Nuremberg’s Night of Medicine
Spurs innovation in medical industry and increases number of medical meetings in the region
Kristina Kastelan, the Conventions Manager from NürnbergConvention Bureau, and Lumi Hilchey, the GCB's Regional Director USA/Canada, discuss Nuremberg’s Medical Dinner, a networking dinner for leading doctors from the region, and how it has helped to unite various partners in the industry and led to an increase in medical industry meetings in Nuremberg.
Lumi: Hi Kristina, I have heard great things about the Dinner of Medicine. I’m interested to learn how this dinner was instrumental in building relationships and expanding medical meetings in Nuremberg. Can you give me some background on why this event was initially started?
Kristina: Of course, Nuremberg has a rich history of medical innovation dating back to the mid-1800’s that continues to this day. This area, known as the Medical Valley European Metropolitan Region Nuremberg (Medical Valley EMN), is comprised of more than 40 hospitals, major medical universities and clinics, 20 non-university research centers and hundreds of companies involved in the medical industry. In 2010, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research recognized the Medical Valley EMN as a medical technology cluster location and Center of Excellence for Medical Engineering and in 2017 it was named a model region for digital health by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. Despite this sector being such an important driver for the local economy, there was very little collaboration between the city, the professors, and the medical community.
That changed in 2014, when the Nuremberg Convention and Tourist Office and the NürnbergMesse, with the help of the City of Nuremberg’s Office for Economic Development and the office of the Mayor of Nuremberg, hosted the first Science Dinner and invited deans and vice deans from local universities and colleges and heads of local research institutes. This event was so well received that we hosted a Dinner of Medicine the following year to continue to build the communication with this important sector. Every year since we have alternated between hosting a Dinner of Science and Dinner of Medicine. In 2014 and 2015 the events were held at the Blue Salon in the Nuremberg Zoo and in 2016 and 2017 at Z-Bau, a meeting space honoring contemporary culture. Although initially it was challenging to secure the participation of these leading and very busy specialists in the local healthcare sector, this event has become so popular that attendees now look forward to coming every year!
Lumi: That’s fantastic! Can you tell me a bit more about the most recent event?
Kristina: Absolutely! The most recent Dinner of Medicine was held at the Max-Morlock-Stadion (football/ soccer stadium of Nuremberg) on November 5, 2019. While many people think of this venue only for large concerts and sporting events, it actually has a variety of meeting spaces (VIP Forum, VIP boxes, team quarters etc.) and was a big hit with the attendees. We invited the head physicians of the local hospitals, professors teaching medicine or health care, and local healthcare companies or associations.
Since most of the invited guests are familiar with the classic meeting spaces in Nuremberg, we aim to show them unexpected locations for their future events. The evening kicked off with a reception and welcoming from Dr. Ulrich Maly, Lord Mayor of the City of Nuremberg followed by a tour of the meeting facilities at the stadium. In the team quarters, the NürnbergConvention Bureau showed a short presentation about Nuremberg as a destination for conferences, meetings and events and of the importance of medical events for the region. The attendees were then treated to a three-course seated meal and heard from our special guest and speaker, Ruth Nowak, the Head of Department of the Bavarian State Ministry of Health and Care based in Nuremberg and Munich.
Lumi: Would you mind explaining why these events are so important for Nuremberg?
Kristina: Dinner events allow us to showcase how well the meetings infrastructure operates in Nuremberg-- the different players work perfectly together hand in hand: Nuremberg Convention and Tourist Office, the City of Nuremberg & NürnbergMesse, in addition to the service providers and event locations. We are very fortunate the mayor and the city are such strong supporters of this event and that invitations come directly from the mayor’s office, increasing its prestige. This event is an opportunity to showcase the many options for hosting meetings and events in the greater Nuremberg area. It also helps spur knowledge sharing and networking between different players who maybe don’t know each other, as well as, between totally different departments and disciplines.
Lumi: What kind of results have you seen as a result of these dinners?
Kristina: We are pleased since this year’s Medical Dinner we’ve already had six requests from doctor’s regarding their upcoming meetings, conferences, etc.! And the more medical meetings we hold here, the more we help strengthen and develop this sector of the economy through the connections that are being made. Given Nuremberg’s reputation as a center for medical advancements and care, it’s no surprise that we’ve been hosting a number of large global medical conferences and trade shows like MedtecLIVE, a European trade fair for medical technology. Last year’s event attracted 400 exhibitors and more than 4,500 visitors and again will be held in Nuremberg in March!
Lumi: It sounds like your marketing efforts hosting Medical Dinners have been very successful! What a great story of how cooperation with the various stakeholders has been beneficial to everyone in the industry!