„HMC is an economic factor in its own right“
Trade fairs and congresses are a winner for the cities that host them, and events benefit from attractive locations. In this interview, Hamburg’s First Mayor, Dr. Peter Tschentscher, talks about positive feedback loops, impressive exhibitions and his wishes for Hamburg Messe und Congress.
Is there an exhibition that has stayed in your mind from a personal perspective?
Dr. Peter Tschentscher: I just visited the Online Marketing Rockstars Festival, which has become a broad-based exhibition for the digital economy in just a few years. Events like that, with more than 50,000 visitors, are a real boost for Hamburg’s development as a digital center. I also have good memories of my tour around the SMM, the leading international trade fair for the maritime economy, in September 2018, and my visit to the Aircraft Interiors Expo in April this year.
© Senatskanzlei / Jan Pries
Dr. Peter Tschentscher visiting the Online Marketing Rockstars Festival on the grounds of the HMC.
What do you think about how HMC has developed over the past decades?
My impression is that HMC has become ever better known in recent years, also at an international level. The number of foreign exhibitors went up again at the SMM 2018 – just to stay with that example. We in the Hamburg Senate are supporting this development, also via our municipal Hamburg Marketing Agency. As an international city, with an outward-looking economy, Hamburg is also a good location for international conferences and congresses. That’s why we are upgrading the CCH and supporting the work of Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH.
„My impression is that HMC has become ever better known in recent years, also at an international level.“
How important is an exhibition and conference company for a city or a region?
HMC is an economic factor in its own right, with great significance for the hotel industry and almost all business sectors. It is an important instrument for our economic development and our location marketing. Our companies, universities and research institutions need a modern platform where they can present themselves in a good light and establish international contacts. In business and academia, new cooperation agreements and partnerships are always an opportunity to achieve targets better and open up new prospects.
What do you see as the specificities of Hamburg Messe and CCH?
One outstanding feature is certainly their location in the heart of the city. That makes them more attractive for visitors and improves the impression of Hamburg that guests take home with them. Short distances to the city center, to hotels and cultural and tourist attractions are all a great advantage. Exhibition visitors can get everywhere quickly by bus and train and do not add much to the congestion on the roads. That is one advantage that Hamburg has over other major conference locations.
© HMC / Nicolas Maack
Dr. Peter Tschentscher (left), Hamburg’s First Mayor, and Bernd Aufderheide, CEO of HMC, visit the SMM.
What are your wishes for the future of HMC?
I hope that HMC will move with the times and continue to focus on cost-effective operations and its role in Hamburg. National and international competition is tough. HMC has to hold on to its customers and develop new formats to satisfy the current trends and developments. And I also hope there will always be events that are attractive for the residents of Hamburg.
How important are major events like the OSCE Foreign Ministers Conference or the Rotary International Convention?
Meetings like that are important for the policies and objectives of international organizations. When they take place in Hamburg it is a good opportunity to improve the international visibility of our city and make our mark with our vision of a modern, democratic and diverse society.