©Dirk Brzoska
©Dirk Brzoska
Under the headline ‘Transport for a changing world’, ministers of transport and scientists from all over the world met for discussions with association representatives and general managers of important transport companies in May 2014. About 1,150 participants from 80 countries gathered during the ‘International Transport Forum’ in the CCL Congress Center Leipzig. For many years this meeting has been hosted in Leipzig.

The automobile and supplier industry is an important branch with a high degree of expertise in Leipzig. It is above all represented by Porsche and BMW.

The BMW Leipzig plant received the prestigious ‘Lean & Green Management Award 2014’. This prize is awarded in six categories every year, and the Leipzig BMW plant won in the category ‘Automotive OEM’.

The award acknowledges the exceptionally intensive and authentic commitment for sustainability by both management and staff. The resource-efficient production of the i3 and i8 e-vehicles as early as in the development phase is another important reason. The result is a completely new way of automobile manufacturing. Four wind turbines for power supply, put up on the plant estate last year, are part of the holistic concept, which is based on a consistently sustainable value chain. They annually generate 26 GWh of wind power – more than is needed for the e-vehicle production. This makes a power supply possible that is based on own, regenerative energy sources in order to keep the carbon footprint of the BMW i3 as small as possible. Since 2005 BMW have produced in Leipzig with own pressing plant, body construction, paint shop and assembling, and with about 4,000 employees. In guided factory tours, visitors can make themselves familiar with vehicle production. They can watch the car’s body being welded, painted and assembled.

The Porsche Leipzig GmbH have produced in Leipzig since 2002. In February 2014, a new plant section was inaugurated as a full-service unit for the production of the model Macan. 50,000 of these luxury SUVs are scheduled to roll off the production line this year. In the future, the Panamera will also be completely made in Leipzig.

Over the past two years the plant’s workforce has grown from an initial 900 to about 2,500 – a development with a positive effect on the city’s job market. Since suppliers and service providers have also moved here, an estimated 5,000 to 6,000 jobs have been created in the region.

 ©Joerg Lange
©Joerg Lange
For the Porsche Leipzig GmbH, environmental protection is a main issue, too. The reduction of the annual CO2 emission thanks to innovative technologies is part of this, just like the use of LED lamps in the outdoor areas of the plant, which annually reduces CO2 emission by 927 t. On an almost untouched terrain where 30 wild horses and 70 aurochs live in the direct vicinity of the plant, an area of about 74,000 m2 is being covered with green and 1,100 new trees are being planted.

The energy efficiency of the body construction will be optimised by a photo-voltaic system installed on the roof, which is to generate up to 800,000 kWh of power per year. Today, an innovative cooling of the robot welding tongs already reduces the annual power consumption in car body construction by more than 365,000 kWh.

Ground breaking developments have also taken place in the paint shop, where Porsche use the waste heat of a nearby biomass power plant. This way, 80% of the heat required in the paint shop are produced carbon neutrally, and the CO2 emission is reduced by more than 8,000 t per year.

The Leipzig Porsche plant also has several meeting rooms and large conference facilities. They are accommodated in the Porsche customers centre, which seen from a distance resembles a diamond: The large auditorium with all-around glazing and a stage provides more than 1,300 square metres of space. The surrounding gallery serves as an exhibition area for historical Porsche models.

During company events and incentive programmes the production facilities can be visited. Event packages on the off-road and on-road race courses, such as ‘Porsche Leipzig Co-Pilot’ or ‘Porsche Leipzig Pilot’, are the spectacular highlight of a visit.

More Information here


Meetings made in Germany show significant depth and growth over the past 25 years

The fall of the wall and reunification of Germany jumpstarted the road to industry expertise, innovation and sustainability that now are key in meetings of all sizes

Berlin-East-Side-Gallery ©Thierry Noir © visitBerlin, Foto: Tanja Koch
Berlin-East-Side-Gallery ©Thierry Noir © visitBerlin, Foto: Tanja Koch
Frankfurt -- October 14, 2014: At a press conference today at IMEX America, the German Convention Bureau (GCB) marked the 25th anniversary of the Peaceful Revolution and the fall of the wall which culminated in the reunification of Germany one year later. These milestones launched a steady stream of progress across the country, particularly in the meetings industry.

