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24 Sep 2015

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

German capital sought-after location for scientific and medical conventions

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

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


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