Conference Design

Stepping into a Thriving PCO Scene

Out of 130 agencies across the world that are members of International Association of Professional Congress Organisers (IAPCO), Hamburg is home to four Professional Congress Organisers (PCOs)—INTERPLAN, CPO HANSER SERVICE, Conference Partners International and MCI—a pretty big deal for Germany’s second-largest city.

Often referred to as the gateway to the world, Hamburg boasts a centuries-old relationship with the Far East (China and Japan in particular), as well as the Baltic, serving as the German or European headquarters for many international businesses. Couple these factors with its role as one of the most important reloading points and ports in global trade and the third largest civil aviation location in the world and it’s no surprise that the green waterside metropolis, perched on the shores of the Elbe—Germany’s second-largest river—has emerged as a meetings mecca, where over 60,000 events and more than two million participants congregate annually.

The rising number of Hamburg’s PCOs—including this year’s newcomers, Conference Partners International (CPI) and MCI Hamburg—show the city’s steady development, growth of facilities, and economic strength, in addition to giving customers the opportunity to “draw on the know-how of four first-class PCOs in Hamburg for planning, realization and successful conduct of their events at the new Congress Center Hamburg,” explains Heike Mahmoud, Chief Operating Officer – Congress Center Hamburg (CCH) (pictured).“This quartet of expert organizations puts us even more closely in touch with the latest trends and innovations in the meetings industry. They are an enrichment for our city, and above all for prospective and naturally also existing customers.”

Growth Strategy

MCI’s new partner, “Wolf trifft Jäger,” will help shape the agency’s North German launch, and their new office in Hamburg and the CCH will “enable us to continue successfully with our sound growth strategy and to enhance our agency profile,”says Andreas Laube, CEO MCI Deutschland GmbH.“The new CCH will be an ideal conference centre for the vibrant city of Hamburg, and its new spaces and technical facilities will give plenty of opportunities for the systematic and successful development of the ‘congress of the future.’”

The new Congress Center Hamburg is a little less than a year from opening, but the city is already receiving a slew of event bookings in anticipation of the new venue—which hopes to attract even more international clients to Hamburg. CCH will sit in the heart of the city, a few steps from the Dammtor train station and just an S-Bahn ride away from the airport. When completed in 2020, the congress centre will measure 36,000 square metres in total and feature 50 conference rooms offering over 12,000 seats for attendees—making it among the largest on the continent.

According to Jaime Bennett, Sales & Marketing Director CPI, the opening of CCH will be a huge boost for business, adding to Hamburg’s overall attractiveness as a congress destination.“Hamburg has some of the best features you could expect from any city – from outstanding event venues to an outstanding cultural scene,” says Jaime Bennett, Sales & Marketing Director CPI, who adds that this will be CPI’s first German outlet in Hamburg. “Having this conference centre right on our doorstep means we can encourage our regular clients to hold more international conferences in Hamburg.”

This article was written by Boardroom editor Lane Nieset.  The right to use, part or all of it in subsequent works has to be granted by the Publisher.

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