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January 8, 2015

German Convention Bureau Predicts 2015 Trends

The German Convention Bureau (GCB) recently shared its predictions for the meetings industry and meetings and conferences in Germany (and beyond) this year.

1. Value is Tops - Saving money will become even more important in the year ahead, with planners and organizers not only looking to negotiate savings (particularly in food and beverage) but also trying to improve ROI while doing so. In Germany, the CWT Meetings & Events study “2015 Meetings & Events Forecast” reported that meeting planners saw 23 percent savings in 2014, leveraging end-to-end meetings management, and this is expected to hold. Tapping into local resources and industry experts within destinations will also continue to be a great ROI and savings approach in 2015.

2. Disappearing Lead Time - According to the CWT Forecast, Germany alone saw reduced lead times of 50 percent in 2014, and there’s more tightening on the way. Booking windows in India and Singapore, for example, can be as short as 7-10 days for group air bookings.

3. Meeting Space Gets Due Respect - The design, architecture, flow, format and technology features of meeting spaces and how they influence delegate experiences will gain more mindshare in 2015. The GCB will take up the topic through a joint research project with the European Association of Event Centers and the Fraunhofer Research Institute. Together, the three organizations will analyze and evaluate existing meeting space practices and developments to suggest future ideas. 

4. Europe's Meetings & Hotel Prospects are Trending Up - Europe will continue to be the top destination for both U.S. corporate and association meetings in 2015. Hotels are also expected to continue their stronger period of demand and moderate expansion. Continuing to deliver value amid growth, Germany’s hotel rates are only anticipated to rise by 1 percent in 2015, less than half of the anticipated 2.6 percent global rise, according to CWT. In addition, PWC believes that revenue per available room in Munich and Frankfurt – and other Euro cities such as Paris, Prague & Zurich – is expected to experience moderate growth in 2015.

5. Partnerships and Alliances - All over the meetings industry, destination marketing organizations will continue to strike up strategic alliances to collaborate, share best practices and drive innovation in the meetings and business travel industry. One example is the Future of Convention Cities Initiative (FCCI) with Abu Dhabi, Durban, London, San Francisco, Seoul and Sydney. Seventeen European destinations (including Visit Denmark, the GCB, NBTC Holland Marketing, the Switzerland Convention & Incentive Bureau and many more) will also begin working more closely together in the New Year as part of the European Convention Bureaux Alliance announced at IMEX America 2014. 

6. Knowledge Transfer – Not only will content quality and “socialized” content grow next year and beyond, the opportunity to learn and exchange deep and global industry knowledge through meetings will be key. In 2015, meeting planners will continue to focus on linking their meetings and events to destinations and venues that live and breathe their industries, expertise areas and business strategies. 

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