ICCA survey shows meetings still major revenue earner for associations


The International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) has released the findings of a survey on association meetings, showing that meetings and events are still the largest segment of revenue generation for associations, with 46% of respondents stating this is the main revenue stream.

There is also a clear trend towards getting events back to in-person format, with 51% of associations indicating that they will hold their largest meeting in 2023 in-person, compared to 41% in 2022 and 14% in 2021.

With many associations returning to in person events, the need for support in the production of (virtual) events and integrated digital meeting platforms has dropped drastically.

The need for core PCO services has however increased compared to last year, and is now the highest ranking service closely followed by assistance with raising sponsorship and funding for events.

Just under half of the associations are indicating that they will be changing their RFPs in the near future, with the majority indicating that they will be incorporating aspects such as hybrid/digital options, sustainability as well as legacy initiatives.

The majority of the respondents (83%) are making efforts to work towards more sustainable events and practices. Around 80% of respondents indicate that they have a DEI policy in place, or at least are making some efforts to address DEI.

“Now that many associations have returned to in-person meetings, the pressing need and benefits for communities to do so has been reinforced,” said Senthil Gopinath, ICCA’s CEO.

“The pandemic has clearly made associations closely assess their strategic priorities to place more emphasis on delivering sustainable meetings and ensuring diversity, equity and inclusion through integration of digital access to events.

“These are key strategic areas for ICCA as an organisation and something we will continue to support our community with.”