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May 13, 2013

ICCA Announces Top Countries, Cities for Meetings; Germany Ranks High


Good news for Germany's events scene today: For the ninth consecutive year, the International Congress & Convention Association has ranked Germany as the leading European conference location for international associations. At the same time, Germany has also maintained its second place globally, behind only the USA.

ICCA’s figures show that a total of 649 international association conferences were hosted in Germany, 72 more than in the previous year. The total narrows the gap with the USA, which remains out in front with 833 conferences. Meanwhile, Germany has extended its lead over Spain, which is still in third place with 550 conferences.


On its own, Berlin hosted 172 events held by international associations in the past year (an increase of 25 events), and was named the third most popular city for conferences and conventions in the world. The city is behind Vienna (195 events) and Paris (181) and ahead of Madrid (164 events) and Barcelona (154).

Klaus Wowereit, Governing Mayor of Berlin, said that the city is moving to the top of the international congress business. "With additional event capacities, such as the new CityCube Berlin, the city is also well-positioned for the convention business for the long term and is well able to handle the diversity of the requests.  Berlin is also such an attractive city that large organizations and companies like to put on their events in the German capital."

But Burkhard Kieker, CEO of visitBerlin, said that the recognition is "both an honor and an incentive to do even more, especially since we face aggressive competition from financially strong competitors in Asia and the Arab Gulf states, all vying for conventions. The fact that Berlin has moved up a position shows that it is perceived as a top convention location by international convention planners."

Since 2008, the number of organizations holding conferences in Berlin has steadily increased. The German capital has been successfully asserting its status as a top conference location for the past eight years. The ICCA ranking is an important indicator in the international congress business. It helps organizers decide where to hold their events.

Further statistics on Berlin as a convention location can be found at convention.visitBerlin.com.

Beyond Berlin

Many other German cities were also ranked as desirable at the worldwide and European city levels - outpacing other countries in their number of noted cities - including Munich, Hamburg, Frankfurt am Main, Dresden, Cologne, Bonn, Leipzig, and many others.

Matthias Schultze, Managing Director of the GCB German Convention Bureau e.V., praised the country's infrastructure, transport network and variety of event venues. "We offer superb value for money and local expertise in key economic and scientific sectors. All of these qualities make Germany’s cities and regions ideal settings for international conferences,” he said.

One of the areas that is particularly important for the German meetings industry is the medical and healthcare sector. The “Congress of the European Society of Cardiology - ESC”, with more than 27,300 delegates, was among the high-profile events hosted in 2012 in Munich. In addition, Berlin welcomed both the “Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes - EASD”, which attracted over 18,100 attendees, and the “EULAR Annual European Congress of Rheumatology”, along with its 14,740 participants.

There were also prominent large-scale events in the energy and environment sector, such as POWER-GEN Europe & RENEWABLE ENERGY WORLD Europe conference in Cologne, attended by 13,000 people.

The GCB’s own research provides further insight into the most important foreign source markets for meetings and conferences in Germany: It recently looked at the countries of origin of associations that held their conferences in Germany during 2012. Great Britain came top of the list, followed by the USA, Belgium, France, Switzerland and the Netherlands.

The GCB’s data also reveals another interesting development, namely that the number of events in the sustainability sector almost doubled between 2011 and 2012.

“This trend demonstrates that Germany has firmly established itself as a leading destination for sustainable events, capitalizing on its expertise in this competitive global market”, Schultze commented.

The GCB website helps meeting planners find detailed information on Germany, including details venues and vendors, tips for green meetings, news and travel guides. Follow the German Convention Bureau in the U.S. on Twitter: www.twitter.com/GermanyMeetings.

The ICCA Report

The ICCA’s annual “International Association Meetings Market” report provides a comprehensive evaluation of developments in the international meetings market. To be included in the ICCA’s data, association conferences must have at least 50 delegates, take place regularly and rotate around at least three countries. The international trade body of the events industry was founded in 1963 and has its headquarters in Amsterdam. It has been collecting information about events and associations worldwide since 1972.


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About the Author: Jena Tesse Fox

Jena Tesse Fox





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