CCB-Team "Alt", Axel-Schulten, KoelnTourismus GmbH
12 Nov 2015

Cologne's event market is highly accessible

CCB survey of local event industry on demographic change

- Over 90 per cent of businesses are partially or fully accessible
- 50 per cent of workforces are aged 30 or under
- Local providers have a good overall gender balance

Cologne's event market performs well on accessible services and facilities, with local providers not yet feeling the effects of demographic change. These are the conclusions of a survey of meeting venues, conference hotels and event locations on sociodemographic change conducted by Cologne Convention Bureau (CCB) in cooperation with Europäisches Institut für TagungsWirtschaft (EITW) in addition to its regular annual TagungsBarometer statistical survey of the MICE industry. This thematic focus was chosen in response to The Cologne Science Forum's theme for 2015, which is age and diversity in Cologne. The regular survey helps to recognise market trends and on that basis, to draw up recommendations for action for the MICE industry.

Accessibility is ubiquitous, yet there is little awareness

According to the survey, almost 70 per cent of participating providers have a reference to accessibility in their corporate philosophy, with more than 90 per cent claiming to be partially (73.9 per cent) or even fully (17.4 per cent) accessible for visitors with impairments. In fact, the range of accessible services and facilities on offer goes beyond the expectations and needs of organisers in almost all respects. Cologne is an excellent destination for allergy suffers (78.3 per cent), visually impaired guests (26.1 per cent) and visitors who do not speak German (52.2 per cent). However, the providers could do better when it comes to communicating the existence of these accessible services and facilities – only 36.4 per cent of them communicate what they offer on their own website.

Local providers have young workforces

The survey has also revealed that Cologne's providers have a relatively young workforce, with half aged 30 or under. 36 per cent of employees are aged between 31 and 50. Only 14 per cent of employees are over 50; in companies with more than 50 employees, this age group even accounts for just 8.9 per cent of the total workforce. In these companies, around two thirds of employees are 30 or under. This is the case although the experience and expertise of the over-50 age group is considered to be the biggest source of potential for the companies themselves as well as for the remaining workforce. More than 80 per cent of participating providers indicated that their employees over the age of 50 are vital points of contact for their long-standing clientele.

Gender equality dominates the sector
The ratio of male (50.5 per cent) to female employees (49.5 per cent) working for Cologne-based providers is generally very well balanced. However, the picture changes when looking at the proportion of female executives at the various levels in the hierarchy. At department head level, the share of women is highest at 39.1 per cent. Almost one quarter (23.9 per cent) of management staff are women. At board level, however, the share of women is just 6.2 per cent.


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