COLOGNE – Only a few months after commencing of its operations, the Cologne Convention Bureau (CCB) has become a member of the international trade associations, ICCA and MPI. Both associations are among the most important in the meeting and convention business and combined represent several thousand members in more than 80 countries. “This will enable us to link the Cologne Convention Bureau with the industry at an international level, and it gives us the opportunity to position Cologne, the convention destination, at this level as a top location for conventions, meetings, and events,” explained Stephanie Franke, head of the CCB.
With more than 24,000 members, MPI (Meeting Professionals International) is the largest trade association in the meeting industry. It provides its members with continuing education programs, technical communications measures, and professional interaction that CCB intends to take full advantage of, starting immediately. CCB joined MPI together with the Cologne-based incoming agency D.S. Marketing. Albert Damaschke, executive director of D.S. Marketing, sees “a major opportunity to establish important contacts and to promote the tremendous service portfolio available in Cologne.”
The International Congress & Convention Association (ICCA) is an international association of meeting specialists which represents the top destinations throughout the world. Events planners with an international presence rely on ICCA to inform them about individual sites, or to conduct a targeted selection of event facilities and service providers. Starting immediately, the Cologne Convention Bureau will use the ICCA statistics, which it can use to identify trends and negotiating options. Moreover, each year the ICCA issues the most renowned meeting statistics worldwide, providing convention planners with information about the direction of trends. Events that can be reported for these statistics must meet certain criteria regarding participant numbers, cycles and international reach. In the worldwide rankings in 2007, Cologne advanced from 106th place to 93rd place, and thus outranks German cities Düsseldorf, Bonn, Leipzig, and Stuttgart, among others. Within Germany itself, Cologne ranked 5th place.
Cologne Convention Bureau
As an independent entity of the Cologne Tourist Board, the Cologne Convention Bureau officially commenced operations at the beginning of August 2008, to elevate the marketing of the city of Cologne as a convention destination, with its diverse events industry. The CCB is the first neutral contact point for those interested in Cologne and seeking information on Cologne as a meeting, convention, and incentive metropolis. In this respect, CCB acts as the umbrella organization for all subdivisions of the events business of the City of Cologne.