At the start of 2014, the Hamburg Convention Bureau restructured its competences and expanded its portfolio by adding the area of event marketing. HCB, which is a 100 per cent subsidiary of the Hamburg Marketing GmbH, aims to promote networking in the fields of B2B (Business to Business) and B2C (Business to Consumer) and to provide support to new events.
“We operate at the interface of business development and tourism. Our goal is to strengthen Hamburg’s image, increase the number of international event participants and optimise the quality of events in Hamburg”, says Thorsten Kausch in summarising the HCB’s objectives. “The Hamburg Metropolitan Region is to become one of the world’s most sought-after premium locations for conventions and events. Within Germany, our aim is to become number two just after Berlin by 2020.”
Increasing awareness by large events
Two event formats co-ordinated by HCB demonstrate the impact of bundling expertise on B2B events and public events: the Hamburg Cruise Days, which attracted 570,000 visitors last year, offer a highly attractive environment for the cruise industry. The Reeperbahn Festival, which lured 28,000 guests to Hamaburg last year, has established itself as a European platform for the music and digital industries. “The Reeperbahn Festival’s professional programme has noticeably strengthened the international perception of the festival, thereby also strengthening Hamburg’s position in the industry”, states Alexander Schulz, who co-ordinates the event taking place every year in September.
Networking industry and science
HCB also focuses on creating networks across business sectors of the Hamburg Metropolitan Region and on collaborations with scientific institutions. With the support of the Renewable Energy Hamburg Cluster (EEHH), an international specialist conference on Media 11/04/2014 2 Hamburg Convention Bureau GmbH thermal energy storage has been brought to Hamburg to complement the WindEnergy 2014 industry fair. “Specialist congresses bring high-profile decision-makers to the city, thereby creating valuable opportunities for developing Hamburg as a business location,” says Jan Rispens, managing director of the Renewable Energy Hamburg cluster agency.
Market study on Hamburg’s congress sector
Co-operation between regional service providers is essential for successfully marketing Hamburg internationally as a prime location for events. HCB serves as a mediator and initiator in this regard. “For the hotel industry, it is important to have a central partner who is close to the market. Together with the Hamburg Convention Bureau, we take on the challenges of international competition”, states hotelier Kai Hollmann, who is also a member of the pricing committee of the industry association DEHOGA Hamburg. In order to precisely assess the capacity and supply situation of Hamburg’s conference sector, HCB is currently conducting an extensive market study. The results of this study will be presented in autumn 2014. The aim is to create a solid basis for the further development of this industry sector.