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by By Lisa A. Grimaldi | April 01, 2013

For the 10th consecutive year, M&C takes an in-depth look at the business of planning meetings, conventions, trade shows, incentive programs and other events outside the United States. Our survey of 411 meeting professionals -- 278 of whom mainly plan corporate events and 133 who chiefly organize association meetings -- reveals where U.S. groups met in 2012, where they will meet in 2013 and 2014, and the top international destinations for this year and next.

Among other topics addressed: what planners consider when choosing international destinations, the types of events they plan, the types of services they use, their budgets for international meetings and more.

Top Spots in 2012
Europe was the top international destination for U.S. corporate events last year, according to 60 percent of those polled. Canada was the second most popular spot, per 50 percent of respondents, followed by the Caribbean/Bermuda (42 percent) and Mexico (39 percent). Rounding out the list were Asia (31 percent), Central/South America (26 percent), the Middle East (14 percent), Australia/New Zealand (12 percent) and Africa (8 percent). Seven percent said their company or clients did not meet outside the U.S. in 2012.

On the association front, Canada was the top destination (cited by 50 percent), followed closely by Europe (49 percent), Mexico (35 percent) and the Caribbean/Bermuda (34 percent). The list was rounded out by Asia (32 percent), Central/South America (20 percent), Australia/New Zealand (16 percent), the Middle East (12 percent) and Africa (9 percent).
Top destinations for 2012

Current Picks: 2013
This year, Europe retains the top spot for corporate meetings held outside the U.S., according to 64 percent of respondents. The next most popular regions are Canada (50 percent) and the Caribbean/Bermuda (40 percent), followed by Mexico and Asia (each cited by 35 percent), Central/South America (29 percent), Australia/New Zealand (18 percent), the Middle East (16 percent) and Africa (2 percent). Just 5 percent of corporate respondents will not hold international meetings this year.

Europe (45 percent) edges out Canada (38 percent) this year as the top destination for association events, while the Caribbean/Bermuda comes in third place, according to 32 percent of those polled. Asia (31 percent) is next, followed by Mexico (28 percent), Central/South America (23 percent), Australia/New Zealand (15 percent), the Middle East (13 percent) and Africa (8 percent). Fourteen percent of association planners surveyed said their organizations will not meet outside the U.S. this year.
Top spots for 2013