The Europäisches Institut für TagungsWirtschaft (EITW) has compiled a study on the conference and convention city Braunschweig on behalf of the Convention Bureau Braunschweig (CBBS). With a survey of providers from Braunschweig and national convention organisers, it looked into Braunschweig’s competitiveness, the economic potential of Braunschweig as a convention and conference market and its future prospects. The result: Braunschweig has good prerequisites and is largely already using them. However, the market potential is not utilised to the full.
“The study shows that the central location of Braunschweig in Germany and Europe and the proximity of science and research are the city’s greatest advantages”, Prof. Dr. Michael-Thaddäus Schreiber, managing director of EITW, explains. “That is why Braunschweig has good prerequisites for development into a leading convention destination for science and research and transfer to business.”
The city already raises around 1.3 million euros in taxes from the conference and convention market. In 2010, about 4750 events were held in Braunschweig in which roughly 314,500 convention and conference delegates took part. A single conference or convention delegate in Braunschweig spends an average of 310 euros. In total, visitors generated a gross sales volume of about 98.6 million euros, of which around 83 million euros stayed in Braunschweig.
According to the analyses of the study, these figures could be increased further. Comparison with reference cities, such asAachen,Augsburg,Erfurt,MagdeburgandMainz, reveals that Braunschweig has so far only tapped about three quarters of its potential. The market study also comes to the conclusion that Braunschweig needs at least one additional (convention) hotel. This is compounded by bottlenecks due to the already good levels of patronage on weekdays, the days when demand from convention organisers is highest. That means that the participants usually already have to be distributed among several establishments for accommodation for minor events.
Stephan Lemke, managing director of Stadthallen GmbH, also welcomes the study as a basis for optimum development of new event business. “Improving our own businesses’ ability to hold events is not enough in itself as long as we cannot offer conference delegates a bed for the night. The new Steigenberger Hotel at the Bürgerpark is already helping there. We are convinced that if the convention-specific infrastructure were improved, more events could be run and we hope to be supported by our partners.”
Except for the Stadthalle and Volkswagen Halle Braunschweig, no adequate halls and rooms are available for conferences and conventions and for fringe events with 250 to 500 participants. According to the EITW, a further auditorium is necessary to be able to serve the demand on the conference market in all size categories.
The EITW also points out that, in particular, extraordinary venues are very important for staging fringe events for conventions, such as receptions. In many venues offering extraordinary rooms with sufficient capacities up to 250 people, according to the study, potential should be optimised to offer competitive fringe events.
To convince more conference organisers of Braunschweig and thus to generate more events, the potential of the existing network of research institutions and businesses in the region is to be further developed in future. Moreover, the study makes it clear that currently the services of the CBBS in convention support and marketing fall short of what is offered by the competition. In particular, professional convention support should be offered at the Braunschweig location in future. Image and awareness measures should also be taken to contribute to making Braunschweig better known as a convention location and improving its image. To achieve this, the study recommends increasing the resources, including those of the CBBS if possible, to the same level as the competition.
“The study has shown that we are on the right path overall, but it also shows what opportunities we have to position ourselves better. How we use these opportunities heavily depends on whether we succeed in positioning ourselves better in critical areas. We will talk to our partners about that”, said Gerold Leppa, managing director of Braunschweig Stadtmarketing GmbH.
For more information on the CBBS go to www.braunschweig.de/cbbs