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GermanyISSUE 65 / CONFERENCE & MEETINGS WORLD / 57Guten tag for German meetingsTHE GERMAN MEETING AND EVENT BAROMETER SURVEY SAYS ECONOMIC OPTIMISM IS BACKhe future is looking bright for Germany's meetings industry. The country sits in second place in the recently released International Congress and Convention Centre Association (ICCA) country rankings 2010 with 542 qualifying meetings, and according to a new survey more events, more participaants and larger budgets in the country's event industry underline that the worst of the economic crisis has long passed.The Meeting and Event Barometer, the only survey that covers the entire event market in Germany creating a significant overview, was commissioned WORDS VIKKI CARLEY Below: Victory Gate in MunichTIf the mood is right, there willbe willingness to investEVVC PRESIDENT JOACHIM KONIGby the European Association of Event Centers (EVVC), the German Convention Bureau, German National Tourist Board (GNTB) and undertaken by the European Institute for the Meetings Industry (EITW). The information is made up of 4,000 suppliers including convention

Germany58 / ConferenCe & Meetings World / issUe 65benefits that Germany as a conference destination has to offer and that its importance in part still continues to rise despite the economic crisis."The expectation of being able to implement price increases resulted in a significant increase in willingness to invest among participants of the survey. Three quarters of providers said they planned to invest in their product, which is an 8.4 per cent increase compared to 2010. This was due in part to a catch-up effect resulting from the budgetary constraints of the previous year's crisis. In addition, the VAT tax reduction that was introduced in 2010 also played an important role for the hotel industry, which was regarded as a positive impulse by 40 per cent of the providers and a third of organisers. EVVC's Konig said: "If the mood is right, there will also be willingness to invest."Even if business management is seemingly made up of rational decisions based on numbers, we all know that, as with many topics, psychology is often more than half the battle. "The good thing is that, with this outlook, the competitiveness of Germany as a conference and event country will remain intact and thus the overall position is strengthened." Events took place in Germany in 2010 German Convention bureau2.7mcentres, meeting hotels and special venues with at least 100 seats in the largest hall and 11,000 organisers of meetings and events worldwide.According to the survey approximately 2.69m events took place in Germany in 2010, up 9.4 per cent compared to 2009. These were visited by 323m participants, up 6.9 per cent on 2008, and the share of foreign participants remained stable at 5.8 per cent. Around 40 per cent of the providers surveyed in the study reported that they organised more events in 2010 than in 2008 and 11 per cent recorded the same result as in 2008. The state of Bavaria was voted as the preferred location for meetings in Germany, while North Rhine-Westphalia and Hesse came close to the top. Munich and Berlin were also in the list.EVVC President Joachim Konig said: "This is a strong result because in 2008, before the crisis-induced decline of events in Germany in 2009, the market segment was at a very high level. "The rapid recovery of the demand in Germany proves the high quality of services offered."The survey also provided insight into how vendors and operators assess the importance of different types of events in Germany. Accordingly, 'meetings' have the highest priority in the future, followed in second place by 'conventions' and further behind in third and fourth place 'incentives' and 'events'.In 2010, 67 per cent of the surveyed event organisers had bigger budgets than during the previous year, another sign that the trough has been overcome. Only 33 per cent said they had fewer financial resources. In particular the proportion of medium budgets had increased with 26 per cent of operators able to plan budgets of ?100,000 to ?500,000 per year, which corresponded to an increase of five per cent compared to the previous year. In contrast, the proportion of budgets ranging from half a million to one million Euros decreased slightly by three per cent.GCB's MD Matthias Schultze said: "Germany's image as a conference and events destination is getting better and better." Ninety one per cent of the surveyed providers and organisers said they agreed with that statement. "The optimism of the industry is back," he added. "Operators and service providers alike are aware of the many top: reichstag dome Berlin,Middle: frankfurt skyline,Bottom: speicherstadt Hamburg