World’s Airlines Land in Hamburg for 138th IATA Slot Conference

Local aviation expertise & venue connectivity create turbulence-free working meeting.

Destination Partners

Hamburg Airport
Hamburg Convention Bureau
Congress Center Hamburg (CCH)
The Hamburg Aviation Cluster


Independent meeting planner, Renee Jacobs, Chief Operating Officer & Partner of WorldTEK Events

Meeting Size and Name

1,122 participants
138th IATA Slots Conference 2016

Destination highlights

Industry expertise
Technology-savvy venues
Travel convenience and ease

The Why – Executive Summary

Nearly 3 billion airline passengers travel the globe each year. Behind all these take offs and landings is the need for leading airlines to meet every June and November to obtain airport slots* that will give them the best possible schedule to offer their customers. The place to do that is at the IATA Slots Conferences planned by WorldTEK Events and hosted by IATA, the International Air Transport Association.

*An airport slot (or ‘slot’) is a permission given by a coordinator for a planned operation to use the full range of airport infrastructure necessary to arrive or depart at a Level 3 airport on a specific date and time.

World Leading Association Chooses Hamburg

IATA is one of the world’s largest aviation associations whose members represent 265 airlines (that carry 83% of the world’s air traffic for passengers & cargo) from 117 countries.

One of three RFP finalists – and with a bid driven by a close collaboration between the Hamburg Convention Bureau, the Hamburg Airport, the Congress Center Hamburg (CCH) and the Hamburg Aviation Cluster, the vibrant northern German city proved to be a match made in flight heaven for the 138th IATA Slots Conference in June 2016.

Hamburg = Aviation

As the world’s 3rd largest civil aviation location and covering every phase of the aviation lifecycle from design and build through “scrap” – Hamburg is home to 40,000 aviation professionals; 300 aerospace suppliers; 3 huge airline companies in Lufthansa Technik, Airbus and Hamburg Airport ; and 4 major Universities with aviation degrees. Additionally, Hamburg had a strong track record of being a destination for other leading, global aviation events like The Green Mobility, the Hamburg Aviation Conference, the Aircraft Interiors Expo together with the Crystal Cabin Award and the and EEAS (Energy Efficient Aviation Solutions) conferences.

The Where, Who and How – Meeting Details

Speed Dating Format with Mega Connectivity Required

The IATA Slots Conference is a true working meeting where 1,122 airline professionals, representing 222 Airlines, 72 coordination companies and 75 exhibitors and sponsors, essentially “speed date” in 15 minute increments over the course of three days. The CCH provided the world-class space for this core activity and even more critically offered the powerful Wi-Fi connectivity and infrastructure needed to handle the reams of data that would be created and uploaded real-time during the meetings. The CCH was also a great place to host the welcome reception, the exhibition portion of the program which featured 75 exhibitors, and a “Booth Pub Crawl” event where all of the major German airports including: Berlin, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart welcomed delegates to network and enjoy local beers, local cuisine and televised soccer matches.

Exclusive, Industry Rich Experiences

Adding exclusive aviation flair to the program in Hamburg, Lufthansa Technik rolled out the red carpet for a special dinner event at their overhaul hanger where Boeing 747s and an Airbus A300 can be maintained simultaneously, and Airbus offered private, guided factory tours –both of which were some of the delegates’ big favorites. Local city tours hosted by the Hamburg Convention Bureau also delighted.

In addition, smaller stakeholder meetings were held in Hamburg at CCH and RadissonBlu leading up to and following the main program line-up. Given the walking-friendly nature of Hamburg attendees could enjoy many local attractions by foot like HafenCity, Lake Alster, and the famed Reeperbahn/St. Pauli from their centrally located hotels. These included the Raddison Blu Hotel Hamburg attached to the CCH, the Grand Elysee Hotel Hamburg, and the Mövenpick Hotel Hamburg.

Test Driving Meetings in Hamburg

Further, by the time IATA Slots was held in June 2016, IATA and WorldTek had already had the opportunity to hold a meeting in Hamburg at the CCH just a little over six months prior – hosting the World Passenger Symposium in 2015. At this event 750 aviation pros came together in Hamburg from around the world to learn and exchange ideas on key passenger topics like security, cabin bag policies, revenue strategies and more.

The Wow – The Results & Destination Difference

Leadership Attendance

Given the richness of the local aviation culture and program, and the interest and convenience in traveling to Hamburg, the 138th IATA Slot Conference was the best attended conference at a European destination in the years-long series with 1,122 participants, closely followed by Prague 1,064 in 2014. It also drew a truly global audience bringing 22% of delegates from Asia Pacific, 11% North Asia, 12% the Americas, 9% Middle East and Africa, with the remaining 46% of delegates from Europe. “Our conference and program in Hamburg got rave reviews,” said independent meeting planner and expert, Renee Jacobs, Chief Operating Officer & Partner of WorldTEK Events. “Attendees loved the Airbus Tour, the amazing Lufthansa Technik hanger dinner which was really a treat, and the highly personal city tours.”

Excellent Client Service From Take off to Landing

Renee added, “We needed four key destination criteria to be met to win this meeting – an aviation history, strong Wi-Fi connectivity, security & safety and travel convenience. Hamburg excelled at all. But the Hamburg partners working with us – the Hamburg Convention Bureau , Hamburg Airport , CCH, the Aviation Cluster and – also went a step beyond, truly partnering with us from beginning to end. Sometimes a destination goes all out to win your business but then steps away once it is in the bag. Not the case with Hamburg. The Hamburg Convention Bureau, for example, really helped us connect deeper with the local industry experts and suppliers and became a true extension of my team. They were also a very visible and involved part of the event team on site with executives and delegates actually getting to meet and know them. I’ve been in the meetings industry for 21 years and you just don’t see that level of personal touch and service happen all the time.”

In Cooperation with the German Convention Bureau e.V. |Photos: M. Penner