More than 4,800 delegates from 70 countries came to the Leipzig Fair and Exhibition Centre at the end of January, to attend the Leipzig Interventional Course (LINC), international congress for vascular surgeons. The event has, in recent years, become one of the world's largest congresses for vascular medicine and sets new standards in terms of conference formats. Representatives of the German Convention Bureau (GCB), together with conference and congress organisers from all over Germany, also came to visit this 'congress of tomorrow'.
The GCB represents and markets Germany as a national and international venue for congresses and conferences. In its study 'Tagung und Kongress der Zukunft' (Conferences and Congresses of the Future) it presented LINC 2013 as an example of best practice for the congresses of tomorrow. Reasons given in the study for this assertion included “Predictions, which sector experts are now making about the congresses of the future, have already become a reality at the LINC Congress.” Accordingly, the study goes on to detail, amongst other things, how trends in mobility, internationalisation, sustainability and demography are impacting on the congress sector and gives examples of the ways in which organisers are already successfully reacting to them.
Impressive behind-the-scenes insights
LINC - The Leipzig Interventional Course 2015
The visitors took advantage of their time in Leipzig to exchange ideas and experiences with representatives of the Congress Center Leipzig. The discussions ranged from ways in which formal 'instructional-type' lectures and presentations can be translated into interactive formats and how the audience can thus be turned into active participants, to ways in which flexible and individual programmes can be made to work in practice or how analogue content can be translated into appealing digital formats. The visit to LINC in Exhibition Hall 4 proved to be a source of great excitement. During a tour with the Munich congress organisers CongO and the Belgian technology company mediAVentures, visitors had an opportunity to get some impressive insights behind the scenes. A focal element of the congress involved operations in hospitals all over the world being transmitted live to screens at the congress. This year there were more than 90 such transmissions from 13 hospitals, including from Singapore, Ireland, Belgium, Italy, Japan, Brazil and Leipzig. Not only was there a professional camera team at each location, but the operating surgeon gave detailed explanations of the interventions and answered, live, questions put by participants in Leipzig. There are some 120 technicians working behind the scenes for LINC.Exchange of ideas in a modern marketplace
e LINC conference was also held up as an example of best practice for the 'congress of tomorrow' because of the way it uses space. There are no rigid fixtures or soundproof, closed lecture theatres. Rather, different areas are distinguished by optical and acoustic features, as well as colour scheme, and visitors are free to move between sessions, digital posters and exhibition areas as they wish. “As modern as this layout is, it does, at the same time, hark back to an ancient feature of human cultural heritage, the idea of the marketplace,” concludes the GCB futurological study.
As well as the CCL and the LINC conference, the visitors from the national events sector also got to know other locations at which conferences and meetings can be held in Leipzig. They visited, too, the KONGRESSHALLE at Leipzig Zoo, where the renovations are due to be completed in May, and which will, in future, be run by the CCL. The new congress centre is a partner of the 'do-it-at-leipzig.de' initiative and has quite recently also been selected as 'Preferred Partner' of the GCB. Both parties benefit, in this collaboration, from the increased contacts and marketing opportunities it affords. The partnership also has the advantage of highlighting key features which will enable both partners to position themselves jointly in the international competition for events.