CCL starts operating the KONGRESSHALLE am Zoo Leipzig

With the opening of the thoroughly renovated and reconstructed KONGRESSHALLE am Zoo in May, Congress Center Leipzig (CCL) took over the operation of a modern conference centre in the heart of the city. Even while
renovation work was still underway, meeting planners showed considerable interest in the new venue. From autumn 2015, the first events feature on the venue’s calendar within a ‘pre-opening stage”.

KONGRESSHALLE am Zoo ©Leipziger Messe GmbH, Martin Jehnichen
KONGRESSHALLE am Zoo ©Leipziger Messe GmbH, Martin Jehnichen
In total, the venue features 15 halls and rooms which can seat between 10 and 1,200 people. The juxtaposition of different styles – from Art nouveau, Art deco and historicist to contemporary architecture – reflects the colourful history and gives the building a very particular ambiance. The entire facility is equipped with state-of-the-art AV and media systems. The “Expo” area offers 800 square metres of exhibition space. The impressive turn-of-the-century edifice thus opens up new opportunities for Leipzig as a growing
meeting destination.

A feature which is unique worldwide is the combination of a modern meeting venue next to a zoo with a high scientific profile. This aspect predestines the KONGRESSHALLE as a venue for scientific meetings on a very wide range of topics. In autumn 2015, for example, it will host the International Congress of Zookeepers. Beyond this, the calendar shows a wide variety of events, including cultural and musical productions.

Bach-Saal KONGRESSHALLE am Zoo ©Leipziger Messe GmbH, Martin Jehnichen
Bach-Saal KONGRESSHALLE am Zoo ©Leipziger Messe GmbH, Martin Jehnichen
The first guests to use the venue, after the solemn opening act, were the German Convention Bureau (GCB) who held their 2015 Annual Meeting there in June. The KONGRESSHALLE is a Preferred Partner of the GCB who, as part of their mission, represent and promote the meeting destination Germany on an international and national scale. With the choice of the venue, the umbrella organisation acknowledged the longstanding commitment of its Leipzig members. Like the CCL, the KONGRESSHALLE am Zoo is also a partner of do-it-at-leipzig.de, a campaign which has contributed considerably to Leipzig’s growth as a meeting destination.

The CCL’s good reputation, experience, expertise, and powerful networks will be a clear benefit for meeting planners who use the KONGRESSHALLE. Integrated event expertise which is part and parcel of Leipzig Trade Fair’s operations on its own property will also be a key feature of the KONGRESSHALLE venue. Accordingly, F&B catering will be provided exclusively by fairgourmet, and FAIRNET has developed a customized system of shell scheme stands for the Expo exhibition area. Both are subsidiary companies of Leipzig Trade Fair.

Foyer Nord KONGRESSHALLE am Zoo ©Leipziger Messe GmbH, Martin Jehnichen
Foyer Nord KONGRESSHALLE am Zoo ©Leipziger Messe GmbH, Martin Jehnichen
Beyond opening a new venue, the first six months of 2015 kept the CCL team fairly busy, including several large international meetings. In January, they hosted the Leipzig Interventional Course (LINC) which attracted more than 4,800 participants from 70 countries, which meant yet another growth in delegate numbers. The Annual Meeting of the European Society for Paediatric Infectious Diseases (ESPID) in May brought 2,200 participants to Leipzig. This was the second time that the Kenes Group organized a meeting at the CCL. Kenes is one of the world’s leading Professional Congress Organisers for medical and scientific meetings. The month of June saw another really big meeting: more than 6,000 delegates attended the Annual Meeting of the German Federation of Eye Surgeons. The 80th German Welfare Congress welcomed 2,150 participants, among them as keynote speakers the President of the Federal Republic of Germany Joachim Gauck, Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel, and the Federal Minister for Family Affairs Manuela Schwesig. In late June, 3,000 experts attended the 35th Annual Meeting of the German Society for Breast Diseases.

