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ICCA reinvents annual association meetings Statistics Report

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Provides an enhanced tool for addressing current industry challenges.

The past year has transformed the way the international association meetings industry does business. As a result, the Research Department of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) has also reinvented how they assess and present the 2020 ICCA Statistics Report on the association meetings market. This latest iteration of the report reflects the changing needs of the industry. It provides a more accurate representation of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on association meetings globally. Furthermore, it is an enhanced tool for guiding the industry out of the current crisis and into an altered, but stronger future. 

The 2020 ICCA Statistics Report consists of meetings that were intended to take place in 2020 and indicates what became of the meetings. The report includes analysis on the economic impact of meetings in 2020 compared to 2019, revenue loss, and several additional key parameters. New categories have been added to represent the full spectrum of solutions that event planners implemented in 2020; such as virtual and hybrid meetings, postponement, cancellation, and relocation. 

Key findings include:

  • While 44% of meetings were postponed in 2020, the vast majority of those meetings remained loyal to the original destination.
  • Virtual and hybrid meetings have helped associations attract bigger audiences in 2020, compared to face-to-face meetings in previous years.
  • Analysis of the economic impact of COVID-19 (total expenditure 2019 vs. 2020) indicates the industry’s strong desire to return to face-to-face meetings. However, in the future, meetings are likely to include elements and best practices from virtual and hybrid events.

“We are excited to provide our industry with this latest iteration of the report that includes a more holistic and precise representation of the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on association meetings globally,” said ICCA CEO Senthil Gopinath.

“The 2020 ICCA Statistics Report not only provides a closer look at what was, it gives a clearer view of what is ahead. It reveals many positive developments that can guide top-level decision makers within associations, sectors, and local governments. Above all, this report captures the incredible resilience of our community. We at ICCA World steadfastly believe that the global association meetings industry is entering a brighter, stronger future.”

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