30 years of Koelncongress - 30 years of expertise and success in the event business

23. January 2024 | Press releases

On January 21st, Koelncongress GmbH turned 30 and looks back on a multifaceted and successful company history. Founded in 1994 as KölnKongress Betriebs- und Service GmbH, its origins lie in the former congress department of Koelnmesse. The City of Cologne and Koelnmesse were its shareholders. Since 2020, the new Koelncongress GmbH has been operating in Cologne as a wholly owned subsidiary of Koelnmesse GmbH.

Over the past 30 years, around 23,9 million guests have come to Cologne for a total of 70,900 events. These range from seminars, congresses and guest trade fairs to corporate, cultural and social events. Today, Koelncongress is among the leading event service providers in Germany.

Over the years, what was once solely an operating company has become a full-service partner with a compelling concept. 55 permanent Koelncongress employees with the experience and know-how of 30 years of business activity enable customised solutions from a single source for every event on site.

In January 2020, KölnKongress GmbH merged with Koelnmesse Ausstellungen GmbH to form the new Koelncongress GmbH, which is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Koelnmesse. Since then, Koelncongress GmbH has not only managed congresses, seminars and events, but also Koelnmesse's guest trade fair business.

Koelncongress has an extensive portfolio of top-notch locations in Cologne's city centre, which will also include Koelnmesse's new Confex conference and exhibition centre starting in July 2024. It is already attracting great interest among event planners, with several bookings and numerous concrete inquiries through the end of 2029, including many organisers who will be hosting an event in Cologne for the first time.

Under the leadership of Bernhard Conin, the Managing Director from the very beginning, the location portfolio of Koelncongress GmbH has steadily grown to include extraordinary, sometimes historic locations in the heart of Cologne. Two locations were among them right from the start: the Koelnmesse Congress Center and the historic Gürzenich Köln, which was completely renovated from 1996 to 1997 and transformed into a modern event space, while largely preserving and conserving the landmark's structure. As early as 1998, Koelncongress began managing the Tanzbrunnen Köln with its theatre and open-air space, and the Rheinterrassen, which includes a beer garden as well as a magnificent view of the Rhine and the old town of Cologne. The km 689 Cologne Beach Club on the Tanzbrunnen grounds has been attracting many summer visitors since 2004. The Flora Köln, a landmarked historic building located within the Botanical Garden, was added in 2006. Following complete refurbishment in keeping with the building's historic design, the Flora was reopened in summer 2014, just in time for the 20th anniversary of KölnKongress GmbH. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the opening of the magnificent "Palais im Park"!

In September 2016, KölnKongress and Koelnmesse founded KölnKongress Gastronomie GmbH as a further mainstay. The newly formed company took on the catering operations of the Gürzenich Köln the following year and the Tanzbrunnen with all its associated locations in 2018.

The new Managing Director Ralf Nüsser has been at the helm of Koelncongress GmbH since November 2022. He has had a competent partner at his side since April 2023 in Mandy-Pahl Bauerfeind as authorised signatory and member of the management board.
"Together we will continue the company's sustainable growth course and push ahead with the future-oriented marketing of our properties, particularly Confex," explains Ralf Nüsser. Mandy Pahl-Bauerfeind adds, "with Confex, Cologne is closing a long-standing gap in the market; we can finally bring over 6,000 congress guests together in one place and thus attract new target groups to Cologne."

"This is a special anniversary year," says Gerald Böse, CEO of Koelnmesse GmbH, "we are celebrating the 100th anniversary of Koelnmesse, and Koelncongress has already been in existence for 30 successful years. I would like to extend my heartfelt congratulations to Koelncongress for this. I am delighted with the outstanding performance of its employees, who have established the company as a competent event partner in Cologne within both the German and the international event sector! I would like to thank everyone for this achievement and the excellent teamwork!"

For further information about Koelncongress, visit koelncongress.de
Please don't hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have.
Koelncongress GmbH
Franca Wenzl
Head of Marketing & Communication
Phone: +49 (0)221 821 2122