VIP Lounge in the Congress Center wins design award

The design and light concept realised in the modernised VIP Lounge of Messe Frankfurt’s Congress Center has won the  German Design Award “Special Mention 2016”.

The main element of the VIP Lounge’s new design, which was created by LS Architecture & Interiors, is its unique lighting concept that compensates for the lack of daylight. A wall of lights and big round lights on the ceiling emit a natural brightness. The wall of lights is populated with randomly placed illuminants and uses indirect light to produce an aesthetically pleasing effect. All the materials used in the lounge blend in with the modern architecture of the building, and the distinctive retreat has been furnished with five seating areas consisting of minimalist chairs and tables.  A buffet counter at the back of the room completes the concept.

VIP Lounge im Congress Center Messe Frankfurt ©Congress Frankfurt, Messe Frankfurt Venue GmbH
VIP Lounge im Congress Center Messe Frankfurt ©Congress Frankfurt, Messe Frankfurt Venue GmbH
The makeover of the VIP Lounge, which is available for customers holding events in the Congress Center to use, was one of a series of modernisation projects carried out this summer. “We are continuously investing in upgrading the technical equipment and furnishings of our congress facilities in order to maintain our building’s high standard of presentation,” said Claudia Delius-Fisher, Director of Congress Frankfurt.

Another highlight of the development in the Congress Center are the striking elliptical lights which are suspended from a great height in the entrance foyer, which create an elegant atmosphere. Finally, the full control system, including software, for the centrepiece of the Congress Center, the Harmonie Hall, has been replaced. This means that from a technical perspective, the height-adjustable and divideable hall, which can accommodate up to 2,200 people, is state-of-the-art.

Background information on Congress Frankfurt
Congress Frankfurt is part of Messe Frankfurt Venue GmbH, a wholly owned subsidiary of Messe Frankfurt GmbH. Its activities include marketing Messe Frankfurt’s exhibition grounds for conferences and congresses. Congress Frankfurt offers event organisers customised venue solutions. The venues available to congress organisers on the Messe Frankfurt exhibition grounds include the Congress Center, Festhalle, Forum and Portalhaus, as well as the exhibition halls. In total, there are 80 congress and conference rooms with a capacity of 22,000, as well as additional exhibition areas. The largest room holds 9,500 people, while the large congress hall can accommodate up to 2,200 people with maximum flexibility. The offer is supplemented by Kap Europa another congress building in the neighbouring Europaviertel district. www.congressfrankfurt.de

Background information on Messe Frankfurt
Messe Frankfurt is one of the world’s leading trade fair organisers, generating around €554 million in sales and employing 2,130 people. The Messe Frankfurt Group has a global network of 29 subsidiaries and 57 international Sales Partners, allowing it to serve its customers on location in more than 160 countries. Messe Frankfurt events take place at more than 30 locations around the globe. In 2014, Messe Frankfurt organised a total of 121 trade fairs, of which more than half took place outside Germany.
Comprising an area of 592,127 square metres, Messe Frankfurt’s exhibition grounds are home to ten exhibition halls. The company also operates two congress centres. The historic Festhalle, one of the most popular venues in Germany, plays host to events of all kinds. Messe Frankfurt is publicly owned, with the City of Frankfurt holding 60 percent and the State of Hesse 40 per cent.
For more information, please visit our website at: www.messefrankfurt.com


Nuremberg: Creating Conferences and Events that Cater to the Food & Beverage Industry… from Food Truck Entrepreneurs to Beer Makers

Take a deep breath in Nuremberg and you’re likely to take in the delicious aromas of gingerbread and beer, intermingled with the mouth-watering smells of food truck cuisine.

Joining the medieval traditions of brewing and baking in the famous walled city, Nuremberg is also known as Germany’s food truck capital with the first German food truck created by local Klaus P. Wünsch, “Mr. Food Truck Germany”.

As an epicenter for yum – with local fare like “3 im Weggla” (three small sausages in a bun) and Red Beer, Nuremberg is also home to a variety of interesting F&B events, conferences and happenings.

B2B Conference for the “Moving Food” Industry
In November 2015, the “World’s first b2b Street Food Convention” (the brainchild of Mr. Wünsch) was held at the Nuremberg Convention Center, designed by globally celebrated “Starchitect   ” Zaha Hadid.  Here vendors, chefs, food bloggers and more met and mingled - sharing best practices for the “moving food culture”, holding an exhibition and hosting a tasting “Round Up” event just outside the center at the end of the conference where the public could buy treats ranging from currywurst to burritos.

Would you Like Beer with That? The BrauBeviale Exhibition Celebrates Artistry
Creating co-located meetings power for global F&B professionals, the Street Food Convention began on the final day of the BrauBeviale, an international equipment exhibition for the beverage industry with a strong emphasis on artistic beer making. This allowed for strong cross-pollination opportunities between food and drink experts in Nuremberg that week:  “For visitors of both events, this was a great opportunity to talk and network. Street food is unconventional, similar to the creative beer culture highlighted at BrauBeviale. At both events the focus is on artisanal creation where personal touch and high-quality are at the forefront. Both the heart and the hand play an important role in all culinary delights,” noted the director of the BrauBeviale Exhibition Andrea Kalrait.

