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GERMANY – Relaunch of the GCB website: worldwide presence and modern technology

The GCB German Convention Bureau e.V. has relaunched its website www.germany-meetings.com. One of the major improvements is a greatly expanded range of available languages. Information will now be presented in Chinese, Italian, French, Spanish and Dutch in addition to the standard German and English. Planners from the CzechRepublic, Denmark, Russia, Poland, Portugal, Brazil and Japan will soon also be able to find information in their own languages. When the redesign has been completed, the advantages and attractions of Germany as a destination for meetings and congresses will be presented online to the world in the languages of its twelve most important primary and future markets.

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The new GCB website is closely linked with the website of the German National Tourist Board (GNTB), reflecting the cooperation of the two partners within the framework of the theme for 2012 ‘Germany: Open for business – trade fairs and conventions‘.

The Internet is extremely important as a tool for planning and therefore generating events: according to the Meeting & Event Barometer 2012, three quarters of planners use online portals when searching for MICE products and services. 23% of those surveyed visited convention bureau websites almost as often as hotel portals (24%) as important sources of information. Portals operated by MICE specialists were named by only 18%.

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Describing the new website, Matthias Schultze (image), managing director of the GCB, comments: “With the relaunch of the GCB, we are responding to the trend towards a mobile internet. All our content is now presented in a fresh, modern layout to ensure that it is easily readable, even on handheld devices. Clear user navigation provides simple access to a world of multimedia experiences as well as attractive and emotional content. The Google Map search function offers quick access to member information.”

The GCB website now also contains the new section ‘Key Sectors‘. Regional expertise in key industries, as is evident in the presence of influential companies and scientific institutions in a region, is becoming an increasingly important factor when planners are deciding on the location for an event due to the synergy possibilities, contacts, and content they can offer. According to the Meeting & Event Barometer 2012, the presence of a thriving local sector corresponding with the theme of the event is an important consideration for a growing number of congress organisers when selecting a destination: 82% of the event planners surveyed confirm that networking with local experts in the relevant sector is becoming ever more important.

The ‘Green meetings‘ area is another important element that has been expanded on the redesigned website. The GCB now offers suppliers in the German meetings and congress sector more tools than ever before to publicise their strengths in environmental protection and sustainability such as the details on environmental certificates they have been awarded. One statistic from the Meeting & Event Barometer 2012 underlines the importance of this issue to the sector: 37.7% of the suppliers surveyed said they have already integrated a sustainability management system into their company – an impressive increase of 10 percentage points over the previous year.

After the relaunch, the website will also feature a newsroom with the latest press releases, the GCB blog, and posts on social media channels such as Facebook or Twitter. The importance of these channels is confirmed by Meeting & Event Barometer 2012: 56% of event planners use general social media platforms for their work.