Germany: MEXCON 2018 - Successful digital transformation in events

German and international events professionals discussed effects of digital transformation on meetings and conferences in Wiesbaden – presentation of six theses about the platform economy as key industry challenge in the future

Headlined “Industry Challenges”, this year’s “Meetings Experts Conference” (MEXCON) focused on the digital transformation as the event industry’s main driver and discussed how digitalisation affects meetings, conferences and events.

Taking place last week in Wiesbaden’s brand new RheinMain CongressCenter, 450 meeting and event professionals from Germany and international guests of this year’s “ICCA Central European Chapter Summer Meeting” at MEXCON attended talks, interactive sessions and took part in on-site visits. Content was delivered in four strands revolving around marketing and communication in times of digital transformation, event tech between analogue and MICE 4.0, new ways of working and future industry perspectives in light of political and societal trends.

The more than 40 participants of the ICCA meeting not only had the opportunity to take part in the MEXCON programme. There was also a joint evening event as well as a joint keynote and panel discussion on “New Work”: Representatives of the GCB German Convention Bureau, ICCA, m:con congress and event agency and Warsaw Convention Bureau discussed how the digital transformation changes our ways of working and how this affects the events industry.

“Industry must seize opportunities opened up by digital transformation”

MEXCON is co-organised by the GCB German Convention Bureau and managing director Matthias Schultze stressed the role of meetings and conferences today: „Our world is changing faster than ever and lifelong learning is absolutely key in an environment that is shaped by the digital transformation. Meetings and conferences as major platforms for knowledge transfer can therefore take on an even more important role and need to seize the opportunities opened up by the digital transformation to future-proof our products and services.” The digital transformation was also in the focus of the GCB’s annual general members’ meeting that took place at MEXCON. Setting out what lies ahead, Schultze highlighted the organisation’s core concerns for the future: “At the GCB, we have identified six fields of action that we need to focus on in order to successfully handle the challenges brought about by the digital transformation. Amongst other things, we review new technologies, use agile methods and formats and implement analytical tools as part of our internal GCB processes."

Partner collaborations to move industry forward

Adding to its specific digital transformation market research portfolio, the GCB has also just initiated a new study together with cooperation partners EVVC (European Association of Event Centres) and VDVO (Association of Event Organisers) to investigate the effects of the platform economy as the key challenge for the meetings and conference industry in future and released six theses at MEXCON that highlight why the time to take action is now. See details on

MEXCON itself is also an example of successful collaboration within the industry and was launched as a joint project of the GCB and EVVC in 2012. Speaking at the event in Wiesbaden, outgoing EVVC president Joachim König took the opportunity to look back on the cooperation: “Our joint MEXCON success story is strong proof for how much you can make happen in our industry when embracing a collaborative approach. The GCB and EVVC can look back on a very successful time that is encouraging for the future of this event and other ideas and projects.”

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