According to Matthias Schultze, Managing Director of the GCB, “The fall of the wall 25 years ago and the reunification one year later have had great impact on the meetings industry as a vital component of our economy. Our agility in meshing evolving conference goals and needs with our strengths in industry, innovation and in the environment have been a successful formula for several decades. Additionally, our ability to listen to meeting planners and what is important to them has ensured that what we offer the meetings industry is high impact."

By the numbers

The number of conferences and meetings organized in Germany has grown every decade since the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) was founded in 1963 and started recording the number of international association meetings hosted per country per year. According to ICCA, in the 26 years from 1963 to 1989, Germany hosted a total of 2,149 international industry meetings. By contrast, in the 21 years since the reunification to 2011, that number grew to 7,549, an increase of more than 250 percent. Now for the tenth year in a row, Germany has earned the ranking of #1 in Europe and #2 in the world, after the United States, as an international meetings destination.

What’s more, the number of German cities hosting international meetings has grown significantly. In the Sixties, just five cities – Frankfurt, Berlin, Hamburg, Munich and Wiesbaden – hosted international meetings. Today that number has grown to more than 30 cities from across all of Germany. This distinguishes Germany in the meetings industry as most countries find that only a handful of their cities host international meetings and conferences.

It probably comes as little surprise that the growth of Germany’s capital and most populous city, Berlin, is the most significant. From 1963 to 1989, the city hosted 306 international meetings. Since the reunification, 2,172 international meetings have come to Berlin, representing an increase of more than 600 percent. Today, Berlin is ranked fifth worldwide as a city for international meetings.

Hamburg and Munich, the second and third most populous cities in Germany, have also had positive growth paths. Hamburg hosted 221 meetings from 1963 to 1989 and 511 meetings from 1990 to 2013 (up 130 percent). Munich hosted 344 and 900 meetings (up 160 percent) in the same time frames.

Another unique characteristic is the rapid growth of foreign participants in German meetings. Just from 2006 to 2013 alone, the number grew from 14.3 million to 22.1 million, an increase of 54 percent.  

Moving forward

The GCB last year released findings from a study titled “Meetings and Conventions 2030: A study of megatrends shaping our industry.” These findings formed the foundation of a new marketing strategy for 2015-2020, which focuses on the themes of sustainability, innovation and industry expertise.

These themes will be a common thread throughout GCB activities, including those at IMEX America 2014. Among other activities, the GCB is working with its partners at the German Pavilion for the hosted buyer group presentations to showcase how German innovation and expertise are being utilized to attract meetings to Germany. One example is the World of Energy Solutions Conference which has been hosted in the Southern German city of Stuttgart since 2013. The conference on new energy and mobility capitalizes on the automotive/mobility expertise of the Stuttgart region, reflected in the conference program through keynote speeches by local speakers, the opportunity to test drive an emission free car, or visits to local companies working within this field. Other examples presented at the show include the “smart PORT” initiative from Hamburg (increasing the efficiency of the Hamburg port, read more here) or the city of Dresden’s unique position as the only city in Europe that combines all of the key enabling technologies (KETs) as defined by the European Commission.

About the German Convention Bureau

The German Convention Bureau (GCB) represents and markets Germany as a destination for conventions, meetings, events and incentives both on a national and international scale. It is the first point of contact for companies, associations and organizations around the world planning events in Germany. The German Convention Bureau teams with many German exhibitors to showcase Germany as a convention and meetings destination at trade shows such as EIBTM in Barcelona and IMEX America in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Acting as a connector to the wide range of German event service providers, venues and host cities, the GCB provides hands-on advice and support to planners and executives in all industries and organizations. To bring maximum value, quality and customization to each meeting and event hosted in Germany, the GCB also helps hosts and attendees leverage the country’s deep expertise in green meetings and key industries such as pharmaceuticals, financials, automotive, technology and transportation and logistics.

