Top 10 Cities for Meetings, Incentives, Conferences & Events (MICE) in 2018

Meetings and conventions can be significant generators of revenue for cities worldwide . Not only do events bring revenue for hotels and meeting venues, but they also support local restaurants, shops and other businesses in the area.

While events are held in cities around the world, there are certain cities that really excel when it comes to creating the ideal conditions for these conferences and meetings.

These cities around the world are all very different and each have unique attributes. However, what they have in common is that they are all extremely well-suited to meetings and events. Let’s take a look at 10 impressive cities around the world and why they are so perfect for the MICE industry.


LONDON

In 2017, the cloud-based event management company Cvent Inc released a list of their top 10 cities for meetings and events in the UK. The list was made based on event booking activities using the Cvent Supplier Network. Their criteria included a number of factors, including total room nights booked, percentage of qualified meeting venues and more.

The UK city at the top of the list was London. This shouldn’t come as a shock, as London is the largest city in the UK and has the best selection of event venues. It’s also very easy to get to with a great selection of flights from a wide range of destinations.

However, there are many other cities in the UK that are competing with London for the top spot. Cities such as Manchester and Birmingham are investing in state of the art conference and event facilities. Soon, they could becoming significant players in the international MICE industry as well.


DUBAI

Dubai is a glittering metropolis in the desert – and home to some of the most impressive, modern hotels and skyscrapers in the world. This means plenty of venues to host impressive events.

According to recent statistics, Dubai is the 4th most visited city in the world after London, Paris and Bangkok. Dubai has even been selected to host the World Expo in 2020. In fact, the Emirate has a goal of attracting as many as 20 million visitors by then.

Dubai was also chosen as one of the top meetings destinations in Europe, Middle East and Africa in the Cvent research described above. The event scene here is thriving and it offers a comprehensive range of venues from huge exhibition halls to boutique hotels.

Looking to get more familiar with Dubai? Check out Dubai FAM 2018, a fam trip we will be hosting for MICE professionals in Dubai this October. Find out more about it here!


SYDNEY

Sydney is the main business hub of Australia. It’s an incredibly important conference destination in Oceania with direct international flights from 47 destinations across the globe.

This city offers world class infrastructure for MICE events, including boardrooms, exclusive dining rooms and much more. Some of the most impressive venues include the Sydney Olympic Park, The Star Hotel, the Hyatt Regency Sydney and Dockside Pavilion Darling Harbour.

Sydney also offers an excellent transport system. Their range of over 33,000 hotels and serviced apartments across the city is also quite impressive. While attending conferences, guests can also enjoy some of the great cultural attractions in the city – including the Sydney Opera House, the Sydney Observatory and the Sydney Harbour Bridge.


BERLIN

The history, monuments, excellent international food scene, peaceful green spaces are just some of the reasons to host an event in Berlin. The German capital is a hotspot in the innovation and technology scene, and there are many exciting modern events taking place throughout the year.

According to Visit Berlin, the conference market in Berlin continues to grow. More than 11.5 million people traveled to approximately 137,500 events in this magical city in 2016 alone! Berlin boasts 506,000 square meters of conference space in more than 361 unique locations, including museums, galleries and luxurious hotels and is also known for hosting unusual and interesting events for niche interest groups. These range from raw food conferences to love letter conventions, anime and manga events, and more.


ORLANDO

Orlando is one of the best cities in the US to host a conference. It’s known for having some of the largest and best convention centers in the country – including the Orange County Convention Center, Rosen Shingle Creek and Orlando World Center Marriott. Whether you are hosting a small event or a convention with thousands of people, Orlando will likely have the perfect venue for you.

Compared to many other major destinations in the US, the rates for Orlando’s accommodations are some of the most affordable. Plus, airfare to Orlando is more affordable than most other major US cities.


SINGAPORE

Singapore is known for being a flourishing business hub and popular Southeast Asian destination for business travelers. It is a stable, high income economy with business regulations there are extremely favorable for promoting innovation and entrepreneurism.

With an excellent infrastructure and many meeting rooms with state of the art facilities, Singapore is fully equipped to host top quality international events. For example, the Marina Bay Sands is one of the most impressive conference venues in the city (it’s the one that looks like a cruise ship set on top of two skyscrapers). It has 250 meeting rooms and can host up to 8,000 delegates.

Along with other modern venues such as Suntec Singapore Convention Center and Singapore EXPO, this destination is one of the best places in the world to host events. It was even named the 2016 Asia Pacific Top Convention City in the International Congress and Convention Association Global Rankings 2016 (along with many other event-related awards).


BARCELONA

Barcelona is one of the most important cities in Europe. It is also one of the main economic and cultural hubs of Spain and Southern Europe. It is welcoming, cosmopolitan, easily accessible and boasts state of the art infrastructure – making it well suited to host events.

Some event venues in Barcelona include the Gran Via Fira. This is one of the biggest and most modern, designed by the Japanese architect Toyo Ito. Fira Barcelona is another significant venue – with 6 halls in total and 3 hotels. You’ll also find the Barcelona International Convention Center and the Palau de Congressos de Catalunya.

Barcelona also boasts superb cuisine, museums, beaches, architecture and art galleries to enjoy while attending a conference or event.


ATLANTA

Atlanta is another hot US city for hosting  meetings and events, boasting great hotels at every price point, award-winning restaurants and top quality meeting events. For example, the Georgia International Convention Center offers 150,000 square feet of modern exhibition space, two hotels and a free shuttle offering direct transfers to the airport.

Atlanta is also very easy to get to from most destinations in the US – 80 percent of the US population lives within a 2 hour flight. The friendly Southern hospitality doesn’t hurt either!


KUALA LUMPUR

Kuala Lumpur, otherwise known as the capital city of Malaysia, is also developing a reputation as one of the hottest conference venues in Asia. It was recently named one of the Top 25 Asia Pacific destinations by Cvent.

There are a number of excellent venues here, including the Sime Darby Convention Center, Putra World Trade Center and Kuala Lumpur Convention Center. Genting International Convention Center is known for high tech features and often hosts innovative events. It is also centrally located in Southeast Asia, not too far from Oceanic states such as New Zealand and Australia.

While Kuala Lumpur is known for its lively markets, British Colonial architecture and delicious street food, it’s also known for its traffic jams. If you plan on attending a conference here, it’s better to get around on foot or via the excellent light rail and train systems.


BANGKOK

The MICE industry in Thailand has grown significantly over the last few years, fueled by the economic boom in Thailand and Southeast Asia. Not only is Thailand known for friendly people, great hospitality and delicious food – it’s also becoming one of the top choices for events in Asia.

Bangkok is easy to get to, as there are flights to Suvarnabhumi International Airport from most major cities in Asia, Europe and North America. The meeting and conference centers in Bangkok are impressive and state of the art. For example, the Bangkok International Trade & Exhibition Center has several modern meeting rooms, multi-purpose halls and grand banquet rooms.

There’s also the stunning Queen Sirikit National Convention Center, located outside the city center and known for its stunning traditional Thai decor and architecture. When it comes to professional services and support – such as transport and registration – these are all five star quality. Plus, an event hosted in Bangkok can enjoy a little bit more glamour with a traditional Thai opening and closing ceremony – complete with dancing and traditional clothing.


What’s Your Favorite Event City?

Have you attended an event in any of these cities? Which city around the world is your favorite for events, meetings, incentives and conferences? Let us know in the comments!

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