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Events in Germany attract nearly 400 million delegates

The German meetings industry is still growing with a total of 393 million participants attending events held in the country last year – an increase of 2.6% from the previous year. Germany’s popularity as a meeting and events destination is increasing, particularly on an international level. The number of international visitors rose significantly last year by 8.3% to 27.7 million and the number of international visitors travelling to events has almost doubled in ten years (2006:14.3 million).

These are the results of the Meeting- & EventBarometer 2016, the only study of its kind examining both the conference and event sector in Germany. The initiators are the European Association of Event Centres (EVVC), the German Convention Bureau (GCB) and the German National Tourist Board (GNTB).        

“The importance of international trade events and conferences is increasing. As the most significant location for meetings and conferences in Europe and the most important location for trade events, Germany is well placed to meet this development. In 2015 European journeys to meetings and conferences in Germany rose by 8%. This is a clear confirmation of the high-quality service offered by the German meetings industry", says Petra Hedorfer, CEO of the German National Tourist Board (GNTB).  

In response to the significant increase in international visitors, the GCB has developed an internationalisation strategy which includes co-operation with the GNTB last year to open a representative office in Beijing in addition to its established office in New York.  

"Alongside value for money and excellent infrastructure, areas of scientific and economic expertise are increasingly becoming crucial considerations for planners and important tools for attracting international participants", explains Matthias Schultze, Managing Director of the GCB.  

Stability on the provider's side
Germany’s supply remained relatively stable last year despite growing demand at home and abroad: 7,208 event centres, conference hotels and event locations each with seating for at least 100 people in their largest room indicate a moderate increase of 0.8% compared to 2014. The number of events likewise remained relatively constant at 3.06 million (an increase of 0.7%).

By far the most important type of event at German venues were conferences, meetings and seminars accounting for 52.1% and an increase of 2.5 percentage points. There was also a slight overall increase in the average number of participants at German events.  

A glance at the future
Nearly half (46.9%) of suppliers and 60% of organisers have a positive view of the future development of the meetings industry. Nearly all (91.3% of providers and 89.6% of organisers) believe that the development in their own organisation will remain the same or improve. “Despite the good figures we must not forget that we are dependent on economic and social developments in Germany and the world. The mood at the present time is somewhat subdued and this will undoubtedly have an effect on our industry,” says Joachim König, President of the European Association of Event Centres.  

Meeting- & EventBarometer Germany
The Meeting- & EventBarometer is the only study that examines the entire event market - both the conference and event sector - in Germany and presents an informative picture of the sector. The initiators are the European Association of Event Centres (EVVC), the German Convention Bureau (GCB) and the German National Tourist Board (GNTB). In 2016 the partners engaged the European Institute for the Meetings Industry (EITW) for the 10th time to examine the events market.

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