5 Reasons why destinations should take PR advantage of their ICCA rankings

Paris proud number one for 2013

It’s time to take advantage of your ICCA ranking! ICCA’s 2014 country and city rankings will be published again right before IMEX (See release dates). Your destination’s ranking in the ICCA Statistics reflects your position in the international association meetings market and offers some very valuable PR opportunities which you should not miss out on.

Here are 5 reasons why you should start preparing your PR activities around the new ICCA rankings NOW:

1. Press loves statistics and rankings. Use the rankings as an angle to communicate your destination’s core brand values and key messages.

The ICCA rankings provide an opportunity for you to generate a high free profile for your organisation and your destination in the media. In order to be successful you have to realise that a news fact alone is usually not interesting enough for press to publish your article. The releases that get the most coverage are the ones that create an interesting and newsworthy story around a news fact. This story should answer WHY and HOW you got the current position in the rankings: Have you launched a new ambassador programme or a new direct marketing campaign? See also: “Remember your three Ps. Point (or Purpose), People, and Pictures”.

Plug in your good ICCA ranking in al PR messages: Repetition works!

If you are not a convention bureau: Note that media is paying attention to your city when the ICCA and UIA rankings are published, so hotels and venues could also take advantage of this momentum.

Get creative! If you are a smaller destination or you have dropped the regular ICCA rankings, you have to get creative: Maybe you have hosted fewer but bigger meetings and you have hosted more participants? Did you organise more meetings in a specific subject area? Are you the second or third meetings city in your country? Are you amongst the 10 biggest risers? You can use the new ICCA Statistics Tool to make tailored rankings based for example on specific subject matters, meetings with at least 500 participants, or use the ranking based on estimated total number of partcipants instead of number of meetings if your destination ranks higher in this ranking.

2. Prepare your story, even if you have dropped in the rankings

If you have dropped in the rankings or are not proactively going out with a release, we would advise you to prepare your story behind the figures. The rankings draw a lot of media attention and you better be prepared when journalists ask you why your destination has dropped in the rankings! Provide the full picture: 

  • Educate journalists about what the ICCA rankings represent and what is not included. Remember: the Association Database only includes meetings which take place regularly, rotate between at least 3 different countries and have at least 50 participants.
  • Association meetings are long term business, so also look at what is currently in the order books to create a positive story.
  • Collect your own statistics: Maybe your performance has increased in the national, governmental or corporate market segment?
  • Use alternative rankings for PR: Most liveable city, greenest city, etc.
  • Be honest and transparent

Make sure you collect data on all meetings taking place in your destination and report it to ICCA, so all your meetings are included in the statistics.

3. Advocacy

Use your destination’s ranking for advocacy purposes to your key stakeholders like your local community or government for which you rely on for funding. Team up with the association in their advocacy efforts and highlight the value of the meeting beyond the touristic impact only: communicate the economic and societal benefit of the meeting for your destination.

4. Promote your destination to association meeting planners

The ICCA rankings help meeting planners to decide where to hold their events, as they are scrutinising ICCA data to work out which destinations are increasing in popularity and where their peers are meeting. Consider placing a sponsored hyperlink in the public version of the 2014 statistics report which ICCA is sending to over 6,000 associations in June (for more information on this opportunity contact Sebastian@icca.nl).

5. 50 years of association meetings data provides new story angles

All ICCA members have access to over 50-year data on international association meetings, which provides a lot of new insights and story angles. If you haven’t done so already, please take a look at our 50-year advocacy report “A modern history of international association meetings” (1963-2012) on www.icca50.com, and note that you can analyse over 50 years of association meeting statistics with the online ICCA Statistics Tool:

  • Create reports on worldwide, regional, country and/or city level
  • Filter on specific year ranges, meeting sizes and subject matters
  • Compare up to 5 countries or cities

BONUS: ICCA Best PR Award A sixth bonus reason is the ICCA Best PR Award: We’re on the lookout for excellent examples of PR by ICCA members, so your stories and coverage could help you get onto the Award shortlist and be profiled at this year’s Congress in Buenos Aires.

ICCA PR Kit Note that ICCA provides some simple and effective tools to increase your PR profile:

  • Press Database: Download 400 press contacts
  • Digital Clipping Service: Monitor online news publications to measure results
  • Post your press releases on the ICCA website & social media
  • NEW Business Wins: Post your Business Win on the ICCA website & social media

We are looking forward to seeing your media coverage! See also:

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