Several of Germany’s top exhibition venues are being given a makeover. Chantelle Dietz investigates.
Germany has long reigned supreme as a destination for exhibitions. Its venues are among the best – and the biggest – in the world, and its central location within Europe makes it easily accessible. According to AUMA, the German Trade Fair Industry association, two thirds of all leading international trade fairs take place in the country.
Continuous investment in infrastructure keeps Germany at the top of its exhibition game. Last year, €330m was spent updating and expanding its national exhibition venues. A recent study by AUMA reveals a further €900m will be spent on upgrades between now and 2022. Germany’s overall hall space will increase by approximately 55,000sqm as a result, with some 35,000sqm of this new space becoming available this year.
The new Hall 12 at Messe Frankfurt hosted its first event – automotive service industry trade fair Automechanika – in September, although its official opening isn’t scheduled until the end of October. Split over two levels, it adds a total 33,600sqm of event space to the Frankfurt Messe portfolio, the equivalent of five football pitches. The lower level can be partitioned in various ways, offering plenty of scope for different styles of event.
The Hall has been designed with sustainability at its heart. The roof is tiled in 9,000sqm of solar panels making it possible to generate enough energy to cover the average annual consumption of 241 four-person households. Via Mobile, a covered and glazed transport system with moving walkways and escalators, links the new hall to the other venues within the exhibition grounds.
The much-anticipated hub27 Berlin is due to open in April next year. The new multi-purpose hall is part of Messe Berlin’s long-term master plan for the redevelopment and modernisation of the city’s exhibition grounds. Located on the premises of Berlin ExpoCenter City it will comprise a high-tech 10,000sqm column-free hall with flexible partition-walling, a 550sqm lobby with mobile registration and cloakroom counters and a series of smaller breakout rooms capable of holding between 10 and 250 delegates. Passageways will connect the new space directly to the adjacent halls 1 and 25 and the nearby S-Bahn station will provide links to the local public transport system. The ‘icing on the cake’ will be a 200-capacity rooftop terrace with views of the nearby Grünewald forest, where delegates can relax and round off their day.
Upping the ante in the style stakes, Messe Düsseldorf is being given a EUR140m makeover, with a dramatic new glazed South Entrance and a reconstructed Hall 1 set to be unveiled next autumn. Once complete, a 20m-high fibreglass canopy with LED lighting will welcome delegates into the venue, leading them into a 2,112sqm foyer, serving both as an entrance to the Messe and as an additional event space. A glass-enclosed meeting room will protrude into the foyer from above, benefiting from natural daylight. The new Hall 1 will provide 12,027sqm of exhibition space, 558sqm more than the old Hall 1 and 2 combined. The makeover is the latest phase of the Messe Düsseldorf’s 2030 Masterplan, which will see the entire venue modernised.
Organisers will have to wait until 2020 for the Congress Center Hamburg (CCH) to reopen its doors. The original 1970s building is currently being redeveloped into a new purpose-built facility fit for a modern audience. When it does reopen, the new CCH will boast four floors of adaptable event space incorporating 12,000sqm of exhibition space, a 12,000sqm foyer and 12,000 seats spread across 50 halls. The layout been specifically designed to offer maximum flexibility at minimum fuss; each of the spaces being configured to suit specific requirements. There will also be the flexibility to section-off the venue into three distinct event areas, CCH West, CCH Center and CCH East, meaning multiple events can take place at the same time without interference from each other.
Germany’s hidden gems
Germany’s major cities are among the most popular trade fair destinations worldwide, but what do its lesser-known cities have to offer? Cvent’s DACH region marketing lead, Karin Althaus, reveals the hidden gems within Germany’s MICE market.
With developed infrastructure and availability of logistical necessities at cheaper rates (compared to first tier cities), the second-tier cities in Germany are gaining more prominence and are poised to be the new growth centres for MICE business. As per the data extracted from Cvent Supplier Network for the past 24 months, Stuttgart saw a positive 27.4 per cent increase in the total request for proposals received with a seven per cent increase in unique organisations sourcing into Stuttgart. Other cities that are attracting MICE groups and consequently reporting strong growth in the MICE market are Bonn, Wiesbaden and Leipzig.
Bonn – Germany’s emerging MICE destination
Located at the heart of one of Europe’s most densely populated areas, Bonn hosts several international conferences every year, including the annual UN climate conferences. The only UN city in the country and home to 18 secretariats, Bonn is an emerging world-class conference city in Germany. Bonn’s total RFP value for the last 24 months has increased 14 per cent while the awarded value has gone up to 302.9 per cent.
With the MICE demand rising at a higher rate, experts anticipate a major investment in city’s infrastructure and hotel industry. As per the “Hotel Market Report NRW 2017” issued by a hotel branch consulting firm in Wuppertal, Bonn stands at third place, right behind Cologne and Düsseldorf, in terms of interest level for hotel operators and investors. The report talks about the rapid growth in overnight stays in Bonn and the increase in numbers refer to the high level of attraction the city brings for both business travellers and tourists.
For those business travellers Bonn features some of the best conference centres in the region. The World Conference Centre Bonn, located in the United Nations Campus, is a world-class facility that can accommodate events with up to 7,000 delegates. The city also boasts of a range of impressive conference hotels.
18 Jan 2019