Großer Saal KONGRESSHALLE am Zoo ©Leipziger Messe GmbH, Nils Petersen
Großer Saal KONGRESSHALLE am Zoo ©Leipziger Messe GmbH, Nils Petersen
In May, about 1,000 participants came to the International Transport Forum. It was the 8th time that the world summit of ministers of transport, the most important meeting of the international traffic and transport sector, was hosted at the CCL on the Leipzig Trade Fair property.

The remaining six months of 2015 will see more high-profile meetings at the CCL. In September, the venue will once again host the Visceral Medicine Congress which is expected to attract 4,500 delegates. Right after that, the ver.di Trade Union will hold their Federal Congress. For October, 2,500 delegates are expected to attend the German Congress for Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine. In early December, the Congress of the German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine DIVI will bring some 2,000 participants to the CCL.

About the CCL
The Congress Center Leipzig (CCL) belongs to the Leipzig Trade Fair Group and is part of the Leipzig Trade Fair and Exhibition Centre. It is one of the most modern congress and conference centres in Europe. The special features of the CCL include individualised support for each event and comprehensive, all-round service, covering the complete range of event services. Every year, the CCL hosts some 100 congresses and specialised conference programs. The flexible concept for the use of space, with 23 independent halls and rooms, exhibition halls that can be integrated as required, and the Glass Hall as an event location, makes it possible to hold events of almost any size and any kind. Beyond its own venue, the CCL team operates the KONGRESSHALLE am Zoo, a modern meeting venue in historic guise. The fine Wilhelminian and Art-nouveau-style edifice in the heart of Leipzig features 15 halls and rooms, several foyers and exhibition space. The CCL and the KONGRESSHALLE am Zoo are members of the 'do-it-at-leipzig.de' campaign, an alliance of meetings industry suppliers in Leipzig who are jointly committed to maintaining highest standards throughout Leipzig as a meeting destination.



New GCB film shows meeting planners how to benefit from local expertise

Meeting planners can gain an insight into Germany’s areas of expertise in a new film launched by the GCB. The country’s six key industry sectors are explored in the two minute snapshot along with how meeting planners can benefit from tapping into these areas.

New film explains Germany
New film explains Germany's local areas of expertise
Alongside infrastructure, accessibility and value for money, Germany offers key expertise in numerous areas of business and science: transport & logistics, medicine & healthcare, chemistry & pharmaceuticals, energy & the environment, technology & innovation, financial services.

The new film explains how organisations planning events in these sectors can work with local companies and experts to arrange site visits, networking events, recruit expert speakers and additional participants, as well as explore venues and sponsorship opportunities.

Viewers will gain an insight into the transport & logistics, energy & the environment, and the technology & innovation sectors in particular. When it comes to energy & the environment, Germany is an international pioneer in the field of green meetings, regularly hosting top events in this sector and launching initiatives around energy efficiency and climate protection.

The country is also at the forefront of transport & logistics with a number of car manufacturing sites and logistic hubs. Thanks to its central location, excellent infrastructure and state-of-the-art services, Germany is the most important logistics hub in Europe. The German automotive market is the biggest in Europe in terms of production and sales figures and the country is home to many leading car manufacturers as well as an extensive network of innovative automotive suppliers.

From nanotechnology and microelectronics to mechanical engineering and IT – Germany is a world leader in many different areas of technology & innovation. Germany not only ranks among the top four nanotechnology locations in the world, it is also the world's largest exporter with a 19.1 per cent share of the international industrial and mechanical engineering market. Thanks to a network of internationally respected research institutes, leading clusters and initiatives with global influence, Germany is achieving a great deal in this field and offers some fantastic conference opportunities.

For meeting planners considering Germany for their next event, the film offers the perfect overview of how and why Germany remains one of the world’s leading event locations. The film can be viewed here!


Two Hanseatic cities with flair: this was the GCB Educational Trip to Bremen and Hamburg

Outstanding event locations with fresh ideas and venues full of surprises, that tell stories and remain unforgettable… Exactly what you’re looking for? Read on to find out about our recent Educational Trip to northern Germany.
Did you know, for instance, that Bremen has the world’s biggest wine cellar which is exclusively dedicated to German wines? And that the Hotel Atlantic Kempinski in Hamburg was opened specially for cruise passengers in 1909?
Our guests – event planners from all of Europe – were excited about the things Bremen and Hamburg had to offer and learned numerous insider tips and some intriguing facts...
Let us take you to the Germany’s beautiful north!

