Strategic Alliance of the National Convention Bureaux of Europe boosts membership and partnership working

 L-R: Krzysztof Celuch (Poland), Kadri Karu (Estonia), Steen Møller (Denmark), Ewa Waligórska (Portugal), Tobia Salvadori (Italy), Christian Mutschlechner (Austria), Aigars Smiltans (Latvia), Matthias Schultze (Germany), Nico Nauta (Sweden), Eric Bakermans (the Netherlands), Frode Aasheim (Norway), Alice Sipos (Hungary), Miha Kovacic (Slovenia), André Petzold (Sweden), Katalin Langer (Hungary)
L-R: Krzysztof Celuch (Poland), Kadri Karu (Estonia), Steen Møller (Denmark), Ewa Waligórska (Portugal), Tobia Salvadori (Italy), Christian Mutschlechner (Austria), Aigars Smiltans (Latvia), Matthias Schultze (Germany), Nico Nauta (Sweden), Eric Bakermans (the Netherlands), Frode Aasheim (Norway), Alice Sipos (Hungary), Miha Kovacic (Slovenia), André Petzold (Sweden), Katalin Langer (Hungary)
First of its kind alliance set to welcome Sweden and launch China research
The Strategic Alliance of the National Convention Bureaux of Europe on course to expand further with another new country member and a substantial research project announced at the recent meeting.
Sweden has shown strong interest in joining the alliance, taking the total number of member countries to 23. A confirmation by the Swedish representatives is expected soon. The strategic alliance, announced at IMEX America 2014, is the first of its kind and aims to encourage knowledge sharing and partnership working among the member countries.

At the meeting in Warsaw on 25 September 2015, members also agreed to work together on comprehensive market research into China, a key market for the alliance. The research project will examine the Chinese business travel market, focusing on perceptions of Europe as a meeting destination, with the results due in summer 2016.

The Strategic Alliance of the National Convention Bureaux of Europe also took significant steps towards further partnership working on a Memorandum of Understanding incorporating criteria including membership, responsibilities and goals.

Matthias Schultze, Managing Director of the German Convention Bureau (GCB), and Eric Bakermans, marketing manager for Holland meetings, conventions and events, speaking on behalf of the group, comment:
“We look forward to welcoming Sweden to our group of European National Convention Bureaux. As a united voice of now 23 members across the continent, we’re aiming for productive collaboration that creates a strong proposition for our target markets. This approach will be supported significantly by our extensive research into the core China market, helping to strengthen the position of each individual member as well as boosting Europe’s standing as the leading destination for business events in the world.”

National Convention Bureaux across the continent are included in the new alliance, they are: Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Holland, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Montenegro, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Latvia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland and, due shortly, Sweden.

Since its formation in 2014, the group has generated immense interest. The next step for the initiative will be a meeting of members and other interested organisations when the Strategic Alliance of the National Convention Bureaux of Europe meets in Munich, 28-29 January, 2016.


Picture caption L-R: Krzysztof Celuch (Poland), Kadri Karu (Estonia), Steen Møller (Denmark), Ewa Waligórska (Portugal), Tobia Salvadori (Italy), Christian Mutschlechner (Austria), Aigars Smiltans (Latvia), Matthias Schultze (Germany), Nico Nauta (Sweden), Eric Bakermans (the Netherlands), Frode Aasheim (Norway), Alice Sipos (Hungary), Miha Kovacic (Slovenia), André Petzold (Sweden), Katalin Langer (Hungary)


Case history: GENIVI® Alliance OPEN Automotive ’15 Conference and Demonstration Showcase in Stuttgart

Leaders in Auto Tech Rev Up Innovation in Stuttgart with the GENIVI® Alliance OPEN Automotive ’15 Conference and Demonstration Showcase

Destination Partner:
Stuttgart Convention Bureau

Transport and logistics

Meeting Size & Name:
350+ delegates
GENIVI Board Meeting,
All Members Meeting &
Open Automotive ’15 Stuttgart--Sponsored by Intel

Destination Highlights:

Industry Expertise
Travel Convenience
Local Culture

The Why -- Executive Summary

With an estimated 279M web-connected vehicles due to be on the road by 2021 the GENIVI Alliance -- a California-based non-profit organization advancing standards for technology in cars (device connection, navigation, infotainment) -- is operating in the growing market space that spans between the global automotive, mobility and technology industries. The GENIVI Alliance (www.genivi.org) is comprised of 150 member companies including BMW, Daimler, Volvo, Renault, Peugeot, Hyundai, Honda, Bosch, Harman, Intel, Fujitsu and many more.

