Planners from across the world experienced Hamburg first hand as part of a series of fam trips and events held recently in the city. Hamburg Convention Bureau (HCB) hosted a hat-trick of events, bringing a total of 57 meetings planners to Germany’s second largest city ahead of IMEX in Frankfurt last month.
The city was the location for the IAPCO Council & Task Force Meeting 16 – 19 May, attracting 13 event planners and congress managers from 9 countries.
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As IAPCO‘s only European destination partner, Hamburg is in a unique positon and used the Council & Task Force Meeting as an opportunity to showcase its international congress business venues and credentials. Alongside member meetings and accommodation at the Reichshof Hamburg, the programme included a regatta on the Alster Lake, a visit to UNESCO World Heritage site the Speicherstadt, a trip to new urban quarter HafenCity, and the Elbphilharmonie – the now iconic concert hall. The IAPCO group then travelled with the Hamburg Convention Bureau team to Frankfurt for the IMEX show.
IAPCO experiences the evolution of the city
Members were impressed by the city’s evolution and the changes ahead: “Hamburg took me by surprise – it is a city that is re-inventing and re-generating itself. It‘s also amazingly green and lush and the inner-city lakes are exceptional. I very much enjoyed my short stay here and look forward to one day seeing the completed convention centre,” said Keith Burton, Managing Director of African Agenda, South Africa.
Barbara Calderwood, Divisional Director Associations at MCI UK, agrees: “It has been amazing to see first-hand how the city is developing. The Opera House was simply stunning, the sailing experience exhilarating and truly memorable. I can’t wait to return, which undoubtedly I will!”
IAPCO members are set to return to the city at the end of August when Hamburg hosts the IAPCO Advisory Board meeting.
China – key source market – hosted in Hamburg
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In conjunction with the Hamburg Liaison Office in Shanghai and MICE China, 16 event organisers from companies and agencies in China, one of the HCB’s strategic source markets, visited the city. Delegates on the MICE China Educational Trip visited the soon-to-be-launched CCH – Congress Center Hamburg,the Elbphilharmonie and went behind the scenes at the Montblanc Pen Factory And Museum. A tea tasting workshop was held in the historic Speicherstadt – the largest warehouse district in the world which stretches over the city’s famous River Elbe. Planners gained an insight into Hamburg’s history as an international transhipment point for goods of all kinds ranging from tea and coffee to cocoa and carpets!
Planners worldwide converge for Global Cynergies trip
A four-day visit from the Global Cynergies network was a truly international affair with 28 planners from 14 countries including North America and Australia experiencing some of the city’s most exciting new venues and hotels . Alongside tours of the new CCH and Elbphilharmonie, planners also visited the picturesque Lake Alster and enjoyed a traditional harbour boat trip, soaking up Hamburg’s maritime charm and unique atmosphere.
Nele Aumann, head of the Conventions division at the Hamburg Convention Bureau, explains the importance of these three recent events: “Hamburg’s River Elbe, the Alster Lake, the port, the atmosphere and the city’s sheer joy of life – all of these are best experienced first-hand, rather than remotely via online content. By working closely with our strong network of local partners to host these three key industry events, we’re laying a vital foundation stone – strengthening existing contacts, creating common ground and establishing new networks that will be essential to us and our work.”