Congress destination selection

The last few years have had a significant impact on the events landscape, as well as associations more broadly. All of this is important to review when it comes to planning future events, alongside World Physiotherapy’s purpose and its strategic plan. 

Our congress takes place every two years. This allows for congress to be hosted in different parts of the world to benefit more of our global community and advance research, education, practice and leadership, as well as creating lasting legacies.  

The board considers the objectives and priorities of the organisation in developing its shortlist of destinations of interest. Taking a targeted approach, the staff team liaises with member organisations before following up with countries/territories and cities of interest. Requests for proposals are then issued by World Physiotherapy against a detailed specification.  

Convention bureaus, our member organisations, and city partnerships are all important in developing the bids to bring relevant stakeholders together for a successful congress.  

After a review and analysis of all bids a final shortlist is agreed by the board for staff to proceed to site inspection. After this, a final review is then considered by the board in making the selection decision.  

The process can take up to 12 months.  

There are many factors that are considered during the process and these include: 

World Physiotherapy member organisation  

  • length of World Physiotherapy membership: ideally have been a member for at least four years  
  • good standing: membership subscriptions must be fully paid up and organisation compliant with our constitution 
  • size: whether the member organisation has sufficient individual members to be representative of the profession in the country/territory 
  • participants: whether the member organisation can guarantee a minimum number of 400 local participants  
  • international congress participation: whether the member organisation can demonstrate participation at previous international congresses by local members, as participants and presenters 
  • host: whether the member organisation can demonstrate its capacity to fulfil its role as host 
  • conflicting events: a commitment from the member organisation not to hold competing events close to the time of a World Physiotherapy congress and a willingness to explore partnerships for any national requirements  
  • other events: whether there are competing events in the region at that time 


  • degree of geopolitical and socio-economic stability: including issues such as peace and security, political instability, human rights (eg the rights of women, workers, indigenous people, LGBTIQ+ people), safety, financial/currency stability, incidence of natural disasters and weather anomalies 
  • accessibility for international participants: domestic, regional and international flights, availability of visa-free access, visa on arrival or preapproved visas for participants from countries/territories with a World Physiotherapy member organisation 
  • business practices: including tax legislation or regulation, particularly around any need to register a local company, financial legislation relating to currency flows and any restriction on the movement of cash into or out of the country/territory 
  • prevailing laws/customs and practices: that may impact on congress participants  
  • track record: hosting large international scientific meetings and trade shows  
  • local suppliers: providing high standards of customer service including venue, audiovisual, exhibition build, Wi-Fi, catering  
  • venue: facilities, capacities, flexibility, accessibility (eg support for those with physical, visual or hearing impairments), healthy spaces, green meetings strategies and sustainability practices  
  • location: culturally and geographically distinct from recent World Physiotherapy congress destinations  
  • public transport infrastructure: ease and cost of getting around 
  • accommodation: range of affordable accommodation/hotel options within the vicinity (immediate and within 20-minute easy commute) of the proposed congress venue  
  • health and wellbeing: smoke-free policies (eg smoke-free public spaces, restaurants, transport network) in the proposed destination city 
  • legacy and impact: World Physiotherapy believes it is important to create a lasting impact/legacy in the host destination and/or profession as a whole 
  • sustainability: city wide as well as venue and supplier initiatives to support sustainability in events 
  • site visit: fully funded  

World Physiotherapy supplements all of the above information with its own research of data sources to inform decision making.  

The board has already agreed its approach to 2027 and is not yet exploring options for 2029.  

Enquiries: [email protected]  

Updated April 2023