As part of GENIVI’s thought leadership and industry education efforts, their international conference and exhibition series Open Automotive brings leading suppliers, developers, consortia and industry analysts together to talk about trends and best practices in the InVehicle Infotainment (IVI) space. Open Automotive has taken place in a number of cities in the past including Detroit ‘14, Gothenburg, Sweden ’14 and San Diego ‘13.

In the Spring of 2015 when GENIVI wanted to host Open Automotive in Europe (along with a board meeting and an all-members meeting) they chose Stuttgart for its deep roots in the automobile, innovation and mobility industries as well as its convenient, central location.

The Where, Who & How: Meeting Details

The Stuttgart region is the birthplace of the world’s first four wheeled motor vehicle and spark plug. Today, Stuttgart is well known as the global headquarters for Mercedes-Benz & Porsche and home to their stunning museums that offer site visits, tours and event spaces. Bosch, the world’s leading supplier in automotive parts and systems, is also based in Stuttgart. In fact over 300 enterprises and institutions there have formed "CARS" (Clusterinitiative Automotive Region Stuttgart), with the aim of further strengthening the region's position as an automotive hub and source of new mobility technologies.

For ease of travel, Stuttgart’s Airport (within walking distance of the Stuttgart Messe and several hotels), serves the global traveler. People coming into Stuttgart via Frankfurt International Airport can also get there in 1.5 hours or less via train arriving into the Stuttgart Central Railway Station located right in the heart of the city.

Choosing Stuttgart for Open Automotive ‘15 in Europe was a process that began when GENIVI’s event planner Karin Hanson, of Karin Hanson Events in Las Vegas, met the Stuttgart Convention Bureau at IMEX America. As she worked with the Stuttgart Convention Bureau team to better understand what the city had to offer she saw the strong fit. Karin has represented the GENIVI Alliance in their U.S. and global meeting efforts for several year now and knows exactly what they are looking for – most notably car-centric destinations and travel convenience for their board members, alliance members and partners who are spread across the US, Europe and the world.

 ©Party at MASH
©Party at MASH
Wanting to keep the conference and meeting locations concentrated and convenient, Karin chose the Maritim Hotel Stuttgart for the guest lodgings, the board meeting, and Open Automotive ’15 Stuttgart sponsored by Intel. The adjacent Conference Center Liederhalle provided an ideal spot for the days-long conference program of the all-members meetings. Then in the evening, delegates, exhibitors and GENIVI members enjoyed networking and in-vehicle technology demos during the “Demonstration Showcase” hosted at the Maritim’s historic 1885 Reithalle (Riding Hall). Additionally, on the night before the Conference and Demonstration Showcase, a party was held at MASH, a restaurant and club situated directly across from the Maritim.

The Wow – The Results & Destination Difference

The GENIVI Stuttgart meetings and events were very well attended with the Open Automotive ’15 Stuttgart Conference & Demonstration showcase proving to be particularly successful attracting 350+ delegates (100 more than projected).  Of this total number 20%+ were the new, non-member delegates GENIVI was looking to attract from the Stuttgart area for the conference and demonstration showcase -- a great example of how local industry strength in a city or region can create event demand and energy.

Tapping into regional expertise and academic thinking, Open Automotive ’15 Stuttgart also featured roundtable panelist and connected car security expert Professor Frank Kargl from Ulm University. Professor Kargl leads the Institute of Distributed systems at Ulm, which focuses on security and privacy in mobile systems and wireless networks, especially Intelligent Transport Systems and Inter-Vehicle Networks.

