berlin street scene quiet reflecting drop in business travel impacting meetings and events

The German National Tourist Board, (GNTB), the EVVC European Association of Event Centers e.V. and the GCB German Convention Bureau e.V. present the results of the new “Meeting & Event Barometer 2020/2021”.

NB: This article was originally published on Tourism Review

The key figures on the meetings, conventions, and events market in Germany in 2020 confirm how the event world is changing as a result of the corona pandemic. Currently, we are in transitional years towards new normality. From 2021, the market is expected to recover under changed conditions.

Like everywhere else in the world, the events market in Germany plummeted last year: The number of face-to-face events recorded a decline of 70 percent, and the number of participants fell by 86 percent. Cancellations, postponements or changes in the general conditions for events have also largely caused business travelers to stop traveling. As expected, the share of international participants has fallen – from ten percent in the previous year to 2.4 percent in 2020. This is also confirmed by the figures of the IPK World Travel Monitor: after many years of robust development of European business travel to Germany, the market experienced a decline of 62 percent last year.

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Germany’s position in the European market nevertheless remains stable, according to Petra Hedorfer, Chairwoman of the Board of the German National Tourist Board, (GNTB): “Despite Corona-related declines, we were able to confirm our exposed position as the top 1 destination for European business travelers in 2020: With 5 million business trips, Germany topped the rankings, far ahead of France and the U.K. in second and third place. The current fiscal year gives reason for cautious optimism. According to IPK International, 22 percent of foreign travelers worldwide are planning business trips this year. Germany can benefit from this, especially as a MICE location in international competition. 81 percent of respondents planning business trips to Germany intend to take MICE trips, 36 percent traditional business trips.”

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Structural Change of the Market

The events market in Germany underwent structural changes last year – both in terms of quantity and quality. Among all event types, business events, in particular, experienced a strong shift toward digital and hybrid formats. Overall, a considerable proportion of the face-to-face events planned for 2020 were rescheduled and held virtually due to the pandemic. If the event forms of hybrid and virtual events are added to the 0.8 million face-to-face events, then around 2.3 million events with approximately 234 million participants were held in Germany in 2020.

Read rest of the article at Tourism Review