After a financially successful 2015, the year 2016 was also characterised by growth - with a turnover increase of around 12% (preliminary figures) and approx. 8% more events than in 2015.
In a demanding market environment, the darmstadtium generated an annual turnover of 5 million euros for the first time in 2016, thereby doubling its annual turnover in seven years. The congress centre achieved this not least due to the improvement of important USPs such as IT and connectivity, and also by extending the “ferrum” hall in late 2014, which now holds 383 people (seated). A high level of customer satisfaction and many bookings from customers who have used the darmstadtium before and were so impressed they want to come again confirm the positive development not only in terms of volume but also in terms of quality. Remarkably, the primary energy needed to host the increased number of events has steadily gone down. In 2016, the average factor of megawatt hours per thousands of euros in turnover went down to 0.81 (2015: 0.84 / 2008: 2.20).
Jochen Partsch, Darmstadt’s mayor and also the chairman of the supervisory board of Wissenschafts- und Kongresszentrum Darmstadt Verwaltungs-GmbH, the company that runs the darmstadtium, said he was satisfied with the development of Darmstadt’s congress centre: “The congress centre has been up and running for nine years and now plays a major role in Darmstadt’s economic development. It has given the local economy a boost, not only because of the jobs it provides but also in the form of indirect income: hotels, the public transport system and cleaning services providers all profit from the positive development of the darmstadtium, as do the shops in the city centre. The increasing number of events and rising turnover figures show that things are going well, and that the team is doing an excellent job.”
Recent awards also prove that darmstadtium continues to develop. In 2016, the congress centre won the “Green Globe” for the third time. The "Green Globe Certification Standard” offers companies a professional framework tailored to their respective industry for the comprehensive evaluation of their sustainability performance on the basis of the three pillars eco-friendliness, social responsibility and financial profitability. As long ago as in 2011, the darmstadtium was one of the first conference centres in Germany to win the international “Green Globe” sustainability award for its environmental protection measures and sustainability, and has since then regularly implemented optimisations that are reflected by its improved performance when it comes to meeting the criteria.
Better connection to the airport: AirLiner runs directly to the congress centre
For the national and international conference and congress participants, the darmstadtium’s central location is an important aspect. It is now even easier to reach with various forms of public transport thanks to the addition of a new stop on the AirLiner bus shuttle route at the congress centre. Transport magazine “Regionalverkehr” rated the AirLiner, a double-decker bus shuttle service between Darmstadt and Frankfurt Airport that runs 30 times a day, offers passengers comfortable seats and also Wi-Fi, one of the ten best public transport lines in Germany. The stop right outside the darmstadtium offers a convenient direct connection to Frankfurt Airport and has become noticeably more popular over the past year.
Event highlights 2016
The darmstadtium is a meeting place for science, business and culture. Besides international science conferences and meetings of major companies, for example from the IT and finance industry, it also hosts art and cultural events for young and old. In 2016, these included annual events such as, for instance, “darmstadt spielt”, “BehindArt” and the “Seniorentage”, which are aimed at the older generation. The venue also organised its own event in 2016, “Tag der Vereine”, a day where regional associations introduced their work to the people of Darmstadt with information stands and a varied programme of on-stage presentations. The darmstadtium also particularly enjoys hosting events for young people such as Girl’s Day and Mediendiplom Darmstadt, a media education project for school children.
In 2016, the darmstadtium initiated the first MEET DARMSTADT Tour and opened its doors to event planners from all over the country during the day and for an evening get-together. The focus was on marketing Darmstadt as a congress location: “With this event, we wanted to raise the industry insiders’ awareness of the strengths of the science location Darmstadt, as the town now enjoys a very good reputation in this area nationally thanks to its numerous venues. This reputation is the basis for its future continued above-average success in the events market,” says darmstadtium CEO Lars Wöhler.
Some of the highlights of the more than 385 events at the darmstadtium in 2016 included:
- Deutsche SQL Server Konferenz
- 35th Gala der Deutschen Wirtschaft / Erster Innovationspreis der Welt
- 20th International Passive House Conference
- Digital and Innovation Day
- “future thinking” technical summit, trade show + conference
- CDU party national conference
- Mittelstand 4.0 conference
- Autodesk University
- Numerous AGMs, for instance Software AG, MAX21
- INNOspaceEXPO “ALL.täglich”
Outlook: High level of bookings with many event highlights
On the basis of the past year’s top figures, the outlook for the coming year looks positive. The turnover level achieved is expected to remain stable in 2017. The darmstadtium is already looking forward to exciting event highlights such as the 3rd joint meeting of Darmstadt’s Karnevalsvereine, the Deutsche SQL Server Konferenz, the Palliativtag and the Autodesk University, as well as other international conferences and congresses.
Following the successful award entries of the past few years, the darmstadtium will again be hoping for some national and international awards in 2017. The respective preparations are already in full swing. One certification is already on the horizon: Reisen für Alle (“Travelling for everyone”) is a nationally accepted accessibility certificate. The darmstadtium acts future-oriented and also takes the demographic development into account. Besides the “Reisen für Alle” certificate, the congress centre has also been awarded a “particularly senior friendly operation” certificate every year.