Conference Design

Case Study: The Visceral Medicine Congress at CCH–Hamburg

The official opening of the new CCH – Congress Center Hamburg in April 2022 has definitely put the city back on the national and international market of business events. CCH’s soft opening began already in fall 2021 with the ITS World Congress, with many events following, including the successful Visceral Medicine Congress in September.

Words Remi Deve

In Hamburg, the new CCH offers a unique position in the heart of the city with the spaces, technology, logistics and know-how that are needed to host major events. 12,000 square meters of event space, 12,000 square meters of foyer space, and 12,000 visitors who can attend events simultaneously… the new CCH definitely offers high flexibility and sustainability. 

Association conferences are a key target audience, as they can benefit from the modern design and the advanced technology of the venue and the city’s key industries at the same time. 

Favorite venue

In this regard, the German Society for Gastroenterology, Digestive and Metabolic Diseases (DGVS) recently hosted the Visceral Medicine Congress at the CCH, with the support of Interplan, a professional congress organizer. 

According to Diana Kühne, CEO of DGVS, Hamburg and the CCH have long been a favorite venue for the society’s annual congresses. The city’s reputation and central location, as well as the proximity of many hotels to the CCH, have made it an ideal destination.

Kühne was pleased with the recent revitalization and expansion of the CCH, saying, “From our perspective, the result has almost exceeded our expectations, notwithstanding a few minor glitches during the first Visceral Medicine Congress right after the centre reopened. The CCH has gained in appeal; what is more, its multifunctional spaces in the new wing have given us more flexibility in planning and laying-out our scientific program.”

Bruno Lichtinger, Managing Director of Interplan, the company which organized the congress, also had positive things to say. He stated, “CCH and Interplan have enjoyed a long-standing relationship with numerous events organized together. Almost every year we are at CCH with at least one of our conferences and benefit from the diverse possibilities the venue offers to create the perfect layout – the Visceral Medicine Congress was no exception. The new CCH now has even more potential with additional very functional rooms, the bright and spacious entrance hall is just impressive.”

According to Heike Mahmoud, COO of the CCH, the congress also ticked all the boxes of a successful event. This is in part to the new spatial concept, more halls and foyers, and a changed logistical system at the CCH.

She said, “With this new spatial concept, our range of halls and services has improved enormously. Since DGVS is one of our repeat customers, we were able to rely on the experience of many years and integrate new processes to create an entirely new convention experience for the organizer and the participants alike.”

Experience is key

Experience was indeed the key word during the event, as the CCH team made use of digital signage and lighting design for maximum enhancement. Mahmoud noted, “digital signage and lighting design were especially valuable elements contributing to event success. Digital signage plays a key role by giving clear directions throughout the CCH – ‘digital’ translating to ‘sustainable’ and ‘flexible’; and our lighting design, when used skillfully, can create a range of different moods to provide a pleasant ambience in our venue and ultimately contribute to a successful convention.”

Despite some minor challenges, the Visceral Medicine Congress was a major success for all involved, with the DGVS looking forward to holding future annual congresses in Hamburg and at the CCH. Lichtinger said, “With our branch office in Hamburg holding conferences at CCH is always a home game for us and we are looking forward for many more to come.”

Praising the CCH team for their undeniable flexibility, he continued, “We appreciate the high level of professionalism of the whole team at CCH and its partners. This has been shown again in September last year when we organized two big medical congresses right after each other, which was quite challenging I must say but which turned out really well in the end.”

Last but not least, Mahmoud also highlighted the CCH’s commitment to sustainability and inclusion. She said, “The CCH hopes to receive ‘Gold’ certification by the German Society for Sustainable Construction (DGNB), an important aspect in planning and organizing sustainable events. Plus, we are proud that the new CCH is a barrier-free building. Inclusion is something we deeply care about – and it is now part of every convention at our venue!”

Overall, the Visceral Medicine Congress was quite an achievement for the CCH, thanks to the hard work of the CCH team and the use of new technologies and facilities at the venue. The CCH is looking forward to hosting more conventions in the future: the pipeline of events includes the German Society for Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery – DGTHG, the German Acoustical Society (DEGA) and the Federation of European Microbiological Societies (FEMS), just to name a few.

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