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IAPCO Statistics Downturn - But Only Just

The latest figures from IAPCO (International Association of Professional Congress Organisers) confirm a slight downturn in overall attendees, but globally, IAPCO continues to grow.

There are two elements to consider:

  • the growth in the number of meetings managed in total by IAPCO members during 2011
  • the actual number of meetings managed by the same IAPCO members when comparing 2011 figures with 2010

Total Meetings Managed in 2011

The total number of participants managed by IAPCO members during 2011 increased from just under 2,250,000 to over 2,285,000; similarly, growth was experienced with the amount of exhibition m2 handled, from 546,000 to 632,000.

2010 : 2011 comparison

When comparing the equivalent 2010 and 2011 returns, excluding the new members/growth in membership, the figures paint a different picture. There was 4.49% drop with the total number of participants reaching just under 2,219,000 as compared to 2,245,994 in 2010. However, considering the economic climate this small percentage drop is far less than might have been expected.

Comparing like with like, the number of corporate meetings organised fell by (-)8.45%, the number of association meetings rose by a mere (+)3.72%, but the number of governmental meetings increased by a staggering (+)22.69% reflecting the shorter lead times, and the continual need for politicians to meet.

Drop in Numbers per Meeting

The drop in attendance size continues to fall, from 486 participants per event in 2006 to 345 in 2011. Exhibition space remains reasonably consistent at between 80-100 m2 average per event over the past five years, currently at 95 m2 for 2011.

Economic Impact

Taking the total number of meetings managed by IAPCO members during 2011, and utilising the same benchmark figure of €1620 spend per participant, the economic impact of the 6621 meetings organised represents some 3.71 billion euros to local economies, and continues to grow year on year.