Arnd Hinrich Kappe: Convention Center Rhine-Main – A tender offer from Messe Offenbach

The Rhine-Main region is Germany’s meeting point – there is no other place in Europe where clients can quickly travel to and return back home again. Decision-makers of the national league and the directors of the European Central Bank are well aware of this benefit –  and of course the trade fairs’ guests. The region has become a crucial decision-making hub in Europe. Messe Offenbach’s sites are located in close proximity to the European Central Bank in the eastern part of the region. The ideal place for a convention center in the Rhine-Main region.

In Frankfurt alone, individuals are on the lookout for lo­­cations to hold their meetings, in total this amounts to more than 70,000 conferences. Messe Offenbach has evolved with these demands. Last year, the site underwent drastic modernisation and the convention center allows those from Offenbach to position themselves in this market.

Conventions are mirroring the communication needs that are arising within the digital economy. There is an in­­creasing need for products and trends to be explained, in addition to being tested, experienced and lived. The simple exchange of information is moving to new info channels on the Internet. However, the individuals be­­hind the pro­­ducts and software, the spirit of new brands and business models can only be truly conveyed by means of face-to-face communication. That is why, environments en­­cour­­aging personal interactions and encounters, where new concepts can be grasped­ and experienced by others, are becoming increasingly important: Offenbach provides ideal spaces for conventions; a new form of event that merges trade fairs with congresses, incentives with events, conferences with interactive exhibitions.

The convention center of Messe Offenbach offers the perfect setting for this as it is neither too big, nor too small, includes a flexible layout and the facilities create a personal atmosphere where the main emphasis lies on the clients. There are also no intimidating communication ma­­chines that make the visitors feel small and provoke feelings of stress. The convention center is a lot more hu­­manized and places quality conferences at the centre: lounges instead of anonymous halls, hospitality and passion instead of mass processing, tranquility and goal-oriented conversations and business deals instead of vague information.

Messe Offenbach sees itself as an event manufactory where tailored concepts for the client’s event are developed. There is direct ground-level access to the event’s areas. The convention center bears more resemblance to a festival hall than a fair ground or department store – it is the “par­­lour” for the event organiser’s image. This allows for a level of eye-to-eye interaction and creates a sense of “exclusiveness” in the client’s approach.

The city of Offenbach has undergone a very difficult period as it has been characterised by the industry’s negative development for a long time. As in New York, London, Berlin or Hamburg, new life has emerged in these fallow areas within the city and old industrial buildings. Today, a spirit of optimism prevails. The construction cranes are in full swing and allow a new Offenbach to unfold.

A fascinating process and Messe Offenbach is part of this new development.

The artists, the young and the creative see Offenbach as an opportunity to find their own way to success. The convention center is located close to the river Main, with Wilhelminian-style mansions and palaces as well as popular clubs and other “hot spots” in the imme­­diate vicinity. Offenbach has been part of a discovery in fashion for some time and the Hoch­schule für Ge­­staltung, an art and design university in the area, is one of the early forges of creativity of the Republic. Of­­fen­­bach’s future lies somewhere between the “Hafencity”of Hamburg and Berlin’s Prenzlauer Berg.

Messe Offenbach offers sites amidst this mesh of relations and urban areas and invites its clients to let the site’s aura influence their own events. At the same time, the convention center benefits from its central location: there are numerous, comparatively cheap hotels located closeby, in addition to excellent transport connections – whether it be via aircraft, train, car, boat or bike. Frankfurt’s city centre, the museum embankment (Museumsufer), the towers of the European Central Bank and the airport are all located just a few minutes away by car.

PCOs, event managers, those responsible for conferences seeking to give their event a personal touch, who appreciate the charm that emanates from the rough industrial architecture and idyllic riverside scenery and would like to introduce their topics in a setting where the young and creative, open-minded and curious reside within the Rhine-Main region, will be sealing the best possible deal if they opt for the convention center in Offenbach.

The author studied economics at the University of Würzburg. From 2003 to 2009, he served as managing director of the Douglas Group. He then managed company development at Kreiswerke Main Kinzig GmbH before becoming managing director of Messe Offenbach in 2012.