The international association meetings market saw a record year last year with 12,558 rotating association meetings taking place globally according to recent ICCA statistics, representing an additional 346 meetings compared to 2016.
ICCA CEO Martin Sirk said: "In a world of disruption and unpredictability, the continuing growth in international association meetings is a welcome anomaly, but is not that surprising. We are still in a period of revolutionary change in terms of scientific and technological advancements, which are transforming traditional association fields such as healthcare and trade.
"To make sense of the tsunami of new data and information, association communities need to meet. Not just at their traditional, well-established meetings, but in new gatherings specifically invented to serve new academic fields or to reach out to new audiences," Sirk concluded.
According to ICCA's 2017 city rankings, Barcelona claimed the top spot with 195 meetings held last year, surpassing previously first and second place holders Paris and Vienna. Vienna remains at second place with 190 meetings, a position it shares jointly with Paris this year; Berlin and London complete the top five rankings with 185 and 177 meetings respectively. The cities in this year's top five remain the same as they have done since 2015.
Top 20 city ranking by number of meetings organised in 2017
| ||Rome ||96|
Madrid stays in seventh place for another year, and last year's other number seven Amsterdam drops out of the top 10 to 16th place; Prague has climb three places to at eighth place. As in 2016, Singapore, Lisbon and Seoul remain in sixth, ninth and 10th place respectively.
Notable risers are Buenos Aires, jumping from 17th to 11th place, Budapest, jumping from 16th to 12th, and Hong Kong, jumping from 19th to 13th. Rome remains in 20th place for another year. Newcomers to the top 20 in 2017 are Tokyo and Montreal.
In terms of country rankings, the US remains in the number one position as it has done for the past two decades. It recorded 941 meetings-an increase of seven meetings compared to 2016. Germany and United Kingdom continue to lead second and third place respectively.
France exits the top five, dropping to sixth place, while Spain and Italy rise one place to fourth and fifth. Japan retains seventh place for a second year running, while China P.R. drops one place to eighth. Portugal drops out of shared 10th place to 11th in 2017. Argentina falls two spots to 21st place and Denmark enters the top 20 at 20th place.
Top 20 country rankings by number of meetings organised in 2017
|13||Republic of Korea||279|
The annual ICCA country and city rankings covers international meetings that rotate between at least three countries, have a proven attendance of at least 50 participants, and are held on a regular basis.