Shaping Cologne’s meeting industry for 40 years: Anniversary of KölnKongress Chief Executive Bernhard Conin

  • Bernhard Conin is involved in Cologne’s meeting industry for 40 years. © KölnKongress GmbH
    Bernhard Conin is involved in Cologne’s meeting industry for 40 years. © KölnKongress GmbH

24,4 million guests attending 64.000 events - even for the proverbial convivial Rhinelanders, this is a number that they can be proud of. 15 August 2018, Bernhard Conin reached another personal landmark: We congratulate to his 40th anniversary!

the 24-year-old came to the congress department of Koelnmesse with its two members of staff as a brand new "acolyte". In 1994, he took over the management of the newly founded KölnKongress GmbH, which continued to manage the Congress Centers Koelnmesse. 1 September 2016, Bernhard Conin also became Managing Director of the newly founded KölnKongress Gastronomie GmbH, which took over the catering management of the Gürzenich in April 2017.

Under his leadership KölnKongress took over the Gürzenich in 1997, which re-opened after extensive renovation and re-construction works. The Tanzbrunnen followed in 1998 and the Flora in 2006. For the latter Bernhard Conin co-shared the responsibility for the remodeling and refurbishment. The re-opening of the Flora  was celebrated on its 150th anniversary in 2014.

Highlights of Conin's career were the World Economic Summit in 1999 and the almost simultaneous meeting of the European Council, also the XX. World Youth Day 2005 with the visit of Pope Benedikt XVI: 360,000 youthful pilgrims visited the Congress Centres, the Gürzenich and the exhibition and Tanzbrunnen grounds during World Youth Week.

Anyone who markets Cologne's event locations with so much passion, will always be an ambassador for his city, and who could do so better as "ne kölsche Jung" (native of Cologne) and from the bottom of his heart: Bernhard Conin is Business Ambassador  of the City of Cologne, a member of the IHK (Chamber of Commerce and Industry) General Assembly and Chairman of the IHK Committee for Gastronomy, Tourism and Leisure, as well as being a member of the Advisory Board of KölnTourismus. In addition, he is involved as chairman of the "Association of Friends and Supporters of Cologne's Traditions", as Chairman of the " Illuminated  Rhine Panorama Club " and, among other things, he is a member of the Advisory Board of the "Förderverein der Freunde der Kölner Hänneschen-Theater e.V." and is a member of various social and cultural associations.