International Congress & Convention Association (ICCA), the leader in the international association meetings sector, identified Germany as the top European conference location for international associations for 10 years running and as the No. 2 worldwide destination. The gap is also closing for premier global ranking and increasing the ranking distance from others in contention.
ICCA’s annual “International Association Meetings Market” report provides a comprehensive evaluation of developments in the international meetings market. The 2013 country figures demonstrate that 11.2 percent more international association conferences were hosted in Germany than last year with a total of 722. This total narrows the gap with the U.S., which remains out in front with 829 conferences though down 0.5 percent from 2012. Germany has extended its ample lead over Spain, which hosted 562 conferences, or 2.2 percent, more than last year staying in third place.
In ICCA’s worldwide and European city rankings, German cities also did quite well with Berlin remaining in the top five on both lists, boosted up six places, or 3.5 percent, for hosting 178 international association conferences in 2013. Other German cities landing in the top 100 for Europe include Munich, Hamburg, Dresden, Leipzig, Frankfurt, Cologne, Aachen, Bonn, Dusseldorf and Heidelberg. All told, more than 30 German cities made the ICCA rankings in 2013.
“We are proud that Germany has remained at the top of the ICCA rankings for a decade. The number of meetings we host and the number of people who attend them attest to a winning strategy of infrastructure, value for the money and industry expertise for international association conferences,” said Matthias Schultze, managing director, German Convention Bureau.
The German Convention Bureau (GCB), which promotes Germany globally as a destination for conferences, meetings, incentives and events, features these three crucial aspects to enable meeting planners in creating unique events that provide hands-on learning and expert access for their delegates. This strategy enhances the profile of German suppliers while also helping event organizers seek the perfect destination for events that will result in the highest learning value.
In 2013, about a third of the conventions were in the technology and innovation sector; another quarter was in medicine and health. Other leading industries included energy and environment, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, financial services, and transportation and logistics, which resulted in a diverse range of industry associations picking Germany as their meeting destination.
Among Berlin’s conferences last year were the 23rd European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID) and the 21st United European Gastroenterology Week (UEG Week). Hamburg hosted more than 22,624 attendees at the 96th international meeting of Lions Clubs International and Frankfurt welcomed the European Offshore Wind Conference and Exhibition (EWEA).
ICCA ranks top 2013 countries and cities