As part of BrauBeviale the internationally known European Beer Star Award competition also took place with breweries from 45 countries entering over 1,957 beers for awards in various categories. US beer makers made a strong showing with many “stateside” beer-makers taking home awards, including North Coast Brewery from Fort Bragg, CA, Brewery Ommegang from Cooperstown., NY, the Boston Beer Company/Samuel Adams from Massachusetts and many more.

Event  & Conference Catering On Wheels
Taking food trucks to the next level, rolling eateries themselves are used in Nuremberg to cater to conference, event and meeting attendees with leading companies like Adidas (HQ’d in area) extoling the virtues of serving “mobile” fare: “It is important for us to be one of the first companies to pick up on new trends. Food trucks give us the opportunity to create an authentic atmosphere and to appeal to our international event audiences. They’re also great when working with a shorter lead time and offer delicious, fresh and high-quality dishes to our business attendees,” says Armin Übelhack, Senior Event Manager Global Events at Adidas.

So whether you or your clients are in the food & beverage business or you are looking to please dining and drink enthusiasts, Nuremberg and its surrounding Franconian area offer a unique food truck vibe, hundreds of high quality breweries (many making beer in the 500 yr. old tradition of using hops, water and malt only), historic rock cut cellars, culinary tours and more to make your business visit truly delicious.  To get a taste of meeting in Nuremberg view this video and visit https://www.nuernberg-convention.de/en/


Bartender Robots … Fog Projectors … and Wifi Balloons …Oh My! The New GCB Future Meeting Space Innovation Catalog Brings Ideas & Inspiration

The GCB and European Association of Event Centres (EVVC) have teamed up with renowned researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO to give planners a glimpse into the future of meetings technology, infrastructure and more.

Future Meeting Space Innovation Catalogue Highlights ©German Convention Bureau
Future Meeting Space Innovation Catalogue Highlights ©German Convention Bureau
As part of our ongoing commitment to help move the meetings industry forward and provide quality resources, the GCB has just launched the Future Meeting Space Innovation Catalog.  

Free and available at http://www.gcb.de/en/future-meeting-space, this toolkit is the first deliverable from the GCB’s Future Meeting Space project, announced in early 2015. This effort exclusively teams the GCB and the European Association of Event Centres (EVVC) with renowned research partner the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO, Europe’s largest applied-science research organization.  The goal of the multi-year Future Meeting Space study is to gather key trends, innovations and developments in society, business and technology; examine their influence and applicability to meetings; and deliver tangible tools and data to the industry.  

The Innovation Catalog showcases 30 developments that are relevant to meetings, giving planners and industry members specific and tangible examples for inspiration and action.  These 30 were narrowed down from 120 examples identified by the Fraunhofer from their own, existing R&D activities & data and new general research, through interaction with multidisciplinary specialists—across design, science, business and meetings, and with the use of trend scouts to dive deeper into certain concepts.  The 100+ idea pool was then reviewed and vetted via a meetings expert panel to assess the applicability to the meetings industry.  

To make the presented ideas easy to browse and envision, the Innovation Catalog is organized into trends and key topics with ideas marked with one of two icons to note the stage of readiness for adoption, Ambition: in the latter stages of R&D for implementation in the near future; and Vision: highly conceptual with meetings feasibility yet to be fully determined.  

Some highlights include:  

Community/Society Trends–The Sharing Economy, Personalization, Multi Gen & Security— Here all kinds of sharing -- for Gen Y through Silverpreneurs – are discussed calling for more networking, knowledge transfer and resource exchange to grow collaboration and sustainability.  Gamification, use of Instagram for InstaWalk virtual event tours, customized learning, innovation bootcamps, match making apps and more are presented here. Security is also mentioned in terms of both physical and data privacy and protection.  

Technology – Digital interpreters, 180o projection, and mist projectors that allow you to present info, images and video mid-air are coming.  Physical telepresence or tangible media technologies that allow remote speakers to be seen, heard and even move and demonstrate objects in the audience’s separate location are becoming possible as well.  

Mobility - Alternative mobility concepts and means of transportation like car sharing, zoomorphic robots, driverless cars, electric busses and drones are explored to not only move people around, but also to transport materials used to build a booth, for example.  

– LED virtual skies for meeting spaces, Wifi balloons for remote locations, phase changing materials that create heat and cooling without energy use, cashless payments and chip implants are all ideas that find a home in the Innovation Catalog.  

Mark your calendars for 2H2016 when the GCB will announce Phase II of the Future Meeting Space project. Next steps from the project will include expert focus group results and other findings.


