"Bestival 2023" - The international business festival begins today with more than 1,000 guests from the tourism and event industry

  • Senator for Economic Affairs Franziska Giffey and Burkhard Kieker, CEO of visitBerlin, opened the business festival this morning in the Magazin der Heeresbäckerei
  • Over the course of two days, Berlin will be showcasing its business to national and international experts from the event and travel industry at the "Bestival"
  • Congress statistics 2022: Berlin's event industry picks up speed – Restart Programme of the Berlin Senate effectively supports the recovery

Berlin, 6 July 2023 The world's largest showcase event staged by a single city will be kicking off today in Berlin with the "Bestival". More than 1,000 representatives of the tourism and events industry from all over the world are scheduled to attend the event in the capital. Berlin's Senator for Economic Affairs Franziska Giffey and visitBerlin-CEO Burkhard Kieker inaugurated the two-day Best Practice Festival this morning in the Magazin der Heeresbäckerei. Until Friday, Berlin's Visitor Economy will be presenting the capital's latest offerings in lectures and workshops and with live acts.

The new congress statistics for Berlin were also presented at the "Bestival". According to the statistics, the business for conferences, meetings, congresses and corporate events in the capital has recovered significantly in the year 2022. The industry's reboot after Corona has been proactively supported by the Berlin Senate's Restart Programme since 2022. In addition to the "Bestival", the programme also features the Berlin Congress Fund, designed to provide the city with financial support for event organisers. The "Task Force MICE Berlin" is based at visitBerlin and plays an active role in acquiring new congresses and events for Berlin.

Franziska Giffey, Senator for Economic Affairs, Energy and Public Enterprises: "Berlin has made its comeback! We welcome guests from all over the world. We see a very positive development for the congress and event industry in our city. Spanning the digital economy to mobility, medicine to cutting-edge research: more congresses and events translate into more overnight stays in Berlin's hotels, more bookings in our restaurants and more expenditure incurred here, all of which ultimately benefits Berlin as a whole. We as a state continue to support this with our Berlin Congress Fund, like here with Bestival, which is geared towards the event industry in particular."

"Berlin is 'back on track' in the congress business, which is so crucial for the city," says Burkhard Kieker, CEO of visitBerlin. "The demand for business events is running high. Our joint Restart programme with the Berlin Senate has made an important contribution to this." 

Congress statistics for the year 2022: Berlin's event industry picks up speed

Berlin's congress business saw a further recovery from the effects of the Corona pandemic last year. In the year 2022, around 5.9 million participants travelled to Berlin for events. This is an increase of 84 per cent compared to 2021 (3.21 million participants), but still 37 per cent below the level of 2019 (9.38 million participants).

The number of on-site events in Berlin has seen a positive development: Last year, 64,813 in-person events were held. This is more than triple the number in 2021 (+205 per cent compared to 2021, 21,222 events) and almost matches the pre-crisis level of 2019 (-3 per cent compared to 2019, 66,850 events).

Events and their guests brought approximately 1.31 billion euros to the city in 2022. (2019: 2.0 billion euros). This results in a gross value added of approx. 720.4 million euros (2019: 937 million euros). The most important market for Berlin remains Germany, the most important international markets on the other hand are Great Britain and the USA. The "IT and Digital Economy", "Politics and Public Institutions" and "Transport, Mobility and Logistics" sectors are some of the major industries that gathered in Berlin.

"Bestival" programme: More than 50 speakers and live acts

The international business event will take place in the industrial landmark "Magazin in der Heeresbäckerei" on the Spree and at Sage Beach on the Spree. The topics of the panels and talks on Thursday include "Berlin Sustainable", "Berlin Lifestyle", "Berlin Culture", "Berlin Community" and "Berlin Innovation".

"All of Berlin" is the motto of the second day of the festival on 7 July. Participants can then explore the capital's wide range of offerings on discovery tours, site inspections and partner events. There will be networking opportunities waiting to be explored in the evening at the "Long Night of Hotels".

Sustainability in view: Full CO2 compensation

visitBerlin places a great deal of importance on sustainable action. The organisation of the "Bestival" follows the criteria of the "Sustainable Meetings Berlin" initiative of the Berlin Convention Office of visitBerlin as well as the ISO standard 20121 for sustainable event management. The complete CO2 compensation is carried out by the certified provider "Atmosfair" in accordance with the Gold Standard. All service providers - including companies in their supply chain - have committed themselves to working ecologically. They also measure and document the emissions they produce. The goal is to make the "Bestival" climate-neutral in the long term. An important step towards this goal has already been taken: The industry meeting will be certified according to ISO standard 20121 this year. The first part of the audit has already been successfully completed as part of the preparations. The second part of the audit will take place directly at the venue.

The Bestival is organised by visitBerlin together with the industry associations visitBerlin Partnerhotels, BEN Berlin Event Network and INTOURA . More than 160 Berlin companies from the industry participate in the business event. With a reach of more than 3 million business contacts, the "Bestival 2022" was one of the world's largest showcase events organised by a single city.

For more information on Bestival, please visit convention.visitBerlin.de/bestival.

Find out more on Instagram instagram.com/bestivalberlin/ and on LinkedIn @visitBerlin-berlin-convention-office or @visitBerlin.