Meetings Canada


Montreal Makes ICCA 2017 Top 20 City List

Montreal is the only Canadian city to make the top 20 of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) 2017 ranking of cities by number of meetings. Quebec’s largest city tied with Rome for the 20th spot, both cities having hosted 96 major association conventions and conferences last year.  It is the first time that Montreal has made the list’s top 20. In the ICCA country rankings for 2017, Canada held ninth spot with 360 meetings.

ICCA reports that 2017 was another successful year for the international association meetings industry. It captured a record number of 12,558 rotating international association meetings taking place in 2017, with 346 additional meetings taking place compared to 2016. This is the highest annual figure that ICCA has ever recorded in its yearly analysis of the immediate past year’s meetings data.

The annual ICCA country and city rankings report is a well-respected global comparison of destinations’ performance in attracting international meetings. However, it should be noted that the report covers a narrow segment of the meetings industry, only including international association meetings that rotate between at least three countries, have a proven attendance of at least 50 participants, and are held on a regular basis. The  rankings do not provide an overview of the entire meetings industry.

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. These are the pressures that we believe will continue to boost the sector for many years to come.”

2017 City rankings

Barcelona, Spain, which hosted 195 meetings last year, took first place for the first time since 2004. It bested regular first and second place holders Paris and Vienna, which tied for second with 190 meetings each. Berlin and London placed in fourth and fifth. Madrid stayed in seventh place for another year, and last year’s other number seven Amsterdam drops out of the top 10 to 16th place, making way for Prague to climb three places to join the top 10 in 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.


Rank City # Meetings
1 Barcelona 195
2 Paris 190
Vienna 190
4 Berlin 185
5 London 177
6 Singapore 160
7 Madrid 153
8 Prague 151
9 Lisbon 149
10 Seoul 142
11 Buenos Aires 131
12 Budapest 128
13 Hong Kong 119
14 Dublin 117
15 Copenhagen 115
16 Amsterdam 112
17 Bangkok 110
18 Tokyo 101
19 Stockholm 97
20 Montreal, QC 96
Rome 96

2017 Country rankings

Since 2016 there has not been much change in the top 10 country rankings, apart from a minor shift in positioning. As it has done for the past two decades, U.S.A. remains in the number one position with 941 meetings, 7 more than reported at this time in 2016. The cities in the top 3 have not changed, with Germany and United Kingdom remaining in second and third place after the U.S.A.’s first. France exits the top 5 and drops to sixth place with the rise of Spain and Italy one place to fourth and fifth, and Japan retains seventh place for a second year running. 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.

Table 2: Top 20 country rankings by number of meetings organised in 2017

Rank Country # Meetings
1 U.S.A. 941
2 Germany 682
3 United Kingdom 592
4 Spain 564
5 Italy 515
6 France 506
7 Japan 414
8 China P.R. 376
9 Canada 360
10 Netherlands 307
11 Portugal 298
12 Austria 281
13 Republic of Korea 279
14 Australia 258
15 Sweden 255
16 Brazil 237
17 Switzerland 230
18 Poland 216
19 Belgium 208
20 Denmark 203



The full ICCA statistics reports are available now to members only via ICCA’s Destination Comparison Tool. The rankings for all countries and cities will be released to the public in mid-June.