Meetings mercury rising in Germany

The meetings, conference and events sector in Germany remains buoyant, attracting over 3m events and 394m participants in 2016.

The latest figures come from the Meeting & Event Barometer 2016/2017, produced jointly by the German National Tourist Board (GNTO), European Association of Event Centres (EVVC) and the German Convention Bureau (GCB).

The Barometer reveals the number of international delegates attending meetings, conferences and events in Germany last year increased by 18% compared to 2015. There were 32.9m international delegates coming to Germany for conferences, meetings and events, a figure that is now double the number recorded in the year of the Barometer’s launch in 2006.

Conferences, meetings and seminars are increasing their share of the overall number of events held in Germany, having increased by 5.6% to 57.7%.

Conferences are a big driving force behind business trips to Germany from other European countries, making up 9% of approximately 12.9m trips taken in 2016.

“Increasingly planners and delegates from around the world want to meet, exchange knowledge and collaborate in Germany. The GCB is working closely with associations and organisations across the globe to help them deliver memorable meetings filled with strong value, quality and business and experiential power,” says the GCB’s managing director Matthias Schultze.

Petra Hedorfer, CEO of the GNTO, says the results underline the tourist board’s strategy for the German meetings sector of incorporating the expertise of the country’s cities and regions in important economic and scientific sectors in order to provide the ideal framework for suitable thematic events.

The Barometer finds supply and demand at a high level throughout Germany’s events sector: in 2016 there were 3.02m events with 394m participants, a small increase in participants of 0.4% compared to the previous year.

On the supply side there are 7,313 event centres, conference hotels and event venues in Germany, each accommodating at least 100 people – an increase of 1.5%.

The latest Barometer also reveals a trend towards larger events of over 1,000 participants. With the number of these conferences rising 2%.

Joachim König, president of the EVVC, notes that in the smaller meetings sector there are increasing signs of a move in the direction of IT-supported alternative forms of exchange. “Here we can see how important it is for providers of meeting facilities to keep up with technological developments and to invest in the relevant equipment. The trend towards this small event format and increased incorporation of technology is explored in our Future Meeting Space Project.”

Data gathered for this year’s Barometer also point towards a more optimistic outlook about the future, both with regard to bookings and future development of the events market. Positive assessments about the future have increased from 46.9% to 59.3%.

The Meeting & Event Barometer is the only study that examines both the conference and event sector in Germany and the partners worked with the European Institute for the Meetings Industry (EITW) for the 11th time to examine this events market.


Paul Colston

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Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World. Write Paul an E-mail



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