The business events industry is facing major challenges due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. We are currently looking forward to the first easing of measures - smaller meetings may be held more frequently again soon. Even still it is close to impossible to make accurate predictions about how long the pandemic will continue to affect the events industry. However, one thing seems clear: the world of business events is undergoing massive change.
Nonetheless, Germany's fundamental attractiveness will continue to exist in the future, and the locational advantage has become more important than ever. This has also been highlighted by the top position in ICCA's latest global Country and City Ranking: Germany counted 714 international association congresses in 2019 and has been Europe's top location for the 16th year in a row. It came in second place globally right behind the USA. A glance at the international city comparison shows that Berlin has risen from fifth to third place in 2019. Only Paris and Lisbon hosted more international association meetings last year.
In addition to its outstanding infrastructure, modern venues, excellent hotels and restaurants and good value for money, the local expertise within German cities and regions in important branches of science and business contributes to Germany's strong profile.
Key industry sectors "Medicine & Health" and "Technology & Innovation" particularly in demand
The 2019 ICCA statistics show that Germany offers an attractive environment, particularly for events in the fields of "Medicine and Health" as well as "Technology and Innovation": In 2019, more than half of the big international conferences could be attributed to these two sectors. The "Medicine & Health" sector, with areas such as medical engineering and the healthcare industry, rose from second to first place last year and now accounts for 27 percent (162 events), ahead of the "Technology & Innovation" sector with 25.5 percent (153 events). The latter includes mechanical engineering, information and communication technology, optical technologies, electrical engineering, microelectronics and nanotechnology, for example.
If we take a closer look at the medical association conferences that were hosted in Germany in 2019, a great share of them took place in Berlin - a total of 29 percent (43 events) of all conferences in this particular industry sector to be precise. Around 9.5 percent (14 events) took place in Munich, 6.7 percent (10 events) in Frankfurt am Main and 6 percent (9 events) in Hamburg. The remaining almost 50 percent of medical association meetings were held in various other cities throughout Germany.
This shows that Germany’s key sectors shape a unique landscape of scientific and commercial clusters, which is not restricted to a few metropolitan regions. Instead, it is spread over the entire country. Many smaller and medium-sized cities are home to highly specialized institutions and companies that are leaders in their respective fields and offer great potential for events in their industry environments. Regarding conferences and congresses, Germany offers numerous opportunities for valuable contacts and knowledge transfer as well as leading experts as keynote speakers or a wide range of opportunities for site visits to take a look behind the scenes of leading companies.
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.