The GCB’s more than 200 members represent 450 leading hotels, convention centers, destinations, event agencies and service providers of the German meetings and conventions industry. Accor Hotels, DuesseldorfCongress and Stuttgart Convention Bureau are Preferred Partners of the GCB. As Strategic Partners, Lufthansa German Airlines, Deutsche Bahn AG (German Railways), and the German National Tourist Board (GNTB) support the work of the GCB.

The GCB website (www.germany-meetings.com) serves as a useful online tool to find detailed information on Germany, search venues and vendors, get tips for green meetings, catch up on the latest news, access travel guides and much more. Follow the German Convention Bureau in the U.S. on Twitter: www.twitter.com/GermanyMeetings.


The new Rhein-Main-Hallen sets an example

Wiesbaden conference and event centre is awarded the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB) gold pre-certificate

 ©EP Rhein-Main-Hallen
©EP Rhein-Main-Hallen
Today, three years prior to the opening of the new Rhein-Main-Hallen in Wiesbaden, the project was awarded the gold pre-certificate of the German Sustainable Building Council. Wiesbaden’s Head of Economic Affairs, Detlev Bendel, accepted the certificate at the 17th international trade fair, EXPO Real in Munich. Bendel is convinced: “The new Rhein-Main-Hallen is a trendsetter. We want to move the future. That is why we have not taken the easiest but the best way; but the investment in the DGNB gold standard will pay off in the long run”. The certificate was presented by Johannes Kreißig, Deputy Managing Director of the DGNB. Kreißig says that the Wiesbaden event building achieved above-average ratings in all of the assessment criteria in the evaluation of the property. “We have achieved the goal of having one of the most sustainable conference centres in the world, and we are assuming a special role model function in relation to ecological construction and operation”, emphasizes Martin Michel, Managing Director of Wiesbaden Marketing GmbH.

The Hessian state capital is setting an example as a conference location with the gold DGNB pre-certificate. The new Rhein-Main-Hallen construction passed the conformity test with a total compliance level of 84.4 percent. A test result that gives the responsible Construction Project Manager, Henning Wossidlo, confidence: “The building will set standards because it complies with the latest environmental guidelines and its high level of energy efficiency is impressive.” An aspect that is relevant not just for users and event organisers. As the Wiesbaden conference building is constantly the focus of public attention as a municipal investment project, its ecological and socially acceptable construction as well as its sustainable operation are put to the test by the DGNB pre-certificate.

 ©EP Rhein-Main-Hallen
©EP Rhein-Main-Hallen
Rhein-Main-Hallen: Top-level energy efficiency, large amount of daylight

As the plan shows, the new Rhein-Main-Hallen construction fulfils all of the requirements of the current German Energy Saving Ordnance (EnEV 2014) and will therefore be an extremely energy-saving structure. An innovative drain water heat recovery system in connection with a heat pump system is planned for the heating and refrigeration among other things.  The new conference and event centre situated right in the heart of the city integrates ecological aspects in other ways: including water-saving valves, the use of materials with PEFC or FSC certificates or building materials such as natural stone and wood panelling in accordance with the certification standards. In addition to the use of energy-related optimised windows and facades, a large amount of daylight plays a key role. “The rooms in hall 1 enjoy a significant amount of daylight”, explains the Frankfurt architect Ferdinand Heide. From his office, the architect Norman Berndt supported the DGNB certification and in so doing attributed special emphasis with the planning team to improving the structural soundproofing and noise control as well as room acoustics. Sound-absorbing ceilings, wall cladding and the selection of structural elements between the individual usable areas contribute to soundproofing and optimum room acoustics.

