London has retained its position as the top European destination for meetings and events, according to data from specialist technology provider Cvent.
The UK capital, which was also the top European city for meetings and events in 2019, finished ahead of Barcelona, Paris, Madrid and Lisbon in Cvent’s rankings, which were revealed at the IMEX Frankfurt trade show on Wednesday (24 May).
It is the first time Cvent has published these rankings since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in early 2020. The rankings are based on several metrics including total room nights booked through the Cvent Supplier Network, the number of unique electronic RFPs (request for proposals) sent to venues in each city, the total value of RFPs submitted and the value of meetings booked.
Cvent also looked at the continent’s top hotels for meetings and events with Barcelona’s W hotel coming out on top, following by Madrid Marriott Auditorium Hotel & Conference, Hyatt Regency Paris Étoile, Meliá Castilla in Madrid and Hilton Prague.
Graham Pope, Cvent’s vice president of international sales, said: “After four long years, we’re excited to share these insights once again and provide a resource that is used by event organisers to find great hotels and destinations and by hospitality professionals looking to set themselves apart to increase their MICE revenue.
“Fortunately, destinations and hotels alike have seen a dramatic comeback from pandemic lows as they benefitted from the pent-up demand for in-person experiences.”
Cvent highlighted London’s “easy accessibility” with six airports serving the city and its “effective” public transport system. The UK capital is also seeing high growth in hotel development - 17 new properties opened in 2022 and the city currently has the largest pipeline of hotel developments in Europe.
Barcelona was praised as a leader in sustainable tourism, while Paris will benefit from the infrastructure improvements being made for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Lisbon was the only new city to feature in the European top 10, compared with the 2019 rankings.
There were more newcomers in the list of top 10 meeting and events hotels, including Corinthia Lisbon in seventh place, InterContinental Athenaeum Athens (9th) and Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon (10th), which have all benefited from major renovations in the past few years.
Fiona Plumpton, head of London Convention Bureau Services, said Cvent’s rankings confirmed the city as a “global leader in the meetings and events sector”.
“London is a diverse and inclusive city and offers unrivalled choices when planning a meeting or event,” she added. “London is also a global leader in technology and innovation.
“Utilising technology, which includes the Cvent platform, allows us to bring London directly to event planners and enables our team, and those of our partner hotels and venues, to quickly respond which helps us stay ahead of the competition.”