On 12 May 2020 International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) published its latest statistics report covering 2019, with Poland ranked 19th (out of 114 countries) with 213 association meetings. For many years now Poland has been maintaining a stable position in the listing and is the only Visegrád Group member state to be ranked in the top twenty.
The 2019 city rankings captured 425 destinations, with Polish contenders in the following order:
- Warsaw - 34th with 71 meetings,
- Kraków - 48th with 54 meetings,
- Poznań - 143rd with 21 meetings,
- Gdańsk - 159th with 19 meetings,
- Wrocław - 191st with 15 meetings,
- Katowice - 267th with 10 meetings,
- Łódź - 307th with 8 meetings.
Recording an impressive increase in the number of association meetings compared to last year, Gdańsk moved up 37 places. Last year’s newcomer, Łódź climbed 48 spots. These results demonstrate the growing importance second-- and third-choice destinations have for international association conferences.
Crucial for securing Poland’s stable position in the latest ICCA ranking, information about events meeting ICCA’s assessment criteria was collected thanks to Poland Convention Bureau POT’s cooperation with municipal and regional convention bureaux and professional congress organisers (PCOs) recommended by POT. The outcome is particularly inspiring when you consider that the total number of meetings captured worldwide dropped from 13,891 in 2018 to 13,254 in 2019. Despite this downturn, Europe still hosted the largest number of events in 2019 (53%). The U.S.A. remained in the top country spot, while Germany and France dominated in Europe, with the latter moving up to take third position from Spain.
One of the most prominent associations of the meetings industry, ICCA operates in almost 100 countries all over the world and comprises of over 1,100 member companies and organisations specialised in handling, transporting and accommodating international meetings and events. For more than 50 years it has been collecting and analysing data and creating communication channels in the field of arranging international business meetings. On the basis of collected data, ICCA compiles an annual ranking discussing meetings that simultaneously meet three conditions:
- they are held on a regular basis,
- they have a proven attendance of at least 50 participants,
- they rotate between at least three countries.
ICCA membership generates numerous benefits: it provides a cost-effective way to win and attract events representing the meetings industry and offers access to a global network of contacts, making it possible to do business on a worldwide platform representing all sectors of the industry. Members of ICCA have access to a database of more than 72,000 conferences staged by more than 5,000 associations and containing information about the history of each conference and data about particular associations. Finally, ICCA guarantees a strong education programme aimed at its members.
Polish Tourism Organisation (Polska Organizacja Turystyczna - POT) joined ICCA along with the 2002 establishment of Poland Convention Bureau within its structures.