Ulrike Köppel: Having conferences in good company – The congress centrum neue weimarhalle

konzertnacht-22014-mfoto-andre-mey-weimar-gmbhAccording to the 2015 International Congress and Convention Association Statistics Report, Germany is the No. 1 conference country in Europe and No. 2 in the world after the USA. One of Germany’s most attractive conference centres is in Weimar in the state of Thuringia. This cultural stronghold, with its tourist and cultural attractions, can be ­­­ideally combined with supporting programmes and evening events.

Great events and names have been closely linked with Weimar for over 200 years. Goethe, Schiller, Bach, Liszt, Bauhaus and the Weimar Republic – that is Weimar. It was and still is an ideal location for the inspirational person-­to-person exchange.

Die Weimarhalle in der Dämmerung.

The Weimarhalle at sunset.

Prominenz in der Weimarhalle.

Prominent visitors to the Weimarhalle.

So it’s not surprising that conferences here often have more attendees than other locations – people are only too glad to combine a seminar or a congress with a visit as a tourist to this cultural stronghold. Weimar is a city where everything is only a short distance away. Today, conference tourism plays an important role: in its neue weimarhalle congress centrum – which replaces the original building erected in 1932, Weimar has had a modern, efficient organisation which has catered to many needs since 1999. Right next-door to the historic centre of the city and not far from locations of European cultural history and an adjoining park, the congress centrum neue weimarhalle is centrally located, which is one of the advantages that Weimar has to offer as a conference location. The construction of the new Bauhaus Museum directly adjacent to the Weimarhalle makes the congress centre an even greater focal point of the city’s cultural highlights.

From State Visits to Company Events. The Weimarhalle impresses its clients with its outstanding architecture, which both assimilates the modern age and builds a bridge to the Classical Weimar with the historic park in front of its terraces, so that visitors are welcomed by both of the city’s major themes. And the prominent guests it has seen! On state visits and exclusive company events, the Weimarhalle has offered a splendid setting on several occasions. Weimar is very popular for major events. Over 1.5 million visitors have already been impressed of the advantages of the Weimarhalle and are happy to recommend it to others. This cultural stronghold, with its tourist and cultural amenities, can be ideally combined with supporting programmes and evening events. Theatre, entertainment or a combined team experience – there are many opportunities for an unforgettable event.

Weimar as a Total Work of Art. In Weimar everyone gets their money’s work. Music-lovers can retrace the footsteps of Johann-Sebastian Bach or discover Franz Liszt. Lovers of the modern age are no less captivated: almost 100 years ago, Walter Gropius founded Weimar’s State Bauhaus, where Belgian artist Henry van de Velde had laid the foundation stone in Weimar 15 years earlier. In spite of this significant non-classical chapter in the history of Weimar, Goethe and Schiller dominate this Weimar image considerably with their presence and the unceasing interest by visitors. In such a small area, the city unifies a total of 13 UNESCO World Heritage sites: the “Bauhaus and its locations in Weimar and Dessau” is represented by the “Haus am Horn” and the Henry van de Velde buildings, today’s Bauhaus University. Besides Goethe’s and Schiller’s residences, “classical Weimar” includes the Duchess Anna Amalia Library, parks, castles, the City Church and more.

The historic houses in the centre of the city have been restored splendidly restored. In spite of its eventful past, Weimar nevertheless remains young and lively. Its Old Town invites visitors to explore and linger and its many historic suburbs are situated close together: when visitors go exploring the royal – and, later, ducal – residence city of Weimar, they are often spellbound at the mixture of a cultural centre, historical significance and a beautiful old city with its cosmopolitan liveliness. This is added to by an archetypal tourist infrastructure coupled with cosmopolitan warmth and a welcome which makes visitors want to return to.

Blick in den Weimarhallenpark.

A view of the Weimarhallenpark.

Die Terrassen der Weimarhalle.

The terraces of the Weimarhalle.

A House with Many Variables. The Weimarhalle has a variety of uses: conferences, exhibitions, trade fairs, galas and concerts – there is a layout concept for every occasion. The neighbouring park, accessible through the hall’s expansive glass fronts, with inviting garden terraces and its own small lake, turns the idea of conferences in green surroundings into reality. Besides a hall with capacity for up to 1,200 people, five combinable conference rooms for up to 400 people are also available. Designed as a conference centre and furnished and equipped for this use in all functions, and thanks to its natural acoustics, the Weimarhalle also offers superb conditions for concerts, trade fairs, company events, galas and banquets. The separate seminar building – the Little Weimarhalle – can be used both by itself and as an extension to the Weimarhalle itself. The proximity to the Weimar Bau­­haus University, the university city of Jena or to the state capital Erfurt is also reflected in the conference themes.

Sustainable conferences in the Weimarhalle is not just a meaningless phrase. The Hall has been Green Globe certified for five years: it is regularly inspected and tested by independent auditors to ensure that the internationally recognised criteria of the seal of the tourism and events sector are fulfilled. The Green Globe certification system, which was introduced ten years ago, has the added advantage that it is aimed not only at environmental safety. Thus, social and cultural responsibility and regional economic cycles also integrated into the current system.

Summer in Weimar – the Stage by the Lake. For over ten years, the Weimarhalle has been the scene of the biggest open-air classical music and other concerts in the summer months in which highly popular concerts accompanied by the Weimar State Orchestra are held on the stage by the lake park at the Weimarhalle. The stage has since become the scene for jazz and pop concerts and for parties in July and August. Up to 5,000 visitors enjoy these impressive evenings without which summer in Weimar is unimaginable. The illuminated park with its extensive grassy areas for strolling guests and the terraces of the Weimarhalle for which the seats are reserved attract many stars from Germany’s pop and jazz scenes. Conference organisers are happy to incorporate this park into private gala evenings. Whether visitors are out for a stroll or picnicking, they are invited to the Jazz Lounge in the Pavilion or to the laser show on the terraces. The ideas are limitless.

ulrike-koeppel-geschaeftsfuehrerin-weimar-gmbhUlrike Köppel
Ulrike Köppel, born in Weimar in 1968, has been managing director of weimar GmbH Gesellschaft für Wirtschaftsförderung, Kongress- and Tourismusservice since 2003. In this capacity, she is responsible for the tourist business of weimar GmbH, the operations of the Weimarhalle, the conference service, all tourism and conference marketing including city marketing and Weimar’s online presence. She was previously marketing manager at the congress centrum neue weimarhalle.