DGNB in gold: Benefits for providers and event organisers

“The certificate is not about a good piece of paper, but rather about good buildings“, says Dr. Werner Sobek, co-founder and DGNB President from 2008 to 2010. He sees the added value of the certification for providers and users in lower operating and maintenance costs, the increased intrinsic value and user comfort as well as the improved technical and functional qualities. Current studies conducted by the industry confirm that there is considerable interest on the customer and demand side in cooperating with companies that work sustainably. The DGNB system is impressive with its holistic view of the building, in which around 50 criteria are assessed in six defined areas. This approach is unique throughout the world. “In Germany we have created a certification system that stands on a scientifically sound base and is influenced by people with practical experience“, is how Dr. Werner Sobek explains the development of the certification system, which is a result of the cooperation with the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development.


The German Sustainable Building Council:

The German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB) was founded in Stuttgart in 2007. With the aim of promoting sustainable building, the non-profit organisation developed a certification system for evaluating particularly environmentally friendly, resource-saving, economically efficient and optimised for user comfort buildings and quarters – the DGNB certificate. The DGNB has around 1,200 members from all areas of the construction and real estate industry in Germany. A network of partner organisations in many countries guarantees the international adaptation and application of the certification system.
Background information on objectives and facts about the new Rhein-Main-Hallen:

• The new event centre should accommodate up to 12,500 people simultaneously on around 20,000 square metres of event area – spread over different halls including an integrated multi-functional hall with up to 5,000 places. Service rooms are also planned.
• Several public entrances should ensure smooth parallel operation.
• A new 2,000 square metre main foyer with an imposing entrance area is planned.
• A single-storey underground car park with 800 parking spaces is planned.
• The construction site has a maximum area of 25,000 square metres; the new building will be 250 metres long and 80 metres wide
• Demolition of the existing Rhein-Main-Hallen commenced in August 2014 and will be completed in March 2015
• Construction of the new Rhein-Main-Hallen will begin at the beginning of 2015
• The construction phase will be from 2015 to the end of 2017. The reopening is planned for the beginning of 2018.

Individual assessment criteria of the Rhein-Main-Hallen under the terms of pre-certification according to DGNB gold:

• Clearly within the EnEV 2014 limits (use of district heating, drain water heat recovery)
• Low life cycle costs
• Top level of quality in the selection of building materials to be used (and therefore in interior hygiene)
• Use of water-saving valves
• Creation of an additional green roof
• Highest level of thermal comfort in summer and winter (analysis is conducted using a zonal thermic building simulation taking the user equipment and user behaviour into consideration)
• Implementation of demanding requirements of the room acoustics
• Very good daylight in all usable areas with shade provided where required
• Optimum area efficiency and conversion capability
• Optimum inward and outward soundproofing
• Very good location quality (without weighted result)


IT Autumn in CCD Congress Center Düsseldorf: DATEV Convention kicks off quartet of information technology events

No fewer than four IT-related conventions will take place at CCD Congress Center Düsseldorf this September and October. The events are internationally relevant, attract thousands of participants to Düsseldorf, and underscore the role of the technology and innovation economies in the state capital.

“IT Autumn is one more sign of competency in the information and communications industries centered in Düsseldorf. The capital city is excellently positioned in this area, and a leading player with 1,500 companies, 24,000 jobs and a strong academic reputation – advantages valued by convention hosts,” explains Hilmar Guckert, CEO of Düsseldorf Congress Sport & Event.

IT Autumn got underway in September with the DATEV Convention. The two-day convention under the motto "Building Bridges" attracted tax advisers, auditors, lawyers, legal staff and entrepreneurs to CCD Congress Center Düsseldorf. The focus of the event program was on digitalization – including talks on “The Internet – Curse or Blessing?” and “Big Data: Master or Be Mastered”. The well-known speakers included Sascha Lobo, Friedrich Merz, Prof. Gigerenzer and the bestselling author Marc Elsberg.

The next in the series after the DATEV convention is LinuxCon + CloudOpen + Embedded Linux Conference Europe. Over 1,100 IT experts from all over the world are expected to attend the Linux Foundation events at CCD Congress Center Düsseldorf.

At the M2M Summit 2014 from October 20 – 21, around 1,000 international participants will discuss the newest trends in machine-to-machine communication. This is already the third time the event will be hosted by CCD Congress Center Düsseldorf.

