 International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) rankings

Pictured: London has risen to fifth in the annual ICCA rankings

London has cracked the top five ICCA ranking for the number of  international meetings it hosted in 2015, while Berlin climbed three places to topple Paris as number one.

The capital went from number sixth to equal fifth with Madrid, after attracting 171 meetings which met ICCA's strict qualifying criteria last year - five more than 2014. London was also ranked second in terms of attendance numbers.

Tracy Halliwell, director of business tourism and major events at London & Partners, said: “Today’s figures are a great Olympic legacy and confirmation of what we’ve known for years, that London is rightly one of the world’s most attractive destinations for event organisers. We have an unrivalled mix of venues, connectivity and infrastructure with more exciting developments in the pipeline including new hotels and the completion of the new Crossrail in 2019.”

London's new ranking comes during the period it hosted the European Society of Cardiology congress, which was attended by 32,773 delegates, a new record for the annual event.

Overall, London saw a 27 per cent increase in the number of delegates attending conferences over the past year, with more than 117,000 arriving to the capital in 2015.

ICCA captured a record number of 12,076 rotating international association meetings taking place in 2015 - the largest number collected in the year after the meetings took place.

The list showed very little difference in the number of meetings in the top 10, with most hosting fewer meetings. Berlin recorded only two extra meetings in 2015, while Paris held 28 fewer. Vienna hosted 24 fewer meetings, Madrid saw a reduction of 29 and Barcelona held two fewer meetings.

Listed by country, the top nine from last year all remained in the top echelon, with USA retaining top spot and Germany sticking at number two. The UK climbed a place to number three at the cost of Spain which dropped down a peg. France, Italy, Japan and China retained 5th-8th places respectively. The Netherlands now shared 8th place with China, and Canada is the only newcomer in the top 10.

Commenting on Berlin's top ranking, Matthias Schultze, MD of the German Convention Bureau, said: “Germany’s cities are renowned for using their individual areas of expertise to attract and support conventions and it’s great to see so many of these cities recognised in the latest rankings, with Berlin leading the way.

“It is a great achievement that our country has retained its place at the top of ICCA’s ranking for well over a decade now. We all work hard as an integrated, country-wide destination, service, venue, hotel, convention centre and economic development community to deliver one-of-a-kind, successful meeting experiences.“

ICCA CEO Martin Sirk said: "In an uncertain world with ever increasing business disruption, the stability and continuing long-term growth of international association meetings are encouraging more and more suppliers and destinations to include this market segment in their mix of business. What also remains true is that these are the most complex and long-lead-time meetings to win, requiring excellent research and targeting, top class bidding and presentation skills, and patience." 

"It's always risky to draw conclusions from a single year's data, but it appears that competition is getting tougher for the traditional market leaders, with faster growth outside the top ten positions. This might also reflect a trend we are hearing anecdotally, as many of the top destinations are starting to create their own international meetings, rather than simply bidding for traditional association meetings whenever rotation patterns allow, and these new meetings don’t appear in our data, since they don’t usually rotate between countries.”

ICCA statistics are collected by suppliers. 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.

The top seven places in the annual International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) rankings for European cities consisted of the same places as last year but in a different order. Barcelona climbed two places to sit at third, while Vienna dropped two places to fourth. Madrid fell two places to sit equal fifth with London, while Singapore remains in seventh. Istanbul climbed a place to eighth, followed by top-10 newcomers Lisbon and Copenhagen which each climbed three places to achieve 9 and 10 respectively.

Top 10 cities

1. Berlin (195 meetings)

2. Paris (186)

3. Barcelona (180)

4. Vienna (178)

5. London (171)

5. Madrid (171)

7. Singapore (156)

8. Istanbul (148)

9. Lisbon (145)

10. Copenhagen (138)

Facebook Share Twitter Share LinkeIn Share