13 Sep 2018

What ICCA tells you about destination Germany

Author: Ursula Winterbauer, Director of Marketing & Strategy, GCB German Convention Bureau e. V.

According to ICCA statistics, Germany ranks as the number 1 meeting destination in Europe for international association meetings and number 2 worldwide. Looking more closely, the ICCA data provides some interesting insights about Germany as a meeting destination.

Berlin, Munich, Dresden top choices for international associations

Berlin is the unrivalled top destination in Germany for international association meetings. According to ICCA, 185 international association meetings took place in Berlin in 2017, which puts the German capital in fourth place worldwide. Munich is the second most popular destination in Germany and Dresden as a rising star moved from sixth place to an excellent third place in the national ranking for Germany. Other major German cities that are popular with international associations are Hamburg, Cologne, Duesseldorf, Stuttgart and Frankfurt.

The rise of German second-tier cities

The ICCA data clearly shows that not only Germany's major cities are popular hosts for international meetings but also that the lesser known second-tier cities score highly: due to the federal structure and well-developed economic and cultural centres, 66 German cities made it into the ICCA city ranking and 33 German cities hosted a minimum of five international association meetings in 2017, such as Heidelberg, Freiburg, Leipzig, Essen, Hanover, Nuremberg, Potsdam, Muenster, Aachen and Mainz, to name just a few. In other words, the diversity Germany can offer as a meeting destination is clearly a selling point.

Top picks for associations from the US, Belgium and the UK

The most important international source markets for association meetings in Germany are the USA, Belgium and the UK. In 2017, Berlin was the most popular city for all three markets. We see some differences, though, when we look at the runner-ups. Munich and Dresden as well as Heidelberg and Frankfurt were favorites with US-based associations while UK-based associations preferred Hamburg and Duesseldorf. Top choices for associations from Belgium besides Berlin were Hamburg, Munich and Mannheim.

Industry focus

Germany offers touchpoints in a variety of industry sectors and meeting planners can tap into local expertise when bringing meetings to Germany. Traditionally, Technology & Innovation as well as Medicine & Healthcare are the most prevalent sectors for meetings in Germany. Both account for more than half of all international association meetings held in the country.

Ursula Winterbauer

Ursula Winterbauer
Director of Marketing & Strategy

+49 69 24293012
winterbauer@gcb.de  | LinkedIn