The quartet of events comes to a close the end of October with IBM WebSphere Technical University 2014 & IBM Digital Experience 2014. The American IT consulting company IBM is expecting 1,500 participants to attend the event.

If you have further questions, please contact:
Düsseldorf Congress Sport & Event GmbH
Franziska Bravo Roger – Manager Public Relations
Tel.: +49 (0)211 / 45 60 - 84 93
E-mail: presse@d-cse.de 


Berlin enjoys boost in the number of meetings and events

Approximately 4.75 million visitors came to Berlin in the first half of this year, attending 61,100 congresses, conferences and events, according to recent figures from Berlin Convention Bureau. This is an increase of 2% compared to the same period last year.

The number of overnight stays generated by the meetings and conventions market rose by three per cent to 3.2 million (2013: 3.1 million). This represents around a quarter of all hotel stays in the capital.
Berlin is reinforcing its position in the national and international market by showcasing its expertise in science and medical events. The number of events in these sectors increased by 7.1 % in the first half of 2013 to 10% in the same period this year.

"We market specific sectors within Berlin because the city has well-known institutions in medicine and health management," says Heike Mahmoud, Director of the Berlin Convention Office of visitberlin. “We take the same approach for the IT and technology sectors. The city offers the perfect location and environment for conferences focusing on innovations in these sectors. We see many start-ups rise from Berlin and go on to achieve great success,” added Mahmoud.

For further information head to Berlin Convention Bureau at www.convention.visitBerlin.de.


IMEX America: Germany’s focus on industry expertise + innovation + sustainability adds up to meaningful events

Imex America 2014
Imex America 2014
Visitors to the German Pavilion at IMEX America will not only step into a world of world-class destinations, venues and services, but will also learn how three, key focus areas for the German meetings industry can add unique value to conferences, meetings and events. The worldwide exhibition for incentive travel, meetings and events takes place 14 – 16 October in Las Vegas.

Germany = Industry Expertise
Be it in the automotive, pharma, medical research, financial or aerospace industries, German cities like Stuttgart, Leipzig, Berlin, Cologne, Munich, Frankfurt and more work hard to connect event planners and delegates with experiences and thought leaders that fit their spheres of interest. This can take many forms, from arranging local expert speakers from universities, research centers or companies, to offering meeting and event spaces with specific industry relevance.

Germany = Innovation
Did you know Germany ranks among the world’s top four locations for nanotechnology, that it’s home to Europe’s largest inner-city development and design project, or that it has 19.1% global market share in manufacturing and mechanical engineering? German companies are among the most innovative in the world (source: World Economic Forum’s 2014 Global Competitiveness Report) and provide meeting attendees access to unique experiences, site visits, and mind-expanding industry museums that put history in strategic perspective while inspiring new ideas.

Germany = Green
The German exhibitors at this year’s IMEX America are living examples of Germany’s award-winning dedication to sustainability. 10 of the 18 towns and cities in Europe with an above-average commitment to being green are German (source: German Green City Index) and six of these cities (Berlin, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Nuremberg, and Stuttgart) are represented at IMEX America this year.  The vast majority of German hotels and conference centres at the German Pavilion also get high marks from independent sustainability bodies and have what it takes to plan and host green events.

The German Convention Bureau is partnering with many German exhibitors to showcase the country as a convention and meetings destination at trade shows such as IMEX America in Las Vegas. These German Pavilions are part of the Foreign Trade Fair Participation Program by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy in cooperation with AUMA, the Association of the German Trade Fair Industry. The Ministry initiated this program to promote German foreign trade, giving companies with “made in Germany” products and services the opportunity to participate in international events and trade shows at lower cost.

For more information visit the GCB at the German Pavilion (Booth No:2219) or head to www.germany-meetings.com. You can also book time with Laura d’Elsa, director of GCB’s North American office by emailing her at (delsa@germany-meetings.com) or booking via the IMEX America online scheduling tool.

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