Progress demands cooperation, stresses GCB German Convention Bureau. Given the changes in recent years, this principle has become a crucial success factor for suppliers in Germany’s business events sector. Only through joint efforts can their capabilities be fully harnessed to make business events “made in Germany” fit for the future. In 2024, five major brands are thus deepening their partnership with the GCB German Convention Bureau. Besides its diverse marketing and communication services, the GCB’s role in providing thought leadership for the industry is a compelling reason for the partners.

“Our five cooperation partners in 2024 represent the diverse elements that make successful business events. They embody innovation, sustainability, and the immersive experiences attendees anticipate,” explains GCB Managing Director Matthias Schultze. “We look forward to supporting our partners with our insights to develop innovative and future-proof ideas and solutions.”

This year, the GCB Partners in Focus program features the Darmstadtium Congress Centre, Frankfurt Airport Marriott Hotel and Sheraton Frankfurt Airport Hotel & Conference Center, the Convention Bureau Thuringia, and the Tourism Agency Schleswig-Holstein. Additionally, within the Premium Partner program, the GCB will collaborate closely with H World International.

Pioneering Innovation in the MICE Sector

Since its rebranding at the end of February, Deutsche Hospitality has been operating as H World International, uniting renowned hotel brands such as Steigenberger Hotels & Resorts and IntercityHotel. As part of the premium partnership with the GCB, the international hotel group aims to enhance Germany’s attractiveness and that of its hotels as first-class MICE destinations with innovative offerings for meetings and events. H World International views this collaboration as crucial in reinforcing the hotel group’s commitment to excellence and innovation in the MICE sector, building on its strong German roots.

Johanna Lamke, Senior Vice President Commercial, H World International: “Our Premium Partnership with the GCB extends far beyond the mere representation in various key feeder markets; it is a fundamental alliance aimed at ensuring a prestigious position at the forefront of industry trends, innovation, and collaborative efforts. We look forward to a fruitful collaboration with the German Convention Bureau as we jointly pave the way for setting new benchmarks for excellence and innovation in the MICE sector.”

Focus on Sustainability and Connectivity

As a trailblazer in connectivity and sustainability, the Darmstadtium Congress Centre epitomises the future of business event venues: Resource-efficient sustainability has been ingrained in the venue’s DNA for over 20 years, distinguished by its futuristic architecture and award-winning IT infrastructure. Since January 2024, event organisers and their guests have been able to access complimentary premium Wi-Fi using the latest 6E standard. Additionally, with its integrated approach to sustainability management, darmstadtium is the first European congress centre to achieve EMASplus certification.

“We value the GCB as a driver of innovation, providing thought leadership for our industry. Together, we aim to spotlight sector-relevant digitalisation and sustainability issues,” explains Lars Wöhler, Managing Director of the Darmstadt Congress Center. “The global presence and network of the GCB assist us in strengthening our positioning as one of the most innovative, sustainable, and future-oriented congress centres in Germany, solidifying our presence in the industry.”

Positioning as a MICE Region

Established as a division of Thuringia Tourism at the end of 2023, the Convention Bureau Thuringia has chosen to participate in the Partners in Focus program to benefit from the GCB’s network right from the start. Serving as a central point of contact, the Convention Bureau Thuringia assists event planners in finding suitable MICE venues and designing inspiring programs that highlight regional characteristics and highlights. The meeting destination’s offerings are showcased online, including not only state-of-the-art venues but also many options where the rich history of the region comes to life.

“Thanks to the GCB, we can present and market Thuringia as a conference region even more effectively – right from the beginning of our operations,” says Christoph Gösel, Managing Director of Thuringia Tourism. “To achieve this, we leverage the GCB’s extensive network and established MICE market presence. This collaboration signifies a new phase of visibility and strengthening our position within the business event market.”

Premium Offering at Top Location

With the Frankfurt Airport Marriott Hotel and the Sheraton Frankfurt Airport Hotel & Conference Center, Marriott International combines two of its most renowned premium brands under one roof at a top location. After the extensive renovation of 500 rooms at the Sheraton last year, 2024 is all about repositioning the hotel as the largest conference hotel in the Rhine-Main area. Together with the Marriott, this combination provides a unique experience for conference planners, participants, and discerning travellers.

“We aim to promote the offerings of the Frankfurt Airport Marriott Hotel and Sheraton Frankfurt Airport Hotel & Conference Center as one of the largest German conference hotels worldwide – and the best way to achieve this is with a strong partner who is a specialist in this field,” says Rick Enders, General Manager of the combined hotel, which has been a Partner in Focus for several years. “With the GCB, we not only have a global ambassador for our dual-brand hotel by our side. We also see the GCB as a source of ideas and industry trend scout. We look forward to another successful year of partnership in 2024.”

Green Meetings as a Key Location Factor

Putting sustainability centre stage in recent years is paying off for the German federal state of Schleswig-Holstein. Both domestic and international corporate groups are increasingly choosing the country’s northernmost region as a destination for conferences or incentive trips. The Schleswig-Holstein Convention Bureau (SHBC), which is part of the Tourism Agency Schleswig-Holstein (TA.SH), sees the growing number of conference hotels, service providers, and destinations in Schleswig-Holstein obtaining sustainability certifications as a key driver of this trend. Collaboration with the GCB is crucial in effectively positioning the coastal region as a sustainable destination for incentive agencies and small and medium-sized conferences.

“By pooling our strengths and leveraging the GCB’s expertise, we can enhance our visibility internationally and establish Schleswig-Holstein as the premier choice for MICE event organisers,” says TA.SH Managing Director Dr Bettina Bunge.