13 Mar 2019

It is all About Experience: Highlights of our Trips to Bremen, Hamburg and Cologne

Our Regional Managers Linda Nuss (USA/Canada) and Tamina Rügemer (Europe) had a chat about their own experiences at past GCB Educational Trips and how participants nowadays want to be actively involved to be able to suggest a destination or a venue. Knowledge transfer therefore needs to be more interactive, collaborative, mobile and experience-oriented.

Tamina: As I know that you are planning your next Educational Trip with a group of American and Canadian planners to Hamburg this year, I thought why not share my experience from last year with you. In July 2018, I invited ten clients from all over Europe to explore Hamburg and Bremen for four days. It has been such an informative and fun time with a great group of people with different backgrounds but still with the same goal: Experience Hamburg and Bremen to get a better understanding of their meeting opportunities, incentive options and just the city's vibe to be able to forward this experience to their team or clients.

Linda: Tamina what would you think was the highlight of your trip for your planners?

Tamina: Our highlight in Hamburg, the innovative maritime city with its calm but young vibe, was the traditional harbour cruise at lake Alster. On that day we had beautiful weather, enjoyed a cold traditional drink made in Hamburg, had great talks in the group and were just amazed by the beauty of Hamburg. To top this cruise off, it was the birthday of one of our group members and I guess he was a little surprised by the birthday cake from the Hamburg Convention Bureau. These are just little memories but those moments make such a trip to a memorable time and gives it a beautiful ending. These memories will be remembered and will come up on my mind right away when I think about Hamburg as a meeting destination - connecting people and sharing moments!

Linda: What do you think separates Bremen and Hamburg as meeting destinations or what’s their USPs?

Tamina: Bremen is a very hanseatic city with a long history. Traditional buildings surprise with modern rooftop meeting areas, incredible views of the city and the city’s beautiful landscape and greenery. On one day we walked in an older warehouse on the outskirts of Bremen and took the elevator up. Once we arrived on the top, the exceptionally modern and stylish HUDSON Event Loft flooded with light surprised us. We were all silent for a minute – we just had the ‘wow effect’ and that’s what people are looking for. Bremen is a city with many faces and a lot of surprises when it comes to meeting locations. Everything is walking distance and it is easy for the delegate to get around in the city between meetings. As Bremen is a cosy city with a lot of history and short ways, Hamburg is the international metropolis with over 1,8 Million inhabitants. Hamburg is Europe’s third-largest port and combined with the international airport, Hamburg is one of the most important logistics locations. The maritime city offers a very wide range of meeting locations whoever meets here.

Linda: What do you think we absolutely must do in Hamburg when visiting August 2018?

Tamina: Go and do a harbour cruise! Especially in August – the weather will be wonderful. Enjoy a casual summer barbecue on the terrace of the world's second oldest rowing club Hamburg & Germania Rowing Club – the feeling and the view is amazing. I will remember the moment when we walked in the location with its wide glass front and the sun was about to set. The feeling and lighting was just so warming! It is the perfect location for networking receptions and barbecues.

CCB Koelner Lichter ® Foto Axel Schulten

Tamina: I will be taking my group to Cologne this year! Is there anything you can tell me about the trip you took with your US buyers in 2017? What was your agenda like?

Linda: We explored the town eTukTuks which was quite the adventure! Besides seeing beautiful properties like the Marriott, Steigenberger and Pullman we also got to make our own Icecream at TörtchenTörtchen and see a very cool location attached to a Balloon shop called Balooni! Touring Germany’s oldest conference venue, Gürzenich and the Flora Botanical gardens was such a treat as both had events happening so we got to see the locations all “Dressed Up”. We closed out our first evening having some cocktails with Germanys cocktail world champion Stephan Hinz at Little Link after exploring the Cologne Cathedral which is of course a must do when visiting the city.  We also had the immense luck to be in Cologne during the “Cologne Lights” festival with a front row seat which was such a treat! If you are able to visit either of any of these hotels, venues or events please do take the opportunity and enjoy!

Tamina: …so cool! I read in your article that you visited the ESA (European Space Agency) – how fun is that! What was it like?

Linda: We walked in the footsteps of astronauts at the training facility of the European Astronaut Center. Seeing the inside of the International Space Station model in our official EAC gear is not something you get to do every day…or ever! It was really cool to be able to dress up and explore a model of the International Space Station! We surely looked super cool if you cant tell. :)

Tamina: So would you say that this trip was focused on incentives? Congresses? Hotels? My trip this year has a focus of incentives and hotels. Could you recommend an activity that was a hit with your planners that may fit for my trip?

Linda: So we had a nice mixture of everything as we had meeting and incentive planners. I would absolutely include the ESA in your plan as this is a once in a lifetime experience! I cant wait to hear all about it!


Upcoming Educational Trip for conference and event organisers from all over Europe:

June 30 – July 4, 2019: GCB Educational Trip to Cologne and Frankfurt