Olde worlde atmosphere in Bremen
After arriving on a Lufthansa flight and being welcomed by the Bremen Convention Bureau at Bremen Airport, we checked into the Atlantik Gr
Strolling through Bremen
Strolling through Bremen's historic centre
and Hotel and started our Educational Trip with a guided tour of the city’s historic part. We soon realised that Bremen has a lot more to offer than the world-famous Town Musicians! And so we explored the centre of the Hanseatic city on foot and by Segway. We took a glimpse at the impressive vaults of the event location mentioned earlier – Bremen’s Ratskeller (basement restaurant below the City Hall) – and we also walked around the wonderful maze of narrow streets in the Schnoor district, looked at the highly versatile Bibelgarten (Bible Garden), which forms part of St. Peter’s Cathedral, and went on board the hotel ship Alexander von Humboldt. Finally, we concluded the day with a barbecue in the midst of a spacious park that forms part of the Dorint Park Hotel.

A highly varied programme: space, safari and 007

On the following day we ventured out into something more unusual, and it got quite technical. At Airbus Defence & Space we received an introduction to the fascinating world of space travel and learned a few exciting facts about outer space: e.g. what’s the weight of a litre of milk on the Moon and on Jupiter? Neither did we know beforehand that every astronaut takes their own toilet seat with them on board. Next, at the Universum Bremen we were given a hands-on opportunity to try things out for ourselves, as this was by no means a run-of-the-mill museum, but a science centre. We could have spent all day at the various experimenting points, each with its own focus on engineering, nature and humans. It is clearly also a great place to plan an event, as it offers a guaranteed creative environment.
This was followed by a brief site inspection of the Congress Centrum at the Maritim Hotel and then about an hour by rail to Hamburg. After a very warm welcome at the Hamburg Convention Bureau we checked in at the Le Méridien Hotel. The evening featured a further highlight on our programme: a site inspection in the form of a dinner safari through the Hotel Atlantic Kempinski. The tour would have been incomplete without a viewing of the mysterious Phantom Room and the roof terrace with its famous globe. And of course we also traced the footsteps of 007 in this highly historic building, as the hotel served as the location for Tomorrow Never Dies in 1997.

360° – event locations with panoramic views
Beautiful day in Hamburg
Beautiful day in Hamburg
On Saturday morning we ascended to a high point were we enjoyed some fantastic views from the two event locations Elbe Panorama and Panorama Deck. An interesting keynote talk gave us some insights into HCB’s “smart city” and cluster strategies which can be of benefit to event planners.  A wide range of sectors have their homes in this metropolitan region, including renewable energies, logistics, the creative industry and life science, so that Hamburg offers ideal conditions for meetings, conventions and accompanying programmes. Lunch was served at the Sofitel Alter Wall, with a view of the river, the Kleine Alster. In the afternoon we were free to explore the city on our own, e.g. a round-trip along the Alster or a visit to the Ballinstadt Emigration Museum, before enjoying the evening programme. Our tour of Hamburg wouldn’t have been complete without the city’s legendary nightlife in the Kiez district which we sampled together with an expert guide. Finally we concluded the evening with curried sausage and Astra beer.

Last day: A tour around Speicherstadt!
There was a certain sleepiness about Hamburg’s historic warehouse district – Speicherstadt – when we arrived. But it’s only ever so peaceful on a Sunday morning. We started the day with a relaxed breakfast at the Teekontor (Tea Warehouse) of the Wasserschloss (Water Palace). It’s a place with over 250 different kinds of tea to choose from – and also ideal for organising smaller events. Another special event location is the International Maritime Museum in Hamburg, only a few minutes’ walk down the road. This is a great place for conferences in style, high above the roofs of Hamburg, with a panoramic view of the harbour and the sound of seagulls.
After nearly four days – was it really no more than that? – and many new impressions our trip was gradually coming to an end. Our final stop was directly next to the airport where we took a look at the Radisson Blu Airport Hotel. But then it was unfortunately time to say goodbye – though not without leaving our permanent marks on the dig
Visiting "Kicken mit Herz" as part of the GCB
Visiting "Kicken mit Herz" as part of the GCB's CSR
ital Touch Wall.
We would like to thank all our guests for taking part and joining in and all our partners for working with us so well.

