Barcelona ranks as the world's 1st city for conference attendees

International Events

26 May 2023

According to ICCA, the Catalan capital also ranks 4th globally in the list of best cities based on the number of congresses hosted, behind only Vienna, Lisbon, and Paris. 

Under the framework of IMEX, the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) rankings were presented, and Barcelona has, once again, broken a record as one of the best cities for organizing congresses regarding the number of participants and the number of congresses. The Catalan capital got first place in the ranking as the destination with the most attendees and remains in the Top 5 as a MICE destination (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions), with the 4th place after Vienna, Lisbon, and Paris

According to the ranking, Barcelona once again consolidated its position during 2022, accumulating more than 20 years in the Top 5 international congresses destinations. In the number of delegates, Barcelona has maintained the 1st position during the decade 2013-2022.

After Barcelona, with 135,000 delegates, the ICCA ranking placed Vienna (105,000) in second place regarding participants, followed by Paris, Lisbon, Milan, and London.

In the number of congresses organized, Vienna (162) is in first place, followed by Lisbon (144), Paris (134), and Barcelona (133), while Prague has climbed up the rankings to take 5th place from Madrid, which has moved up to 6th place.

Top 5 cities by the number of conference attendees
Rank City Attendees
1 Barcelona 135,000
2 Vienna 105,000
3 Paris 101,000
4 Lisbon 87,562
5 Milan 77,969
Top 5 cities by the number of events hosted
Rank City Events hosted
1 Vienna 162
2 Lisbon 144
3 Paris 134
4 Barcelona 133
5 Prague 129

 

“Barcelona is a resilient, professional, and very attractive destination for MICE, and these ICCA results prove it, especially with the first position, one more year, in the number of delegates”

Christoph Tessmar, director of Barcelona Convention Bureau (BCB)

Christoph Tessmar, director of Barcelona Convention Bureau (BCB), emphasized Barcelona's strength and position in the Top 5 even in a year like 2022, with the first few months with a substantial impact on the Omicron variant when other countries had fewer restrictions. "We are a resilient, professional, and very attractive destination for MICE, and these ICCA results prove it, especially with the first position, one more year, in the number of delegates." 

The ICCA ranking confirms that the Catalan capital remains one of the preferred destinations for organizing congresses and events, with some 450 annual congresses for the Health & Life Sciences sector, which accounts for 40% of the events booked, followed by the technology sector, which includes the world's leading events such as the Mobile World Congress (MWC) and the Integrated Systems Europe (ISE). However, this ranking only computes those international congresses rotating between three countries with a minimum of 50 delegates. Therefore, acknowledged congresses such as MWC and ISE are left out.

Barcelona's continued success in the ICCA rankings is a testament to the city's commitment to excellence and innovation in the field of conference tourism. As the sector evolves, Barcelona remains a top choice for event organizers and attendees.
 

 

Source: ICCA & Barcelona Convention Bureau (CBC)

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