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New convention centre helps Hamburg attract neurosurgeons

The long-awaited re-opening of the Congress Centre Hamburg (CCH) in 2020 was one of the main factors in the city’s winning bid to host the annual summit of the European Association of Neurosurgical Societies.

The venue is being touted as one of the largest and most modern convention centres in Europe, with 12,000 sqm of exhibition space, 12,000 sqm of foyer space and 12,000 seats in up to 50 halls.

Hamburg fought off strong competition from Jerusalem, Rotterdam and Krakow to  host the summit, which is expected to attract around 2,000 delegates to the city next year.

The city’s medical expertise also helped seal the deal, as well as collaboration among local stakeholders, such as Dr Manfred Westphal from the University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE).

Hamburg convention head, Nele Aumann, explained: “The CCH as a new venue and the connections with the professor, who I have known for about eight years, were very important components.

It was a case of second time lucky for Hamburg, after a previous bid for the EANS summit failed.

“It shows me the patience and the endurance you need to have with those biddings because sometimes it is simply not your time. If we look at our market research, medical is the most successful cluster when it comes to the amount of events we do. Other fields that are also very strong include logistics and transport, as well as media and IT.”

Looking to the future, mobility is a key topic, such as autonomous driving and transport links.

“We share the same challenges as London,” Aumann says. “Hamburg is the second largest city of Germany. In fact it is the largest city of Europe, which is not a capital – and it is still a growing city. There’s no more space to expand.

“You need to use mobility and transport in a smart way to use the limited space we have. This increases the quality of life for the people living here and also our guests. It fits perfectly, that in 2021 the ITS congress which is about intelligent transportation systems comes to our city.

“There were strong efforts to win this congress because Hamburg wants to become a role for the mobility of the future. We have the backing of the government, who are doing studies on this.”