What makes Berlin a popular destination for business events?
Berlin boasts a wide range of modern hotels which offer guests a reliable service as well as good value for money. In addition, it provides event organisers with a large choice of unusual locations: from former railway depots and transformer stations to modern congress halls.
Berlin also has an excellent and well-developed network of hotels, venues and service providers. This is an essential premise for the successful implementation of congresses and events. And, the German capital is well connected: situated in central Europe, the city can conveniently be reached by plane, train, bus or car.
As one of Europe’s largest scientific locations, Berlin offers a high concentration of research institutions. The networking between science and research is supported by around 300 universities, universities of science, research institutions and technology parks.
The German capital is also one of the leading cities for medical congresses in Europe. The close connection to the well-known Charité University Hospital or the German Heart Centre are just two examples of a win-win situation. Additionally, Berlin is also Germany’s political centre, with around 1,500 organizations having their representative office in Berlin making the city a good choice for association congresses.
Most importantly, Berlin attracts visitors with its history and vivid atmosphere. Each year sees more participants in conventions and conferences travelling to Berlin, enjoying the unique rhythm of life in Germany’s capital. 2019 will also mark the 30th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall.
Can you tell us about any of the latest or forthcoming developments in the city? Venue/hotel openings, big events coming up, investment projects, etc?
Hotel openings in the second half of 2017
Since August, the new Orania.Berlin is welcoming guests in Berlin's trendy Kreuzberg district. The comfort hotel offers 41 simple but elegant rooms and suites. Orania.Berlin will also be organising arts and culture events not just for its guests, while chef and innkeeper Philipp Vogel pampers guests with his international, cosmopolitan cuisine.
From meetings to seminars and conferences – the new Hotel Rossi offers space for events with up to 200 participants and rooms for a total of 50 guests. The hotel, which is an inclusive employer, not only offers a conference location, but also sees itself as providing a forum for discussion and an exchange of views, and a meeting point for people.
The Lulu Guldsmeden offers 81 loft-style rooms in one of the city's most popular neighbourhoods. The hotel features hammocks and swings that invite guests to relax. In its restaurant ‘Sæson’, traditional Danish dishes such as smørrebrød are reinterpreted with regional ingredients.
Hotel openings in 2018 and beyond
The Lindner me and all hotel is to offer around 165 rooms in the newly built ‘Volt Berlin’ shopping and experience centre at the southern end of Alexanderplatz. Along with this urban-style boutique hotel and shops and restaurants, the Volt will also contain a surfing wave and a wind tunnel. The four-star hotel is due to open in 2018.
The most spectacular new building to be constructed in Berlin will be the expansion, by 2020, of Germany's top-selling hotel, the Estrel Berlin, with its existing 1,125 rooms, through the construction of a 46-story "Estrel Tower," with 814 additional rooms. At 176 meters, the new tower will be about two-and-a-half times as high as the current Hotel Estrel, making it the highest hotel tower in Germany.
The Campus Hotel in the Adlershof Technology Park will be built during 2018/2019 and will consist of a modern convention and conference hotel, offering around 320 four-star category rooms. In planning are a spacious conference area with conference rooms and a large hall that will accommodate up to 1,000 participants, along with a multifunction hall for receptions and exhibitions. The pièce de resistance will be the skybar on the top floor of the 54-metre-high (177 foot) hotel tower.
All across Berlin, old industrial buildings are being creatively repurposed. The latest example is von Greifswald. Centrally located in Berlin, this former freight yard has two halls with a total of 800 m² of event space and a 4,000 m² outdoor area. The simple, unpainted masonry and the striking wooden roof give von Greifswald its own unique character.
Since the beginning of this year, the Osthafen has become another industrial location for events. Located directly on the waterfront, the multifunctional hall with more than 1,100 square meters of interior space and additional 2,000 square meters of exterior space offers a special setting for every event.
With the construction of an additional multifunctional hall at Messe Berlin, Hub 27, Berlin is strengthening its position in the international trade fair and convention sector. The new hall will provide 10,000 m². Equipped with the latest technology, it can be flexibly adapted to the needs of each event. Thus the hall will also be usable for larger congresses. Construction is scheduled to be completed by 2019.
Does Berlin have any sector or academic specialisms?
As mentioned before, Berlin offers a high concentration of research institutions. The networking between science and research is supported by around 300 universities, universities of applied science, research institutions and technology parks. More details about Berlin’s science sector: https://convention.visitberlin.de/en/blog/eventplanung/erfahren/berlin-as-a-centre-for-science-facts-and-figures
Are there any traditional foods or local specialities people should try while they’re in Berlin?
Berliners’ favourite fast food is the beloved Currywurst (curry-sprinkled sausage) which was, after all, invented in the city. It was Herta Heuwer who’s credited with coming up, in 1949, with the idea of slivering a sausage, drenching it in tomato sauce and adding a dusting of curry powder.
Some snack stalls have garnered cult status over time. Among them is Konnopke’s Imbiss, located in a kiosk below the elevated U-Bahn tracks in Prenzlauer Berg. Max Konnopke and his wife Charlotte opened their stand in 1930; in 1960, they became the first outfit in East Berlin to serve Currywurst. It’s family-owned to this day. www.konnopke-imbiss.de
Do you have any plans for activities or incentives on your stand at The Meetings Show?
As the football World Cup in Russia will be taking place during the show, we will be remembering the visitors to the World Cup 2006 in Berlin. All of our partners will be dressed in a football shirt and a football table will be placed on the stand for visitors to come and play with us!
The main element of the stand will be a tape art map of Berlin like in 2017.
Participating Berlin partners are:
- Ameron Hotel Abion Spreebogen
- Vienna House Andel's Berlin
- TV Turn Alexanderplatz Gastronomiegesellschaft mbH
- Ellington Hotel Berlin
- Hollywood Media Hotel
- Pullman Berlin Schweizerhof
- Estrel Berlin
- Crowne Plaza Berlin City Centre
- Scandic Hotels Deutschland
- Titanic Chaussee Berlin
- Maritim Hotel Berlin
Are there any other exciting plans you have for the year ahead that you’d like to share with us?
After the successful premiere of the first Q Berlin Questions conference in October last year, the second conference will take place next November. What big questions will we leave unresolved to our children? That’s the guiding question for the entire conference and the presentations. Last year, 25 international speakers and more than 400 guests discussed the important questions of the present day.
We are also planning to launch our new ‘Sustainable Meetings Berlin’ website in the second half of the year. More details will be announced later.
What do you think is the one unmissable thing to do for anyone visiting Berlin?
Berlin is a vibrant metropolis with many attractions - Television Tower, Brandenburg Gate, Reichstag, Checkpoint Charlie, Unter den Linden are a must-see for every visitor. The city also surprises with lots of greenery in the numerous parks and gardens. This also includes the Tempelhofer Feld, a former airport. After the airport closed in 2008, it has become a 386-hectare open space with a six-kilometre cycling, skating and jogging trail, a 2.5-hectare BBQ area, a dog-walking field covering around four hectares and an enormous picnic area for all visitors.
MEET BERLIN AT THE SHOW