Commenting on the benefits of hosting the GENIVI event in Stuttgart, Karin Hanson said,  “Stuttgart was an ideal location which met all of our goals. The GENIVI members, board and guests are all hard charging technology and auto leaders who want to come in and out of a destination and connect with the right people and information easily. The Stuttgart Convention Bureau and the Maritim & Liederhalle all were very helpful in making this happen for us.”

“As an added bonus,” Karin added, “Right across the street from where we were staying our networking party at Mash was a big success. Good food, great beer and music that actually got people up and dancing … that doesn’t always happen!”

Finally, the meetings in April 2015 took place at the same time as the Stuttgart Spring Festival, which is the largest celebration of its kind in Europe.  This traditional German gathering features beer and wine tents, music, local foods, crafts & shopping and more.  As a result, delegates were able to experience the local vibe of Stuttgart even more at their leisure. 


Berlin: Successful first half of 2015 for convention and meetings business

German capital sought-after location for scientific and medical conventions

Brandenburger Tor Berlin ©visitBerlin, Wolfgang Scholvien
Brandenburger Tor Berlin ©visitBerlin, Wolfgang Scholvien

Berlin's role as a leading location for conventions and meetings continues to grow: In the first six months of 2015, 62,000 events took place in the German capital (+1.5% compared to the previous year) with 4.82 million participants (also +1.5%). The number of overnight stays related to these meetings increased by 3 per cent to 3.3 million. These figures come from the latest conference statistics for the first half of 2015* from the Berlin Convention Office of visitBerlin. Berlin continues to consolidate its position as Germany's first place to be for conventions.

Cornelia Yzer, Berlin Senator for Economics, Technology and Research: "The convention market has once again been driving revenues in Berlin in the first half of 2015. Meetings for professional associations are increasingly playing a key role in this growth. Berlin is home to about 1,500 such associations, representing an enormous potential waiting to be tapped. To achieve this goal, my department is now investing €100,000 from the City Tax in targeted marketing measures."

"The conventions and meetings market in Berlin has just posted another six months of stable growth," says Burkhard Kieker, CEO of visitBerlin."The second half of the year will bring us an extra boost, because a number of high-profile, large conventions will be coming to Berlin this autumn, for example, the Global Social Business Summit in early November. The added capacities at the Estrel Convention Center are also attracting more business to the city."

Growth in scientific congresses

Berlin is increasingly establishing itself as a centre for science and medical events. Based on the number of events, conferences and conventions related to medicine, science and research remain the leading category in Berlin (12% of all events, +1% compared to last year). They are followed by IT, electronics & communication and politics & public institutions (11% each).

Almost one in five event participants (18%) came from abroad. The main international markets are Europe (15% of all participants) as well as the USA and Canada (8% of all participants). The average event duration was 1.9 days (first half 2014: 1.8 days).

Economic engine for Berlin                                                                                                              

With 3.3 million overnight stays, around a quarter of the total 13.8 million hotel stays in Berlin in the first half of the year were generated by conference and meeting participants. Spendings by meeting participants who stay overnight in Berlin come to an average of €232 per day. Berlin's meeting and convention industry generated €2.2 billion in revenues in 2014.

For Berlin, the visits to the city generated by tourism and the meetings industry are an enormous factor driving the local economy. In the past decade, the gross revenues generated by visitors to the German capital have grown by 82 per cent to over €10 billion a year. This represents €20 more being spent every day by each visitor to Berlin than in 2004 (+15%). This also benefits the city's labour market.

Approximately 240,000 people are estimated to make their living here from tourism, up 70,000 from ten years ago.

Autumn: convention season in Berlin with conferences on medicine and sustainability

Among the highlights in the second half of 2015 will be the meeting of the European Society of Intensive Care "ESICM LIVES 2015", bringing some 5,000 participants to the city from 3 to 10 October. This will be followed by the “World Health Summit”, internationally one of the most important strategic forums for global health, bringing more than 1,300 experts from more than 80 countries to Berlin from 11 to 13 October.

In the weeks following, 11,000 participants will come to Berlin for the “German Congress of Orthopaedics and Trauma Surgery” from 20 to 23 October, followed by the 2015 congress of the German Society for Psychiatry, Psychosomatics and Psychotherapy from 25 to 28 November with some 9,000 attendees expected.