Join the GCB for IMEX in Frankfurt in April or Our Edu Tour to Hamburg in July

This year we are trying something a little different. We’ll do a hosted buyer trip to IMEX in Frankfurt in April and then host our annual GCB Americas Educational trip in July in Hamburg. Consider joining us on one of these trips.

As we all know April 19th - 21st will mark an earlier IMEX in Frankfurt this year. The GCB Americas office will once again be taking some hosted buyers with us to one of the world’s most exciting meeting, conference & incentive travel shows. The show offers an action packed week of business, learning, and networking that’s well worth the trip.  

As usual, if you qualify for the IMEX Hosted Buyer Program (details & qualifications are found here) you will receive roundtrip airfare, meals and transfers. You will also participate in GCB hosted dinners and even the IMEX Gala Dinner, if you’d like. You can apply here.  

Then from July 18th  -22nd we will be doing our annual GCB Americas Educational Trip, this time to

 ©Hamburg Tourimus GmbH/ Joerg Modrow
©Hamburg Tourimus GmbH/ Joerg Modrow
Hamburg. Hamburg provides an amazingly fresh and interesting place to meet, featuring historic meeting spaces in restored Reeperbahn theatres & the warehouse district; rich local expertise in industries like renewable energy, life sciences/medical, maritime, aerospace, urban design, media & IT and more; and one of a kind spaces and places for events and conferences such as HafenCity & the Elbphilharmonie (which will open Jan 2017).  If you are interested in this trip please contact Jennifer Oettel in our NYC office (oettel@germany-meetings.com)


More from the GCB “Crystal Ball” - 5 Predictions for 2016 Meetings

As the Future Meeting Space project looks at trends and developments for the coming years, here are some predictions for the nearer future.

Here’s what we think 2016 holds for the meetings industry.  

What’s on your list?  

#1. Strong $USD = Great Value for Meetings Abroad--The strength of the $USD will continue to fuel growth for US meetings and incentives in Germany in 2016. With the current USD-Euro exchange rate close to its strongest value in 11 years, US planners receive a great value in Germany while delegates have the opportunity to exchange knowledge and ideas with German industry experts at world leading companies, universities and research centers.  

#2. It’s All About Supply—Rising demand and less availability of hotel rooms in North America will continue to push room prices higher Stateside. According to the American Express Meeting Outlook 2106* report group hotel rates are expected to rise significantly more in North America this coming year (4.2 percent) compared to Europe (2.3 percent). This rise in prices is further compounded by a decline in-group hotel space of 2.6 percent in North America in 2016 and a 2.7 percent decline in inventory projected for 2017.  In contrast, buyers planning meetings in Germany will find wide hotel choice and excellent value and with planners looking to drive their per attendee per day costs down by .4 percent** every bit helps.  

#3. Second-Tier Destinations are Winners -- With an ever-increasing eye to cost and in the quest to try new & fresh destinations, “second-tier” cities will continue to become increasingly attractive to planners and road warrior delegates.***  Not only do places like Nuremberg, Leipzig and Stuttgart offer lower costs and ease of travel access, but they also deliver top-notch conference centers and venues, rich cultural scenes and deep expertise in key industries such as social justice & international law, R&D, pharma, automotive, innovation and more. So if you are looking for top-notch ROI don’t rule out world-class “second-tier’ meetings destinations.  

#4. The Sharing economy — Millennials Speak, Hotels Innovate The millennial generation is fueling the growth of the Sharing Economy.  60 percent of American travelers 18 to 34 yrs. old say they put their faith in services such as Airbnb, Home Away, Uber and Lyft, compared with 37 percent of all other travelers****. In Germany automakers like Daimler AG and BMW AG have recognized the value of this market, developing their own successful programs for car sharing (Car2go and DriveNow respectively).  Hotels are also aware that this group will be their largest customer segment in the next five to ten years and are redesigning properties to emphasize interesting and welcoming communal areas, enabling mobile-based concierge services, offering non-cookie cutter guest experiences through design, dining, music and more, and providing free high speed internet anywhere and everywhere in a effort to secure Gen Y business. Orbitz, American Express and Hyatt have all also recently announced partnerships to jump into the shared economy ring, and others are likely to follow.  

#5. Compliance Takes a World Tour—Compliance is expected to be a hot topic again in 2016, especially in the pharmaceutical industry. This past year saw new regulations such as the U.S. Sunshine Act (Open Payments Program) and EFPIA (European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations) guidelines being implemented. Created to provide more transparency -- these regulations primarily focus on transfers of value made to health care providers (for example when pharmaceutical companies pay for lodging and, travel for doctors), leading to a huge increase in admin work for meeting planners. In Germany compliance is not a new trend—but one that continues to evolve. Many German travel industry companies and organizations like the GCB have well established codes of ethics which provide employees with specific guidance for particularly sensitive issues related to conflicts of interest, gifts, and invitations. As many companies continue to globalize these issues will take on new urgency.

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