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Berlin Gaining in Popularity for International Conventions and Business Events

What You Should Know to Plan Events and Conventions in Berlin

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Goya Club, Berlin

Goya Club is a former theater that is now a nightclub in Berlin. Meeting and event planners frequently hire the club for private events and hold evening receptions here.

Photo: © www.visitberline.com.de-Koch

Although 80 percent of Berlin's business travel, conventions and events visitors are from Germany, it's the 20 percent that should be watched closely during the next several years. That's because Berlin has been experiencing a steady growth as organizers in the international conventions and incentives industries continue to choose Berlin for its unique atmosphere, and its ability to handle large conventions.

But Berlin's appeal is more than the sum of its hotels, convention facilities, event venues, green spaces, shopping and dining options. New neighborhoods have been created; existing neighborhoods are constantly revitalized. And the people of a unified Berlin work together today to heal the wounds of the past in an atmosphere of respect and a vibrant spirit that wants to welcome the world. About 3.4 million people live in Berlin as of December 2007.

"Berlin’s image speaks for itself and sends out the message around the globe that the German capital is a young, open and cultural city that has become the heart of Europe," says Heike Mahmoud, director of conventions at the Berlin Convention Office. "Planners are attracted by the young, dynamic image of a city that also offers a contemporary, tangible history which moved and changed the whole word. With its unique 'value for money' Berlin is one of the few major cities that has such a creative image, such a wealth of unusual locations, such an up-to-date hotel landscape and such cost-effectiveness. This has a very positive impact on budget planning."

Berlin Meetings and Events Focus

Berlin is a cultural capital, offering 175 museums, three opera houses, seven symphony orchestras and more than 130 theatres. With 164 hotels in Berlin itself, 6 convention centers and halls, and 140 unusual venues for events, Berlin's business and convention hotels play a key role in hosting meetings - roughly 83% of events held in the first half of 2009 were staged in hotels.

"Our goal is to further strength Berlin’s position as a center of science and firmly anchor its reputation as such on the international stage. We offer international associations and scientific institutions an outstanding meeting platform. We see ourselves as service providers and are more than happy to provide further information about all aspects of event organization," Mahmoud explains.

The majority of events held in Berlin are scheduled for one day, but about 31% events held in Berlin are muli-day in length. In the first half of 2009, meeting (32%), conventions (16%), evens (13%) and seminars (11%) were the predominant types of events held in Berlin. In 2008, 104,600 events were held in Berlin, attracting about 8.15 million visitors to the German capital. This, according to the Berlin Convention Office.

Berlin attracts more national and international participants in scientific and medical association congresses than any other city in the world, according to data from ICCA.

For those interested in projecting a budget, it's worth noting that the average domestic business traveler who arrives in Berlin to attend a congress or conference spends about EUR241, not including travel costs. International visitors to Berlin spend about the same amount, according to data from DWIF, a consulting firm for the tourism and leisure industry based in Germany. Domestic tourists spend about EUR34 per day, not including travel or overnight costs.

Berlin has also taken steps to address issues of direct access for international business events. By the end of 2011, Schoenefeld Airport will expand to become Berlin Brandenburg International (BBI), merging Berlin's three airports into one.

This is also expected to have a positive impact on the Berlin's business travel industry because BBI will increase Berlin's international routes, and air traffic capacity is expected to increase to 22 million passengers in 2011 (the three regional airports handled a combined total of 20 million passengers in 2007).

2008 Berlin Statistics

  • Total Berlin Visitors: 5,061,264
  • Overseas travel volume: 675,412
  • Total Berlin Hotels (metro area): 652
  • Total Berlin Hotel Rooms (metro area): 97,230
  • Average Visitor's Trip (nights): 2.2
  • Total Visitors from Europe: 2,073,853
  • Berlin Visitors from United Kingdom: 310,054
  • Berlin Visitors from Spain: 190,623
  • Berlin Visitors from France: 134,216
  • Berlin Visitors from United States: 230,903
  • Berlin Visitors from Germany: 5,152,408
    Source: Amt für Statistik Berlin-Brandenburg

Berlin DMCs

  • Berlin Preferred Agencies is an association of 18 firms in the meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions industry. Berlin Preferred Agencies is the official partner to the Berlin Convention Office, and its members provide destination management and professional conference services.

Berlin Top Activities

  • Museums
  • River cruises
  • Concerts
  • Guided bus tours
  • Shopping

Berlin Weather (average high/average low)

  • January: 35F / 26F
  • February: 38F / 28F
  • March: 46F / 32F
  • April: 55F / 39F
  • May: 65F / 46F
  • June: 71F / 52F
  • July: 73F / 55F
  • August: 73F / 54F
  • September: 65F / 48F
  • October: 55F / 42F
  • November: 44F / 35F
  • December: 37F / 30F

Source: Weather.com

The U.S. Department of State Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs has published additional background information about Germany.

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