Conference checkpoint: Meeting Place Berlin

The German capital’s convention bureau visitBerlin attracted 130 industry meeting and event organisers to its Meeting Place Berlin event, 13-17 July, the biggest ever interest from international clients, who represented 80% of the group. This year they came from 29 countries and six continents.

visitBerlin says the programme is part of its strategy to increase the city’s number of multi-day conferences and incentives with more than 100 attendees.

The event was an opportunity for organisers to get a first-hand look at the city, said Heike Mahmoud, director Conventions of the visitBerlin Berlin Convention Office, organiser of the programme.

“We developed a special programme with more than 50 partners from Berlin’s meetings industry. Planners of international conventions are showing more interest in Berlin than ever before. The US and the UK are our top foreign markets,” Mahmoud added.

The programme included a workshop day as a business platform with Berlin partners. There was also a Meet Berlin Day with site tours and active incentive offerings for the guests to try. Locations visited included Classic Remise Berlin, the Bolle Festsäle, the Gasometer, Axica, the Zoological Anatomy Theatrer, bcc, Fabrik 23, Tangoloft and Spreespeicher Berlin.

Hotels on the itinerary included Hotel Provocateur, Hotel Oderberger, the Estrel, and the Vienna House Andel’s Berlin.

Berlin is one of the most successful meeting destinations in the world: last year, 11.5m people came to Berlin and attended some 137,500 events (both +2% over the previous year). Berlin is ranked fourth behind Paris, Vienna, and Barcelona in the latest ICCA city rankings and the Berlin conference and congress market generated sales of €2.41bn in 2016 (+4.7% over the previous year).

This year’s edition marks the ninth Meeting Place Berlin since 2005.

The Meeting Place Berlin event followed quickly on the recent Messe Berlin Site Experience for international association congress organisers, 17 of whom were at the Messe, on 10 and 11 July, for an exclusive behind the scenes tour during the World Congress of the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis (ISTH).

The group also was also able to explore the CityCube Berlin, where they were able to question the ISTH organising team, and also the Messe Berlin team.

Many of those attending the Site Experience were from medical organisations, and there was representation from education and financial organisations, too. The participants represented congresses which involve over 150,000 attendees and some 600,000 overnights at the respective locations.

“Site Visit is the old thinking. We wanted to offer a genuine Site Experience. By talking to our customers ISTH, our customers of the future were able to gain a direct impression of the venue and what makes Messe Berlin and this city so attractive“, said Dr Ralf Kleinhenz, senior vice-president at Messe Berlin.

“We are delighted with the positive response and hope we have inspired them to return with their congresses.”

Mahmoud added: “Berlin is known around the world as a centre for innovation and has a first-class network of universities and research centres. This is particularly beneficial for meetings related to science and medicine. In addition, the city offers affordable accommodation compared to other cities and a wide range of cultural offerings. This unique blend is convincing an increasingly number of convention and event organisers.”



Paul Colston

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