With the opening of the thoroughly renovated and reconstructed KONGRESSHALLE am Zoo in May, Congress Center Leipzig (CCL) took over the operation of a modern conference centre in the heart of the city. Even while renovation work was still underway, meeting planners showed considerable interest in the new venue. From autumn 2015, the first events feature on the venue’s calendar within a ‘pre-opening stage'.
In total, the venue features 15 halls and rooms which can seat between 10 and 1,200 people. The juxtaposition of different styles – from Art nouveau, Art deco and historicist to contemporary architecture – reflects the colourful history and gives the building a very particular ambiance. The entire facility is equipped with state-of-the-art AV and media systems. The “Expo” area offers 800 square metres of exhibition space. The impressive turn-of-the-century edifice thus opens up new opportunities for Leipzig as a growing meeting destination.
A feature which is unique worldwide is the combination of a modern meeting venue next to a zoo with a high scientific profile. This aspect predestines the KONGRESSHALLE as a venue for scientific meetings on a very wide range of topics. In autumn 2015, for example, it will host the International Congress of Zookeepers. Beyond this, the calendar shows a wide variety of events, including cultural and musical productions.
The first guests to use the venue, after the solemn opening act, were the German Convention Bureau (GCB) who held their 2015 Annual Meeting there in June. The KONGRESSHALLE is a Preferred Partner of the GCB who, as part of their mission, represent and promote the meeting destination Germany on an international and national scale. With the choice of the venue, the umbrella organisation acknowledged the long-standing commitment of its Leipzig members. Like the CCL, the KONGRESSHALLE am Zoo is also a partner of do-it-at-leipzig.de, a campaign which has contributed considerably to Leipzig’s growth as a meeting destination.
Beyond opening a new venue, the first six months of 2015 kept the CCL team fairly busy, including several large international meetings. In January, they hosted the Leipzig Interventional Course (LINC) which attracted more than 4,800 participants from 70 countries, which meant yet another growth in delegate numbers. The Annual Meeting of the European Society for Paediatric Infectious Diseases (ESPID) in May brought 2,200 participants to Leipzig. This was the second time that the Kenes Group organized a meeting at the CCL. The month of June saw another really big meeting: more than 6,000 delegates attended the Annual Meeting of the German Federation of Eye Surgeons. The 80th German Welfare Congress welcomed 2,150 participants, among them as keynote speakers the President of the Federal Republic of Germany Joachim Gauck, Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel, and the Federal Minister for Family Affairs Manuela Schwesig. In late June, 3,000 experts attended the 35th Annual Meeting of the German Society for Breast Diseases.
In May, about 1,000 participants came to the International Transport Forum. It was the 8th time that the world summit of ministers of transport, the most important meeting of the international traffic and transport sector, was hosted at the CCL on the Leipzig Trade Fair property.
The remaining six months of 2015 will see more high-profile meetings at the CCL. In September, the venue will once again host the Visceral Medicine Congress which is expected to attract 4,500 delegates. Right after that, the ver.di Trade Union will hold their Federal Congress. For October, 2,500 delegates are expected to attend the German Congress for Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine. In early December, the Congress of the German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine DIVI will bring some 2,000 participants to the CCL.
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