"Would you mind...????" - notable information about the UK
Fish and chips, London Tower, and the Queen - who doesn't think of the UK? But that's not all. It was not until April that British organisers came to Berlin with the World Cocoa Conference and around 2000 participants. For four days, everything revolved around chocolate and cocoa. This shows that the British market is diverse and an important partner for the Berlin MICE industry. After Germany, the United Kingdom was the strongest market in Berlin's congress statistics in 2017. Marco Oelschlegel - Deputy Director of visitBerlin Berlin Convention Office and expert for conventions from the UK for 13 years - explains why Berlin is so popular with British organisers and what event partners should know.
Why is the British market so important for Berlin?
The UK is an important market with a strong economic volume. It is the most important market for us after Germany. British organisers are very professional and loyal. The market thus offers a lot of potential for the Berlin event industry: at the end of June we were again at one of the leading British trade fairs for meetings, incentives, conventions, and events (The Meetings Show) with our own presence and eleven partners from Berlin.
This shows that Berlin is very attractive for British people who like to hold conferences abroad and have a wide range of interests.
Why is Berlin so attractive for event organisers from the UK?
The combination of professional service, "German efficiency", and a cosmopolitan atmosphere. And the feeling that anything is possible here.
Aren't Berlin and London very alike?
Yes and no. London is of course also cool and trendy. But that's a different matter. Berlin is new, exciting, and above all surprising. Many Britons are not yet familiar with Berlin or have set expectations from private trips. We can then show them everything else it has - beyond Brandenburg Gate and the TV Tower. That is why there is usually a very positive element of surprise at first-time conventions from the UK in Berlin. The participants and organisers are amazed at the many possibilities and the good price-performance ratio in the capital.
The numbers speak for themselves...
Yes, the number of British events in Berlin has grown continuously over the years. The UK was once again the strongest foreign market with events in Berlin in 2017.
Does Brexit play a role for event planners from the UK?
Not really. Right now, nobody knows exactly what's going on. So the organisers continue to plan events, which the figures also confirm. It is not a new situation for agencies, they are used to working in countries with different currencies and business habits. Nevertheless, global changes in the MICE industry also have an impact on the UK market.
The financial crisis. It is important to know that the different stages of event production in the UK are highly differentiated and are mainly organised by agencies. This means that there is a huge agency landscape that only specialises in MICE: from agencies for creatives to agencies for logistics to agencies only for venue searching. The financial crisis led to many mergers and consolidations in the market. Since then there have therefore been fewer people who do more, and the competition in the market for customers is fierce.
What should event organiser pay attention to?
Precisely because the market is very agency-driven and highly differentiated, it is essential to find the right contact person. 80 to 90 percent of conventions are organised by agencies. You must therefore a) know that there are many different communication interfaces and b) find the right contact point and person in the agency. Because a personal contact is very important.
What tips are there for personal cooperation?
The language! Of course, everyone speaks English here in Berlin, but it is very advisable and useful to learn codes in the English language. There are - and this also applies to emails - many forms of courtesy, and they should be used. Instead of saying "Have a seat!" to offer a seat in informal language, it is better to say "Would you mind taking a seat?". That can really open doors! So my tip is to learn the intricacies of the language. And of the country: A Scot is not an English person.
Thanks: We thank Marco Oelschlegel for the interview!
Take advantage of the market, location, and event design knowledge of our team! We help you with planning and implementation and introduce you to event partners and experts in our city. Whether you're planning a conference, convention, meeting, or incentive, contact us at convention@visitBerlin.de or start looking for a great location in our Meeting Guide Berlin.
The UK at a glance:
- Around 20% of the organisers in Berlin come from abroad (as of 2017)
- In 2017, 4.1% of these events came from the British market
- And the visitor numbers from the United Kingdom are also rising: from January to December 2017 it was + 2.3 % arrivals compared to the previous year