by Lisa A. Grimaldi | May 14, 2019

The U.S. has retained the top spot -- which it has held for more than two decades -- for hosting large association conventions in 2018, according to the newly released rankings from the International Congress and Convention Association. The country hosted 947 of these conferences last year. Germany came in second place (642 meetings), followed by Spain (595), France (579), the United Kingdom (574), Italy (522), Japan (492), China (449), the Netherlands (355) and Canada (315).

On the city front, Paris regained the top spot it held in 2016, hosting 212 international association meetings. The French capital was followed in the rankings by Vienna (172 conferences) and Madrid (165). Barcelona, 2017's top city, came in fourth with 163 meetings and number five was Berlin (162). Rounding out the top 10 were Lisbon (152), London (150), Singapore (145), Prague (136) and Bangkok (135). Montreal held on as the top-ranked North American City spot it had last year, with 87 international association congresses taking place there in 2018.

ICCA's rankings are based on the number of association meetings that take place on a regular basis and rotate between a minimum of three countries. For 2018, ICCA captured data from a record 12,937 of these events.

"We have recorded our largest-ever annual snapshot of the immediate past year's meetings data in 2018," said ICCA CEO Senthil Gopinath. "These results closely follow the release of our 55-year history of the international association meetings market in October 2018. ICCA's latest figures uphold the mature, robust growth pattern we identified in this report and provide more evidence of our firm belief that the association sector continues to be an unrivaled stimulator of global societal development and force for progress across the globe."

The Top Twenty Cities for Association Conventions 

1. Paris (212)
2. Vienna (176)
3. Madrid (165)
4. Barcelona (163)
5. Berlin (162)
6. Lisbon (152)
7. London (150)
8. Singapore (145)
9. Prague (136)
10. Bangkok (135)
11. Buenos Aires (133)
12. Hong Kong (129)
13. Amsterdam, Tokyo (123)
14. Tokyo (123)
15. Seoul (122)
16. Copenhagen (120)
17. Brussels (112)
18. Dublin (104)
19. Stockholm (103)
20. Budapest (100)
21. Taipei (100)

The Top Twenty Countries for Association Conventions 

1. United States (947)
2. Germany (642)
3. Spain (595)
4. France (579)
5. United Kingdom (574)
6. Italy (522)
7. Japan (492)
8. China (449)
9. Netherlands (355)
10. Canada (315)
11. Portugal (306)
12. Republic of Korea (273)
13. Australia (265)
14. Sweden (257)
15. Belgium (252)
16. Australia (240)
17. Brazil (233)
18. Argenina (232)
19. Poland (211)
20. Switzerland (208)