As part of the Educational Trip, GCB donated a small sum of money to the Hamburg football education and cardiac disorder initiative Kicken mit Herz, earmarked for the children’s cardiac department of the Hamburg-Eppendorf University Hospital (UKE).

Would you perhaps like to take part in a GCB Educational Trip yourself sometime? Or are you interested in further details of Bremen or Hamburg or contacts in the two cities? If so, we’d love to hear from you. Just drop us a line: streich@gcb.de.


Germany visits London for Destination Showcase!

On August 25th 2015, UK meeting and event planners are invited to meet with over 50 international MICE suppliers at the workshop at “The Marble Arch by Montcalm” in London. 

The German Convention Bureau is delighted to announce its participation together with its partners:  

Cologne Convention Bureau  & Lindner Hotel City Plaza Cologne
Congress Center Leipzig & LEIPZIG  
DB Vertrieb GmbH
Dresden Convention Bureau
Frankfurt Convention Bureau
Maritim Hotels  
m:con Congress Centre Mannheim & Convention Bureau Rhein-Neckar
Munich Convention Bureau
Starwood Hotels Frankfurt

Come along and learn about the opportunities that Germany offers to you and connect with the suppliers personally in pre-set appointments. Register today and don’t miss your chance to be part of this fascinating destination showcase.  

We look forward to seeing you there!

Contact GCB: Nina Streich, Phone +49 69 24293029


New venues for meetings and conferences in Germany

German meeting and conference suppliers are investing large amounts of money in expanding their infrastructures. A range of new meeting and conference venues have become available to event planners in 2015 or are due to open in the next few months.

World Conference Center Bonn Foyer Main Building ©World Conference Center Bonn
World Conference Center Bonn Foyer Main Building ©World Conference Center Bonn
World Conference Center Bonn
A new Main Building was opened at the World Conference Center Bonn (WorldCCBonn) in early June 2015. Following the construction work and investments totalling approx. EUR 100 million in Bonn’s former government district, the conference centre is now truly unique, with historic buildings, modern architecture, pleasant lawns, relaxing views of the Rhine, high-quality facilities and state-of-the-art equipment for events of all kinds. Together with the Waterworks and the Plenary Building, the new Main Building can accommodate up to 5,000 people and is suitable for events of all types. Meeting and conference planners can make flexible use of these facilities. The large hall, for instance, can be expanded, and the Main Building can be booked in combination with the Plenary Building. In addition, there are four modular conference rooms with separate foyers.

Kongresshalle am Zoo Leipzig ©Pasternack
Kongresshalle am Zoo Leipzig ©Pasternack
From autumn 2015 onwards event planners will be able to use KONGRESSHALLE am Zoo Leipzig, a state-of-the-art venue for meetings and conventions in a historic setting. After extensive restoration and reconstruction since 2009 – totalling approx. EUR 37 million – the 19th-century building has now been restored to new splendour, providing a perfect ambience for events in the heart of the city. It is run by Congress Center Leipzig (CCL), a company in the Leipziger Messe Group.
The historic building was first opened under the name of Gesellschaftshaus am Zoo (Society House by the Zoo). It was subsequently used as a cultural meeting centre and for concerts of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra for over 80 years. When restoration has been concluded, the convention centre will have 15 modern, well-equipped rooms and halls with different architectural features and with capacities between 10 and 1,200 people, as well as foyers, lounges and an exhibition area. It will be suitable for conventions, meetings, corporate events, receptions and evening functions. Situated directly next to Leipzig Zoo, one of the most prestigious and innovative zoos in the world on account of its scientific emphasis, the KONGRESSHALLE is ideally suited as a destination for scientific conventions on a wide range of topics.

