The Associations & Conference Forum (AC Forum) of Europe's most important congress organisers is to meet in Hamburg for the first time next January following a successful application by the Hamburg Convention Bureau and the Congress Center Hamburg (CCH). The forum consists of over 120 congress organisers including international scientific associations, medical congresses and major business associations. AC organises more than 75 recurring congresses with around 260 event days and over 320,000 delegates.
Milestone for Hamburg
Commenting on the announcement, Michael Otremba, Managing Director of Hamburg Tourismus GmbH, termed the meeting a “milestone for Hamburg as a centre of meetings and congresses”, adding, "The excellent infrastructure provided by the new CCH, great hotels in the immediate vicinity and the short distances overall were key to securing the bid." Hamburg joins Vienna, Paris, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Istanbul and London as hosts of the AC Forum and the accompanying Annual Meeting and General Assembly. Michael Westhagemann, Senator for Economics, remarked: "The meeting of the world's most important congress organisers offers Hamburg a great opportunity to present itself and its new congress centre as a highly attractive location for all kinds of trade fairs, (meetings) and congresses."
Boosting Hamburg as a meeting centre
The AC Forum will bring together more than 120 representatives, decision-makers and congress organisers in Hamburg. The planners represent their associations' interests and sound out venues for the coming years. Hopes are now high that some of the upcoming congresses will be held in Hamburg making it globally more competitive as a congress centre. A detailed programme will be developed in the coming months to convince organisers of Hamburg's strengths.
Possible benefits in academia
The AC Forum offers an opportunity to welcome more scientific congresses to Hamburg. Katharina Fegebank, Senator for Science, Research and Equality, noted: "I very much hope that this impulse will put Hamburg more prominently on the map as a centre of academic meetings and congresses in future. It sends a very important signal to the academic community to meet again for talks and discussions."
Supported by the Union of International Associations (UIA), the International Association of Professional Congress Organisers (IAPCO) and the Interel Group, the global public affairs and association management consultancy, Headquarters Magazines serve the needs of international associations organising worldwide congresses.