The second half of the year is also bringing innovative conferences to the German capital such as “NewsXchange” (28 to 29 October) and the “Global Social Business Summit” (4 to 6 November). “NewsXchange” is a platform for the international media industry, where current developments and trends in the media scene and journalism will be discussed. The Global Social Business Summit will bring together experts and decision makers from economics, society, politics and science to further develop the idea of socially responsible and sustainable entrepreneurship.

For detailed information about Berlin as a meeting destination, go to convention.visitBerlin.com.

* Source: Convention statistics for the first half of 2015 were collected by the independent market research company ghh consult GmbH on behalf of visitBerlin.


All the Comforts of Home – And Away – with Maritim

As one of the world’s top 100 hotels in Hotel Magazine’s Annual Ranking of the World’s Biggest Hotel Companies, Maritim is always a marquis address for major European and German events. Whether put together a year in advance or compressed into a three or four week turnaround, meetings at Maritim mean flawless behind-the-scenes execution, personalized service and surprised and delighted meeting planners.

According to Beth Wickramasuriya, CMP and Director Global Accounts at HelmsBriscoe, “Maritim has been a home base for many of our meetings in Germany for several years. It offers high quality space but, more importantly, I have found that the attentive service of its staff simplifies planning and delivers the comforts that my attendees appreciate when they are traveling away from home.”

A key benefit for meeting planners is Maritim’s U.S.-based dedicated sales staff. With the Maritim North American office, in addition to the local staff in every city where Maritim is located, U.S. planners have the best of both worlds: knowledgeable advisors in the same or similar time zones, as well as on-the-ground experts who can nuance the local business, cultural and historical resources to make them add tremendous value to every event.

Maritim events run the gamut from intimate meetings and functions to complex affairs involving thousands of attendees. LocWorld and Waterproof Membranes are just two of the conferences that will call Maritim home this year.

Maritim Hotels offer an abundance of conference facilities in all the key German cities. Locations such as Berlin where the group operates 2 of the largest meeting spaces available in the city all in house give Maritim the key edge for planners looking for the space for International events. Other locations include all the key cities such as Duesseldorf, Cologne, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Dresden, Nurnberg, Munich and Hanover to the smaller cities such as Bremen, Wurzburg, Bonn and Ulm all of which offer extensive facilities.

For further information on the group go to www.maritim.com.

Meet the Maritim Team at IMEX America, Las Vegas, 13-15 October, Stand 2223-14.


Nuremberg—Where History and Innovation Meet

When you step inside the ancient city of Nuremberg - through the gates of the oldest surviving full city wall in Germany, Austria & Switzerland- you enter a unique place of charm and history, culture and high quality of life.

You will also, however, step into a world of innovation, trade and business that has been in action for over 1,000 years.  


                                                                                                                                        © Uwe Niklas 

In medieval days, Nuremberg metal workers were highly sought after craftsmen for their closely-held techniques.  The first globe-shaped world map came from Nuremberg in 1492, as did the pocket watch about 20 years later. In the 1800’s, the area drew -- now industry giants-- Siemens and MAN, as part of the industrial revolution, and the first steam locomotive trip in Germany chugged out of a station there. Finally, in days of yore, the eyeliner was born in Nuremberg (still a hub for leading writing instrument companies today) when a woman tried a surgical pencil in a new way … thank you madam.

For our more modern and wired brains -- global legal principles continue to be influenced by concepts developed at the Nuremberg Trials in the 1940’s, and with the invention of the MP3 player at Nuremberg’s renowned Fraunhofer Research Institute, the way the world listens to music has been changed forever.

With innovation continuing to be at the heart of the area, today the Nuremberg Metropolitan Region is home to 20 Universities - including the renowned  FAU Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg and the Nuremberg University of Applied Sciences. It also houses 22 research institutes, and 150,000 companies including Siemens, Puma, Adidas, MAN, Novartis, Alcatel-Lucent, Faber-Castell and Playmobil just to name a few.  Over 100K people work in information technology alone, and innovation expertise spans across many industries including Transport & Logistics, Medical & Health, Energy & Environment, Information & Communication Technology, Automation & Power Electronics, Automotive and New Materials.  Nuremberg, is also the center of market research in Germany with GFK the #4 world leader in that field located there.

