The Global Forum to Innovate Business Events

The GCB launches open innovation platform “Response Room” with partners PCMA and IMEX

Frankfurt, January 14th, 2021

At PCMA Convening Leaders 2021, the GCB German Convention Bureau launched its open innovation platform "Response Room", initiated in cooperation with PCMA and the IMEX Group. The platform offers a global, interdisciplinary forum to innovate business events. The partners are looking to build a global community of meeting planners, organizers, suppliers, and event participants to jointly develop new solutions and innovative business models. Users can now register and innovate free of charge at

Meetings, conventions, and congresses bring people together, promote knowledge transfer and provide an impetus for economic, scientific, and social progress. “To secure this role for the future, there is a need for rapid, interconnected and, above all, customer-focused solutions - especially considering our ever-changing world”, says Matthias Schultze, the GCB's Managing Director. “These new solutions and innovations, however, cannot be found in closed silos, but through open, agile processes.” Through Response Room, the GCB, PCMA and IMEX enable the global business events community to co-create, collaborate, and drive innovation.

The platform was officially launched on January 14th with a session at PCMA’s Convening Leaders 2021 in front of several thousand event professionals from all around the world. In her keynote, Catharina van Delden, CEO and co-founder of innosabi, Response Room's software partner, emphasized the high importance of agile innovation as well as the creation of a corresponding culture within organizations. In the subsequent panel discussion, Stephen Rose, Head of Global Communications Services at Siemens AG, and Ulrike Tondorf, Head of Live Communication & Experience Branding at Bayer AG, provided exclusive insights into innovative business events. Also presented at Convening Leaders was a 10-minute video tutorial in which users can learn everything they need to know and get practical tips about Response Room. The video will be made available on the platform soon.

Innovation starts with strong partnerships

Innovations will succeed all the better when the network behind them is both stronger and more open at the same time. With PCMA from the US and IMEX Group from the UK, the GCB has had two forward-thinking partners at its side since the very beginning. Both organizations strongly believe in the high relevance of innovation for business events and want to inspire their worldwide communities. Sherrif Karamat, PCMA’s President and CEO, explains his organization's commitment to Response Room: “PCMA is excited to partner with the GCB and IMEX on the Response Room, as it supports our vision of global economic and social transformation through business event innovation. The Response Room encourages innovative thinking on a global scale. PCMA is looking forward to helping the insights and strategies imagined on the platform to advance the business events industry.” Carina Bauer, CEO of IMEX Group, adds: "With old models and old ways of doing being disrupted and challenged at every turn, the time is right for true innovation. The Response Room sets the tone for a new way of working together. It will motivate makers, creators, collaborators and the curious. We’re delighted to be a part of this new frontier and can’t wait to see where the platform and its new tribe will take us.”

Co-creation and collaboration for future success

The heart of the Response Room platform is the "Innovation Challenges" area, where users work together on challenges, questions and problems and develop new solutions in co-creative processes. A variety of functions and participation phases enable the community to actively contribute their ideas and thereby help develop innovations. In addition, the platform offers further sources of inspiration and knowledge with a blog and an event area. In the future, the Response Room community will not only interact virtually, but will also meet in person at live events, workshops, and other formats, thus building the all-important bridge between the digital and analog worlds. 

About Response Room

"Response Room" is the global open innovation platform for all players in the world of business events. Initiated by the GCB German Convention Bureau and implemented with the support of PCMA and the IMEX Group, the platform was originally launched in January 2021. The Cologne Convention Bureau by KölnTourismus GmbH supports Response Room as an Innovation Pioneer.
The platform fosters systematic co-creation and collaboration for innovations in business events. At the heart of the Response Room are Innovation Challenges, i.e. challenges, problems and questions to which the global business events community collaborates to generate innovative ideas, new solutions and future business models. Access to the platform is open, and anyone can participate in the Innovation Challenges free of charge after creating a user account. For further information and to register please visit

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