The German National Tourist Board (GNTB), the GCB German Convention Bureau and the EVVC European Association of Event Centres present the results of the new Meeting & EventBarometer 2022/2023. According to the findings, the key figures on the German meetings, congress and event market in 2022 confirm that the number of in-person events has increased significantly, while hybrid and digital formats have decreased. The findings say that the market is recovering gradually and at the same time undergoing a progressing structural transformation.
The statement says that the number of international business trips to Germany more than doubled from 5 to 11 million in 2022 compared to the previous year. This means that the business travel segment is recording growth again for the first time after two years of Covid-19-related decline, reaching around 70 pc of the record level from the pre-crisis year 2019.
“The development of this market segment is extremely important for us, as the share of business travel in German incoming tourism from Europe is 20 pc, i.e., almost twice the European average (11 pc). Business travellers from overseas even reach a share of 33 pc. In order to continue to be a part of this recovering market in the future, we need to continuously adapt to the changing market demands as they occur in the course of the ecological transformation: More than half of event organisers state in the Meeting & EventBarometer that their clients expect sustainability to be considered,” says Petra Hedorfer, chairwoman of the GNTB’s executive board.
The statement adds that compared to its international competition, Germany has further expanded its position as the number one business travel destination for Europeans with 9.2 million business trips and leads the ranking by a clear margin over France and Spain. Within the business travel market, the MICE segment is gaining in importance post-Covid.
As much as 60 pc of business trips from Europe to Germany in 2022 were promotable business trips, i.e., travel related to trade fairs and MICE. With 67 pc, this share was even higher for business trips from overseas markets. At the same time, the recovery of promotable business trips is, at 74 pc, significantly higher than that of classic business trips.
“Many players in German tourism have adapted to these challenges: Almost two-thirds of supplier companies have already aligned parts of their offer portfolio with sustainability in mind, and around one-fifth consider sustainability in their entire supply chain. As the most important reasons for this, the respondents cite on the one hand the saving of resources and on the other hand client expectations , which is important evidence of how ecological transformation, service quality and business success are linked,” she added.
The statement goes on to say that the development of the German event market in 2022 underlines its transformative power in the face of multiple challenges as well as the ongoing relevance of business events in the communication mix of organisations. In 2022, the real volume of in-person events (in-person only and hybrid events) returned to 48.5 pc of the 2019 level.
The recovery of the market is emerging with the end of the Covid-19 measures from the beginning of the second quarter until the end of 2022. During this period, event volumes return to 66 pc of pre-pandemic levels.
It adds that the increase in business trips is also reflected in the numbers of international attendees. Their share in
2022 was 3.9 pc on average. This means that although international demand is developing more modestly than the domestic market, there is a clear positive trend.
“Business events are an essential tool for solving complex issues. People who come together in a professional context ensure knowledge transfer, form networks and thus provide the platforms for developing the answers to the big questions of our time. Particularly in an era of multiple, global challenges, they can support the necessary transformation processes and provide a stage for constructive dialogue on multiple levels and in diverse formats,” says Matthias Schultze, managing director of the German Convention Bureau.