Thanks to its central location at the heart of the strong European market, Cologne is an attractive venue for trade fairs and business operations. In order to further strengthen the regional economy, Koelnmesse and the Economic Development Office of the city of Cologne are presenting themselves in the growth markets of Asia and South America as part of their cooperative worldwide marketing activities. But Koelnmesse is carrying its sense of responsibility to the city even further. Within the context of the “Trade Fair City” initiative, Koelnmesse is contributing to the cultural vitality of Cologne by presenting various events throughout the city and becoming involved in the education sector.
Trade fairs make Cologne a brand
A recent study of the branding process for the city of Cologne reveals that nothing makes Cologne more attractive for international enterprises than its trade fairs.
A large number of companies consider Cologne to be a good location for trade fairs, conferences and congresses. The city receives high marks for its supporting programmes, which include activities in and around the city. Cologne’s central location and the exhibition centre itself are also cited as plus points. For key countries such as China, India and Brazil, Koelnmesse is even the most important driver promoting the Cologne brand — the aspect that defines Cologne's appeal more than any other. All in all, three factors — the exhibition centre, the city’s economic vitality and the fact that Cologne is a metropolis with a high quality of life — combine to form an unbeatable trio. Together, they have the biggest positive impact on Cologne’s public image.
Koelnmesse: An economic heavyweight for Cologne
The exhibition centre’s business operations boost the local economy. Exhibitors and visitors don’t spend all of their time in Cologne at the exhibition centre; they also stay overnight in hotels, dine in restaurants and shop in the city. Trade fair and congress visitors account for around 50 per cent of the overnight stays in Cologne.
The money spent by trade fair participants alone secures about 11,500 full-time jobs in Cologne. Every euro of turnover at Koelnmesse generates around five euros of turnover in the city. Altogether, trade fair and congress participants provide a turnover of more than one billion euros in the region every year.
Marketing the location internationally
Koelnmesse engages in the intensive worldwide promotion of Cologne as a business location. Many of these activities are carried out in cooperation with the city of Cologne. Henriette Reker, Mayor of the City of Cologne, and Gerald Böse, President and Chief Executive Officer of Koelnmesse, regularly visit key markets such as India, Japan, China and Brazil in order to promote the city as a location for trade fairs and business operations.
The "Trade Fair City" initiative brings benefits for the region
The goal of the Trade Fair City initiative is to involve the city of Cologne and the surrounding region more closely in the big trade fairs at Koelnesse. Many high-level decision-makers are among the trade fair participants. In order to ensure that Cologne presents itself as a trade fair location to these potential investors in a positive and appropriate way, the Mayor of Cologne, Henriette Reker, and Koelnmesse have jointly established the “Trade Fair City of Cologne” initiative.
The initiative’s events and activities carry the themes of the trade fairs beyond the halls of the exhibition centre and bring them into the city, where they are experienced by residents and visitors alike. The concept is convincing. Many of Cologne’s institutions have gotten involved and are contributing to the initiative’s success.
Guests and Cologne residents alike are looking forward to the expansion of the leisure and cultural programmes — and they're not the only ones. These programmes attract several hundred thousand visitors to the city each year. The money they spend benefits Cologne retailers, service providers and the catering sector.
Here two examples out of many:
All of Cologne celebrates gamescom, the world’s biggest games event
Outdoors and free of charge: At the gamescom festival in the centre of Cologne, national and international music bands and game presentations create a lively party atmosphere under the open sky. For further information, go to www.gamescom-cologne.com .
"Don’t drive faster than your guardian angel can fly"
Every year at INTERMOT – the International Motorcycle, Scooter and Bicycle Fair, Roncalli Platz square in front of Cologne Cathedral is filled with bikers and their machines, who gather there to celebrate an ecumenical service together with residents and visitors to the city. After the service, the bikers ride in a convoy through Cologne’s inner city and across three bridges on their way to the Cologne Exhibition Centre. Further information is available at www.intermot-cologne.com .
Promoting young talent — an investment in the future
“There is only one thing in the long run more expensive than education: no education“ (John F. Kennedy).This is why Koelnmesse deliberately sponsors education and science in Cologne, in cooperation with the Institute of Trade Fair Management and through the Germany Scholarship.
Trade fair institute
In the summer of 1999 Koelnmesse cooperated with the University of Cologne to establish the Institute of Trade Fair Management. Today Koelnmesse is still a significant financial sponsor of the institute. The trade fair institute is a unique feature in the German university landscape, and it makes studying in Cologne even more attractive. Koelnmesse invests more than just money in the optimal education of talented young people. Alongside the instructors at the university, the trade fair experts from Koelnmesse regularly offer courses and share their practical knowledge. Further information is available at www.tradefair.uni-koeln.de .
The Germany Scholarship is co-sponsored by the German Ministry of Education and Research and by non-governmental patrons. The scholarship is a way to promote especially talented and dedicated students. The federal government contributes half of the funding for the scholarships, and the other half is provided by companies and private sponsors. Each year Koelnmesse sponsors two students at the University of Cologne.
Alongside BAföG (educational grants for low-income students), educational loans, and scholarships offered by organizations that promote talented students, the Germany Scholarship is the fourth pillar of student funding. As such, it is an important factor in ensuring a fair distribution of educational opportunities in Germany. Further information is available at www.deutschland-stipendium.de .