Note: this is a follow-up on this comment

Some of the G20 conferences incur high costs, both financially (up to hundreds of millions of dollars spent for organizing it + damages done by protests) and non-financially (e.g. significant disruption due to fences and other traffic limitations)

This article mentions that about 20K visited Argentina for the summit and such a large number clearly incurs a rather high cost.

While I understand that such summits are necessary, I do not understand why make such a fuss about it. Why not make it smaller (fewer people, relatively easy to accommodate in a smaller town/city that's easier to secure and possibly with less disruption for the local population)?

This answer explains why summits such as G20 are held in big cities and it boils down to big/important summits requiring appropriate infrastructure that can be offered only by the big cities. So, my question is why G20 need to be so big, especially since it proved to be a particular target for large protests?

  • 5
    "why G20 need to be so big" One could compare with other similar meetings to see if G20 meeting are oversized. Surely it's not just the PM of each country but a few more politicians, experts and aides. Then it's customary to bring family (wives), industrial delegations, translators, NGOs and on top organizers, security, .... It's probably difficult to keep it below say 5k for 20 participants. Commented Sep 11, 2022 at 17:50
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    Don't forget the press pool (2014 there were 2300 people in the press pool according to the Guardian. Restricting access for journalists is not going to help public acceptance...
    – xyldke
    Commented Sep 12, 2022 at 7:22
  • Are the protests about how large G20 is or just about G20 in general? If it's the latter, I don't see how the part about protests related is related to the rest of the question. Commented Sep 12, 2022 at 17:41
  • Is there a reason to think that host countries see this spending as a burden rather than a boon?
    – ohwilleke
    Commented Sep 13, 2022 at 15:35

1 Answer 1


The cost of security can be monumentally high. Especially when heads of state join, the security requirements increase dramatically.

Canada made headlines when it spent 1.1B$ on the organization of both the G8 and the G20 summits in the same year. I have included a link which gives a little insight into the cost of some G20 summits.

In addition, it is obvious when there are 20,000 people attending an event this also brings with it a responsibility to provide food and accommodation. All of a sudden the prices of hotel rooms will have doubled for the duration of the event. All food will not be just the food, but all prepared and served under the strictest security measures as well.

Of course you also have the cost of damage by protesters as pointed out earlier by yourself.

And then there is a press corps that wants to stick their noses into it all to make sure that the likes of you and me know tomorrow what's going on as well.

Having said that, I think it is still difficult to defend the more than 1B$ the Canadians spent 12 years ago.

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