Meeting Place Berlin 2017: Meetings, Mingling and Opportunities
It's hard not to be surprised when you read the name tags on the guests gathered at Berlin Classic Remise for the opening night of the 9th Meeting Place Berlin. 124 event organisers from 29 nations around the world, including Australia, China, India, New Zealand, and USA have converged in Berlin, one of the world's top meetings destinations, to explore what's on offer for events and conventions and to get to know the BCO team. The mingling begins immediately in an excited atmosphere of curiosity surrounded by vintage cars, live music, and the culinary delights served fresh from the barbecue. Guests' excitement about the days ahead in Berlin was further piqued by Heike Mahmoud, Director of the Berlin Convention Office, in her opening speech.
Berlin, Locations, and Professionals
Why Berlin? Because the world turns in Berlin 24/7, 365 days a year. Because there are 1,500 events every day in Berlin. Because Berlin offers more than 350 special venues. In her address, Heike Mahmoud mentions only a few of the many reasons to opt for Berlin. Over the three days that follow, the 124 participants will be able to see for themselves the endless possibilities on offer in Berlin. Each day has a theme: Meet Berlin Day, Meet Professionals Day, and Meet Facilities Day. Guests will get to know Berlin beyond the usual well-beaten tourist path, start the wheels turning on planning their next event, meet the right people, and, of course, tour venues and hotels. We were on hand as the international visitors explored some of the newest hotels in Berlin and found ourselves just as astonished.
An event like Meeting Place is unique.
From historic bathhouse to ballroom
We get an early start to our tour at 9 o'clock: from room to room, over rooftop terraces, through swimming baths and ballrooms. A cross-section of Berlin's diverse hotel offerings. Five hotels are on the agenda. Five truly different hotels.
We start at the Provocateur Hotel in City West. The cameras are out as General Manager Ronald Spicale leads the guests through the 1920s-style facility. "The hotel is the perfect location for small incentives and events," he explains. The burlesque decor, the elegant bar, the historic lift, and 58 charming rooms are the latest secret tip in Berlin since the hotel opened in March 2017.
Just a few minutes' drive away, as is so typical of Berlin, a complete contrast: the RIU Plaza with 357 rooms, eleven meeting rooms, and extensive views over Berlin from the 17th storey surprised the hosted buyers on their tour.
We then headed to AMANO Grand Central, with its 250 rooms, four meeting rooms, and two rooftop terraces. This artsy spot, says Sales Director Dennis Pawelczyk, like all AMANO hotels in Berlin, is the place to be and a popular meeting spot for Berliners, too.
A real treasure on the tour is the Hotel Oderberger and the adjacent GLS Campus. Until 1986, it was still a bathhouse for residents of the East Berlin district of Prenzlauer Berg. Today, it's now a family-run boutique hotel with 70 rooms and some surprises: historic tiles next to the beds, meeting rooms with fixtures from the old locker rooms, and a historic swimming pool that can be transformed into an event area.
Finally, our tour heads to TITANIC Chaussee Hotel, where the hosted buyers are again impressed, especially with the 850 m² ballroom that can host up to 1,300 guests. With 389 rooms, it is also one of the largest conference hotels in Berlin's Mitte district. The hotel, managed by six Turkish brothers, is proud of its Turkish spa and its kitchen with 50 cooks.
Conclusion: Berlin is the place to meet!
Whether design hotels or convention centres, as we gather for the final evening at BeachMitte, the guests are unanimous: Berlin is "the place to meet". Sharon Leonhardt of Travel Traits puts it in a nutshell, "Berlin is the centre of Europe and it has good venues". She came all the way from Australia to provide her clients with information for events in the coming year. Idil Findikoglu from the Kenes Group also sees Berlin as a hub. When she plans Kenes Original Events, she always starts with a clean slate and the BCO team is her most important contact: "I would like to find out more about institutions we can build partnerships with to create new events within life sciences." The first meeting will take place in October. After Meeting Place Berlin, it is certain that all sorts of new meetings will be held in the German capital with the support of the BCO.
Meeting Place Berlin: another perspective
Dr Adrienne Hammerschmidt from the University of Münster is enthusiastically impressed by Meeting Place Berlin: "An event like Meeting Place is unique. We are planning a major international gathering in Berlin. It is incredibly enriching to look through the spectacles of the other participants and see those things that people from other nations find important in a meeting."
And that's exactly what happened at the 9th Meeting Place Berlin: the chance to look at events from other perspectives, explore the possibilities available in Berlin, and engage in open discussion with colleagues.
Are you planning an event yourself? Contact us! We are here to help you to plan your next event: convention@visitBerlin.de.