This Week's Herman Trend Alert

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  The Herman Trend Alert

May 2, 2007

International Associations Favor US for Meetings

In a study released last week in Amsterdam by the International Congress & Convention Association (ICCA), the United States was the country with the most international meetings for the third year in a row. The US hosted 414 international meetings. Germany was a not so close second at 334 with Britain following at 279, and France and Spain almost tying for fourth and fifth at 269 and 266.

It's easy to understand why international association meeting professionals favored the US. The dollar is down against most other currencies of the world and there has not been a terrorist incident on US soil since September 11, 2001.

However, it did surprise us that no US metro areas made it into the ten most popular cities for meetings. We had at least expected Las Vegas or Orlando to make the list. The number one city for international meetings was Vienna, the same as in 2005, and Paris jumped four places to take the number-two spot. The rest of the top ten destinations for 2006, in order, were : Singapore, Barcelona, Berlin, Budapest, Seoul, Prague, and Copenhagen and Lisbon in a tie.

In sequence, the balance of the top ten countries is Italy, Brazil, Austria, Australia, and The Netherlands.

To gather this data, ICCA researchers identified 5,838 events that took place in 2006, an increase of 523 events over 2005. To a degree, the boost in the number of meetings mirrors the strength of the market, but it also is due to a record number of association members that submitted their event information, thus adding more meetings. Rankings cover meetings and conventions organized by international associations that take place regularly and rotate between a minimum of three countries.

For various reasons, the attractiveness of the dollar and relative safety this country offers trumps the negative reputation the US has acquired among the developed countries of the world. Our expectation is that there will be a continued increase in the number of international meetings in the US, until the value of the dollar increases or there is another major terrorist event in North America.


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