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German Convention Bureau Issues 2013 Predictions for the Meetings Industry

Look for Know-How, Green IT and Personalization to Be "Trending"

NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwire) -- 01/14/13 -- The German Convention Bureau has issued 2013 predictions for the global meetings industry. These include:

1. Know-How Will Be King ... and Queen: As many of the world's economies continue to transition to service and knowledge-based markets, expertise and know-how will become more of a commodity and "product." In 2013, look for meeting and event destinations to more strongly leverage their local expertise, people power and information excellence to attract and retain clients -- be they from the medical/scientific, pharmaceutical, automotive, transportation or other fields. Meeting planners are increasingly looking to link meetings and events with their organization or client's sphere of interest through access to highly respected companies, research institutes, initiatives and globally known opinion-leaders. As well as offering valuable contacts, synergies in expertise between a destination and meeting delegates offer the opportunity for site and educational visits, on-strategy activities, impactful speakers, first-hand access to new studies and data, and sponsorship relationships. (See MPI's Future of Meetings Research Project for more on the importance of know-how.)

2. Smaller Meetings Will Get More Respect: While the number of large meetings continues to decrease, small meetings are on the rise, as evidenced in multiple studies on the meetings industry (e.g., CWT's 2013 Travel Price Forecast and the UK's Hotel Booking Agents Association Survey "Eventonomics"). Suppliers in particular will learn to better appreciate smaller meetings as a great reputation builder and -- when executed with the utmost efficiency and professionalism -- a draw for future meetings business. As they say, "good things come in small packages" -- and smaller meetings can lead to more small-, medium- and even large-scale business in the future.

3. Personalization Will Make a Come Back: Even as lead times shrink and the number of RFPs grow (as seen in MPI's Business Barometer 2012), now is not the time to lean on cookie cutter, impersonal responses to try and get business done. Although standard response templates are expected to build consistency and quality, in 2013 the industry should be careful to take a breath and personalize their responses more by discovering the client's true needs and core business goals. This is all the more important as unique and unexpected elements in the response to an RFP can win a meeting for a destination, service or venue. Also expect some providers to try and build a little more flexibility into their offer response deadlines.

4. Green IT Will Become Part of the Conversation: Sustainability in meetings had another strong showing this year in terms of awareness and effort as seen in the 2012 German Meeting and Event Barometer and at events such as IMEX in Frankfurt and IMEX America. Recycling, reduced paper and resource use, and greener catering were all great steps toward more sustainable meetings...but look for the topic of Green IT to get more airplay in 2013. Computers, smart phones, tablets and servers -- all in high play before, during and after meetings and events -- use energy as well, which is usually generated from coal or nuclear power that emits carbon and/or creates other environmental concerns. Enter "Green IT," a relatively new concept that refers to environmentally sustainable computing or IT, and expect it to become more of a conversation starter in the meetings industry this coming year.

5. Value Remains Paramount but Broadens to Experience ROI: Innovation and sustainability are important themes within the economy as a whole and the meetings industry in particular, but at the end of the day, cost will again remain a key decision factor when choosing an event location in 2013. Even as globalization is evening out prices across cities, regions and countries, destinations with friendly tax environments (offering perks like VAT reclaim,) stellar know-how sharing, strong quality, and well run and highly accessible transportation infrastructures will have a competitive advantage as they deliver on overall experience ROI. (See the IMEX Power of 10 Study for more information in trends on industry ROI and value-add.)

About the GCB German Convention Bureau
The German Convention Bureau (GCB) represents and markets Germany as a destination for conventions, meetings, events and incentives both on a national and international scale. It is the first point of contact for companies, associations and organizations around the world planning events in Germany.

Acting as a connector to the wide range of German event service providers, venues and host cities, the German Convention Bureau (GCB) provides hands-on advice and support to planners and executives in all industries and organizations. To bring maximum value, quality and customization to each meeting and event hosted in Germany, the GCB also helps hosts and attendees leverage the country's deep expertise in green meetings and key industries such as pharmaceuticals, financials, automotive, logistics & transportation, and technology.

The GCB's more than 200 members include leading hotels, convention centers, destinations, event agencies and service providers of the German meetings and conventions industry. Convention Bureau Düsseldorf, Darmstadtium Science and Convention Center, and Maritim Hotels are Preferred Partners of the GCB. As Strategic Partners, Lufthansa German Airlines, Deutsche Bahn AG (German Railways), and the German National Tourist Board (GNTB) support the work of the GCB.

The GCB website (www.germany-meetings.com) serves as a useful online tool to find detailed information on Germany, search venues and vendors, get tips for green meetings, catch up on the latest news, access travel guides, and much more. Follow the German Convention Bureau in the U.S. on Twitter: www.twitter.com/GermanyMeetings.

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