German meetings industry still growing

  • Published by Ozgur Tore

The German meeting and events market continues to grow: German meeting and event venues counted 371 million participants last year, 2.5% more than the year before. Since 2009, visitor numbers have been growing continuously.

germany-cologneThe number of events, 3.01 million meetings, conferences and events, was 1.3% above the result for the previous year.

The increased demand is matched by increased supply: 7,034 meeting and event venues were available in 2013, 1.4% more than the previous year.

This is a key result of the Meeting & EventBarometer 2014. The study, which is carried out annually, is the only one in Germany that examines both the conference and events sectors. The initiators are the European Association of Event Centres (EVVC), the German Convention Bureau (GCB) and the German National Tourist Board (GNTB). The study was carried out by the European Institute for the Meetings Industry (EITW).

The positive results in the German meetings and events sector is also reflected in the current World Travel Monitor business travel figures from IPK International: "In 2013 promotable business trips, i.e. visits to meetings, conferences and fairs as well as incentive journeys, were substantially higher than traditional business trips from Europe. The meeting and event market is becoming more and more a driving factor for business tourism to Germany," says Petra Hedorfer, Chair of the Board at GNTB, emphasising the results of the current Meeting & EventBarometer.

The long-term analysis of the Meeting & EventBarometer, which has been operating since 2007, has also identified a growing internationalisation of the meeting and event market in Germany: from 2006 to 2013 the number of foreign participants increased from 14.3 to 23.4 million. Furthermore, 38% of German providers and 45% of German organisers questioned in the study believe that the importance of international meetings will continue to grow in the future.

These results of the Meeting & EventBarometer are confirmed by the current ranking of the International Congress & Convention Association (ICCA): with 722 international association meetings in 2013, Germany takes first place for the 10th time in succession in Europe and second place in the worldwide comparison.

A further positive long-term trend for the meetings industry: organisers are being given increased budgets. Whereas in 2007 just under a quarter (23%) of all planners had more than € 500,000 available, in 2013, 45% of organisations state that they are able to pay more than half a million Euros for meetings, conferences and events. The outlook is positive: 79% of German organisers and 84% of international organisers expect their budgets to grow or at least remain the same in 2014 relative to 2013, according to the Meeting & EventBarometer 2014. European organisers have a particularly positive view of the future: 88% of those questioned expect higher or equal budgets. 95.7% expect to put on the same number of events or more in 2014 as compared with 2013.

"The meeting and event market is growing and German providers are well set up in the international market on account of their high quality services and good price/performance ratio. In order to maintain this position, suppliers need to make investments, “ says Joachim König, President of the EVVC. “The results of the Meeting- & EventBarometer provide an important overview as to which issues will influence the sector in the future and which services will create important competitive advantages.”

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