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February 10, 2014

Copenhagen Update: Green Initiatives Boost Event Numbers

Copenhagen is winning international conventions and corporate events. A full 57 international conventions and 272 corporate events have been confirmed for Copenhagen for the next few years, which makes 2013 the third consecutive record year in terms of bid and lead wins.

What are they doing right? Executives say the city's focus on "green" travel is helping.

Jonas Wilstrup, Wonderful Copenhagen's new convention director (pictured above), who took up the post on the first day of the year, praised the city's green initiatives in terms of its booking successes. (Copenhagen led the Siemens Green City Index for Europe, and was selected as the European Green Capital for 2014.) Over the last five years, the number of eco-certified hotel rooms in the city increased by over 980 percent. As of November, 71 percent of the city's hotel rooms had been certified as environmentally friendly.

RELATED: Copenhagen Earns New Green Hotel Record

The Bella Center, the largest convention center in Denmark, has invested millions in energy-saving measures, including the addition of a massive wind turbine in its backyard, which focuses on wind energy as the most important renewable energy source in Denmark. The conference center also has protected green areas right outside the doorstep, and is Green Key certified, requiring organizations to meet criteria in the areas of policy, action plans, education and communication, as well as the regular environmental demands of a hotel.

Denmark as a whole is looking to become the world’s first country entirely independent of fossil fuels by 2050. Copenhagen is also the first city in Scandinavia to have a mandatory green roof policy–making vegetation and soil a mandatory obligation in planning new developments.

RELATED: Copenhagen Named Top European Destination for Green-Friendly Meetings

Beyond Green

The city, which ranked eighth on ICCA's list of “The world's most popular convention cities” last year, has built a united meetings industry in which all the major players work together in the Meetingplace Wonderful Copenhagen network. “The 100 most important suppliers in the Copenhagen meetings industry are united in the Meetingplace, making it easy for any organizer to work with us,” Wilstrup said. “We know each other and are used to working closely together, which means that we are more efficient and flexible.” Wilstrup also noted Copenhagen’s role as a university city and its place as a hub for clean-tech, life-tech and IT businesses. 

Looking Ahead

Among Copenhagen’s winning event bids are the veterinarian event Joint Congress of the 23rd FECAVA Euro congress and the 42nd WSAVA World Congress, poised to bring in 3,000 delegates in 2017. Capitalizing on its green reputation, the city will also host the clean tech congress European Wind Energy Associations EWEA Offshore with 10,000 delegates in 2015. This follows on Copenhagen’s hosting the EWEA annual wind power congress in 2012.

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