Lille has dramatically moved up its rank in top cities for international association meetings, rising from a position of 312 to 102 in just two years, according to ICCA’s most recent report based on 2013 data.
What is ICCA?
ICCA (International Congress & Convention Association) is an international non-profit organisation, formed in 1963 and headquartered in Amsterdam, which maintains a database of association meetings held world-wide per city. ICCA provides annual statistics, which are useful to both conference organizers and local professionals in understanding convention trends. Cities are ranked annually, based on four main event criteria: Events organized by an association, held in at least 3 countries, with a minimum of 50 participants, and organised with a regular frequency.
Rising to a position over 200 places above its ICCA ranking only two years ago is an impressive feat, and testimony that Lille’s long-term development strategy of metropolization continues to pay off. The city has experienced major evolutions, ranging from labour market transformation to a cultural blossoming of world-class proportions. A pioneer in e-commerce, Lille continues to attract international business, as witnessed in the establishment of numerous multinational headquarters. While on the cultural front, the recent opening of a local branch of the Louvre in nearby Lens offers a relaxing exploration of art treasures. With infrastructure improvements, such a high-speed international train connections and over 8,000 hotel rooms, Lille is poised to handle an influx of international visitors.
In addition to attributes resulting from urban development, Lille’s rising ICCA ranking is perhaps also explained by more human elements. Its manageable size makes for easy exploration. Home to several top universities, the population is young and dynamic. And of course, there is the character of its local population. As opposed to some of its larger city competitors, Lille has a well-known reputation for its friendly and welcoming residents. Such factors are bound to leave the visitor with a positive lasting impression. As word continues to spread, one can expect that Lille’s reputation as convention city par excellence will continue to soar.