Matthias Schultze has been the Managing Director of the GCB German Convention Bureau since May 1st 2010. The German Convention Bureau markets Germany as a destination for conventions, meetings, events and incentives both on a national and international level, and is the place to contact for all customers who are planning events in Germany.
Matthias Schultze completed his hotel training at Brenner’s Park Hotel in Baden-Baden. After that he worked for Hotel Le Bristol in Paris and Bayerischer Hof in Munich and studied business management at Heidelberg Hotel Management School.
From 2003 to 2006 he directed the International Congress Centre Bundeshaus Bonn (today: World Conference Centre Bonn). Since 2007 Matthias Schultze has been an executive board member of the company that operates World Conference Center Bonn – the convention centre incorporating the former German parliament buildings in Bonn. Until mid-April 2010 Matthias Schultze was the Vice President of the European Association of Event Centres (EVVC), and for several years he was a member of the GCB’s marketing committee.
Germany maintains its No. 1 position by staying on the cutting edge of changes in the industry even in times of economic crisis including pricing, marketing, new technologies and “green meetings.”
Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time. When it comes to finding effective strategies to address this challenge, Germany keeps setting important precedents: as a stimulator for political processes but also as a host for meetings and conventions with a world-wide impact. Germany has excellent chances to establish itself as one of the leading locations for sustainable events world-wide.
As part of the responsibility for a greener meetings and conventions industry, the GCB German Convention Bureau is actively involved in a new International Organization for Standardization (ISO) project. The introduction of the new ISO standard 20121 for sustainable event management is to be completed by the time the 2012 Olympic Games kick off in London.
Around 30 states support the standard creating ISO/PC 250 Committee actively or as observers. The integration of numerous interest groups ensures that the standard will offer an internationally recognised framework for staging green events, under which planners, buyers and suppliers can realise sustainable processes and offers in the future. The ISO standard 20121 will monitor venue management, supplier selection, communication and transport from the sustainability aspect and will apply to all types of events – be it exhibitions, sports contests or concerts.
As the association of German meeting and convention providers, the GCB German Convention Bureau attaches great importance to this issue. The GCB represent the interests of some 230 members in the German Sustainable Event Management Standards Committee.
Among the GCB members, there are many companies which are pioneers and which set a good example for “green meetings”. The website www.germany-meetings.com has a separate ‘Green Meetings’ area offering comprehensive advice on sustainable event planning – including a CO2 Calculator.
Being involved in developing the new ISO standard is just one of several initiatives that help the GCB to position itself as a “green meetings” pioneer. The GCB organized a Green Meetings & Events Conference in cooperation with the European Association of Event Centres (EVVC) on 1st and 2nd March 2011 at the Congress Centrum Mainz (CCM).
“Green Meetings” are not just an effective tool against climate change but also a serious competition factor. In order to raise awareness in the meeting, convention and event industry and recommend best practices the German Convention Bureau (GCB), European Association of Event Centres (EVVC) and the Association of German Event Organisers (VDVO) have agreed to co-operate with Green Globe Certification (GGC). All GCB, EVVC and VDVO members will benefit from the agreement and enjoy price benefits thanks to reduced auditor fees.
The agreement centres on the internationally renowned Green Globe Certification Standard, which evaluates the ecological, social and economic development of businesses according to scientifically approved 41 criteria and 337 indicators. Criteria specifically related to events businesses are extracted from the Green Globe Standard. To receive the Green Globe certificate meeting, convention and event organisers must meet at least 51 per cent of these criteria and have the result confirmed by an independent auditor.
Under the new agreement GCB, EVVC and VDVO want to offer their members the certification system as part of a comprehensive sustainability strategy. In return, Green Globe Certification will offer help and advice – for example by recommending sustainable practices, offering training for the correct recording of key indicators and effective communication of Sustainability achievements.
The GCB started thinking about the topic of sustainability and ecologically responsible behaviour in the event industry at an early stage. There is no comprehensive sustainability standard for our industry so far; hence specific add-on criteria need to be developed and resulting best practice structures certified. This co-operation is another major step towards the goal of promoting sustainable management in the event industry. We expect Green Globe Certification to provide a valuable contribution to advancing the concept of green meetings & events and dedicated support for our members, so that they can effectively realise the future potential of sustainability.