Estrel Berlin
Berlin’s broad portfolio of meeting and conference venues will have gained another facet in autumn 2015, after the completion of the second complex at Estrel Berlin. Convention Hall II, which cost approx. EUR 30 million to complete, is situated right next to the existing Congress & Messe Center and has two event halls, accommodating up to 5,200 persons on 10,000 square metres. In all, Estrel Berlin will have 25,000 square metres of event space with state-of-the-art facilities, suitable for conventions, galas, special trade shows and concerts and with sufficient capacity for up to 12,000 persons.
The complex includes the Estrel Hotel with 1,125 rooms, the Estrel Convention Hall I and 60 further conference rooms of different sizes as well as the Estrel Festival Center. Estrel Berlin is already one of Europe’s most popular venues, featuring some 1,800 meetings, conventions, galas, trade shows, exhibitions and other events each year.

TITANIC Business Berlin ©TITANIC Business Berlin
TITANIC Business Berlin ©TITANIC Business Berlin
TITANIC Business Berlin
Another top-of-the-range venue for business events in Berlin is set to open at the end of 2015: the new TITANIC Business Hotel on Berlin’s centrally situated Chausseestrasse. It will be the third venue of the Turkish-German TITANIC Group in Germany’s capital. The hotel has a total event space of 2,500 square metres for meetings and other events, with a ballroom of 1,800 square metres and 15 further conference rooms with state-of-the-art equipment. The hotel, which specialises in bookings for events and conventions, has 389 rooms, including 14 suites. Business travellers benefit from a 3,000-square-metre spa and gym complex, including an authentic Turkish hammam and an indoor swimming pool. Moreover, the new hotel welcomes its international business guests with state-of-the-art equipment in all rooms, an oriental flair and a variety of bars and restaurants.

New venues from 2016

Situated directly on the Seerhein, close to Lake Constance and surrounded by a superb infrastructure is the new Bodenseeforum Konstanz, due to open in autumn 2016. Also, construction is currently in progress for the Rhein-Main-Hallen in Wiesbaden, due to be completed in early 2018. The Congress Center Hamburg (CCH) will undergo refurbishments from 2017 and will be fully usable again, meeting the latest standards, in 2019.


Find Cologne event venues with a click

The Cologne Convention Bureau’s new online meeting planner is now available

Online-Tagungsplaner des Cologne Convention Bureau
Online-Tagungsplaner des Cologne Convention Bureau
In order to adapt optimally to digitization, the Cologne Convention Bureau (CCB) is offering its online service for event planners in a new innovative format.

At www.locations.koeln, you can find at a glance all the information you need about conference hotels, event centres, event locations and providers of event services such as transport companies and caterers. In addition, there is a list of various event agencies that can put together a special overall programme or supporting programme for their customers. Extraordinary ideas for activities – everything from treasure hunts to office golf – are available to round out every business event.

The newly designed interactive website optimally adapts itself to end-user devices such as smartphones, personal computers and tablets. As a result, practical touchscreen operation enables users to carry out planning while on the move. A clearly designed map feature ideally supports planning, even for customers who are unfamiliar with the city. The meeting planner’s user-friendliness is guaranteed by its clear structure, simple operation and attractive high-quality images. The planner also features connectivity with social media channels. The portal can be accessed via the top-level domain “locations.koeln” and is linked with the subdomain “location.koelntourismus.de” on the organization’s website, www.koelntourismus.de.

To make the search for an appropriate venue easier for customers, the planner offers the possibility of using filter options to adapt the search process to the user’s individual needs. Other helpful features include lists of contact persons and information about flat-rate offers for conferences. A contact form enables users to send their inquiries directly to service providers. It is also possible to attach external documents to the form. With the new meeting planner, quick and easy planning processes are guaranteed.

The over 100 entries in the meeting planner are based on a partnership with the CCB. The CCB, which is embedded in the Cologne Tourist Board, serves event planners as the first independent contact point for questions about Cologne as the ideal location for conventions, congresses and events.


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