It’s no surprise then, that Nuremberg draws over 32Kmeetings (and growing) each year.

The state-of-the-art Nuremberg Convention Center plays host to many leading conferences, exhibitions and seminars with its 50 rooms, 15 exhibition halls and ultra hip lounge areas. Leading events there that draw US delegates and exhibitors include industry-leading happenings like Spielwarenmesse (the international toy fair), Interzoo, European Coatings Show, BIOFACH+VIVANESS, and embedded world.

On the ever-relevant topic of international law and human rights Nuremberg-based speakers, resources and venues range from Courtroom 600,the Memorium Nuremberg Trials Museum and local law universities … to the  Rally Grounds and Documentation Center, and much more attracting  thought leaders and delegates from around the world. 

Most recently this included the Creighton University/California Judges Association Nuremberg 70th Anniversary Commemoration Program organized by IBS International Business Seminars of Scottsdale, Arizona, just this past July.

To house meeting and conference visitors from all walks of expertise in comfort and across multiple event budgets, Nuremberg offers a great variety of hotels. The Heritage-protected Le Méridien Grand Hotel is the “grand dame” of the city. Built in 1895, the property offers meeting rooms with historic elegance yet leading technology, one traditional and one modern designed boardroom, and the most executive suites in town.

Also in the city is the Sheraton Carlton Hotel which offers fresh and funky rooms at affordable rates, meeting spaces, and a spa. The same family owned group behind this hotel also manages the Holiday Inn, SAXX Hotel, Agneshof, Novotel Centre Ville and Ramada Park Hotel right in the city or surrounding Nuremberg area.

Finally, Nuremberg as a world-class meeting spot offers a vibrant dining scene including relaxed traditional fare like “3 in a Bun” (ultra-local, signature small sausages in bread) at the Hexenhäusle Beer Garden overlooking the top of Nuremberg  Imperial Castle … as well as sushi, gourmet Italian, and Haute Cuisine down in the cobble-stoned town.

When it comes to melding the old and the new, the innovative and the charming, the traditional and the leading edge … Nuremberg - a truly lovely, walled city -  knows no bounds.


Want to get Smarter on the Future of Meetings and/or Sustainability?

Mark Your IMEX America Calendar For Two Education Sessions on Day 1 with Laura d’Elsa from the GCB

Want a glimpse at what’s ahead for meetings on the design, education, technology, and sustainability fronts? Then stop by these two sessions at IMEX America with the GCB’s Laura d’Elsa.

Mark your IMEX America calendar for Tuesday, October 13th, at 11:30 and 4:00 pm to catch Laura d’Elsa speak on the future of meetings and sustainability.

Here are the details:

Tuesday October 14, 11:30am – 12:00pm: “What’s Ahead? Innovation @ Future Meeting Space,” The Research Pod, Inspiration Hub, Show Floor– “Future Meeting Space” is an innovation project and partnership between the German Convention Bureau, the European Associations of Event Centers (EVVC), and the renowned Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering (IAO.) Together they are taking a look at the future of events from multiple angles including infrastructure, education, technology, mobility and culture.  During this session you’ll learn more about the group’s goals and objectives and get a sneak peek at the resulting tools and information you’ll be able to use -- from trends data coming out of interviews and focus groups with industry, design, academic & business experts … to innovation guides and case histories.

Tuesday October 14th 4:00-5:00 pm: “Global Sustainability Lessons for the North American Market, Marco Polo 706, Level 1, The Venetian® l The Palazzo® Congress Center -- International destinations, like Germany, have led the charge when it comes to implementing sustainable meetings practices and infrastructure, and while North American meeting planners, facilities and destinations have also made strides, many players on the global stage have been paving the way for years now.  Join the GCB’s Laura d’Elsa, Meetings Focus’ Tyler Davidson; David Kliman, president of The Kliman Group; and Robin Lokerman, group president of MCI Group for this green session.

Hope to see you there for both of these sessions!

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