Introducing the training platform "micelab:bodensee"

Three-stage training programme for the events industry to be launched in autumn

Bregenz/Berlin, 6 June 2016 – The networks Bodensee Meeting and der kongress tanzt have been carrying out research into innovative congress formats for past three years. Now the conference and events industry in German-speaking countries will be able to benefit from the results that have come out of the richly stocked creative pool – in the form of the training platform "micelab:bodensee" to be launched in October. The platform consists of three levels: the research module Explorer and two further training modules Experts and Experience which are aimed at congress centre personnel. A different overall theme will be chosen every year.

Introducing the training platform "micelab:bodensee"
© micelab:bodensee/Wolfgang Schneble

Conferences and events should be enjoyable and full of life; they should offer a creative environment for joyful learning and lively interaction. The members of the Bodensee Meeting network have been discussing how to achieve this aim since 2013 – in the "mice lab" together with experts from the events industry and other disciplines like architecture, theatre, sociology and communication. The project is supported by the network der kongress tanzt, founded by the event dramaturge Tina Gadow and writer Michael Gleich.


The results from the "mice lab" have enabled the project initiators to develop the first training platform for event organisers in German-speaking countries: "micelab:bodensee". The training platform comprises three modules with different focuses. In the Explorer module the focus is on research, while the modules Experts and Experience are aimed at the personnel of events centres, events agencies and cultural institutions. The EU-funded Interreg V-Project starts at the beginning of October.


"The Lake Constance area has developed in recent years into a centre of innovation in the conference and events industry. With micelab:bodensee we want to play a pioneering role in further training as well. In the end, research and training are beneficial for everyone involved – the organisers, the event personnel and the participants," says spokesman for the network Bodensee Meeting and managing director of Kongresskultur Bregenz, Gerhard Stübe.

© micelab:bodensee/Wolfgang Schneble

The approach is what counts

micelab:bodensee participants will explore a different theme every year. "And that won't concern the basic set-up like the selection of rooms or the menu, but it will focus on how to go about designing an event. The emotional connection, the meta level, is what counts," curator Tina Gadow explains. The topic of the first year is Fear and Trust – How Feelings Are Integrated. "We will explore how fear interferes, makes us do something differently or not do it at all, and what effect trust has. We'll challenge the assumptions implicit in the phrase stick to the facts," Gadow adds.


The Explorer module will function as an idea generator and will be organised once yearly, with the inaugural session at the start of October. In a three-day research session, five experts from event centres and five more from other disciplines will take part. "Each time we bring different researchers on board. They generate input on the principal topic, and that input will then be tested in other micelab modules to see how feasible it is. Explorer is our knowledge generator – our research and development department," explains Tina Gadow.

© micelab:bodensee/Wolfgang Schneble

Everybody is an expert

The Experts module has been conceived for convention and exhibition centre personnel. It will be held for the first time in late November and semi-annually after that – in Bregenz. It's a three-day training course during which the thirty participants stage a complete congress, both designing and experiencing the congress programme. Only the framework is predefined; the various workshops are devised by the participants themselves, who discuss them afterwards in feedback sessions. Everybody, the technicians, the caterers, the event managers are all meant to be involved in the process, since "everybody is an expert in his or her own field and is important if the congress is to be successful", as Gerhard Stübe says.


The participants are then supposed to apply what they have learnt once they are back at their own place of work. For instance, they can share their new know-how in internal workshops. "Our team members are the multipliers, the engines that drive the businesses from within," says Reinhold Maier, project partner from Singen town hall. The Experts module will be open to members of the network Bodensee Meeting at its first session, and after that open to all who work in the conference and events sector.

© micelab:bodensee/Wolfgang Schneble

Formats full of life

The third level is micelab:bodensee Experience – a big congress on the subject of congresses. A playground where experience is shared, expertise tried out, and quintessences presented. The congress is open to the entire conference and events sector. The first module is expected to take place in January 2018.


"micelab:bodensee is intended to increase people's awareness of good events and to instil an appropriate attitude. Events are creative pools, formats that are full of life and reflect the zeitgeist. If we internalise this spirit, we'll stay mobile and won't fall into the trap of routine," says the curator, speaking from experience.


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The network Bodensee Meeting

Bodensee Meeting, initiator of mice lab, is a cross-border network of 13 representatives of the conference and events industry, tourism and business. For more than twenty years the network has been committed to developing the MICE sector in the Lake Constance region. Over one thousand congresses and events lasting several days are held around Lake Constance each year. The project mice lab, which conducts research into the congress of the future, has made the region into a centre of innovation for the industry. The research results are then put into practice in the training platform micelab:bodensee.


The network's members come from Austria, Germany, Liechtenstein and Switzerland:

  • Insel Mainau
  • Graf-Zeppelin-Haus Friedrichshafen
  • Lindau Tourismus und Kongresse
  • Meersburg Tourismus
  • Milchwerk Radolfzell
  • Singen Congress
  • Bodenseeforum Konstanz
  • Convention Partner Vorarlberg
  • Kongresskultur Bregenz GmbH
  • Säntis-Schwebebahn
  • Gallen-Bodensee Convention
  • Würth Haus Rorschach
  • SAL – Saal am Lindenplatz Schaan


The network der kongress tanzt

Based in Berlin, der kongress tanzt ("the congress dances") is a network consisting of ten experts from different professions: design, play area design, event management, event hosting, journalism, coaching, vitality research. It was founded by the event dramaturge Tina Gadow. The network advocates a new and revitalised congress culture that facilitates genuine communication, human interaction and joyful learning.


der kongress tanzt develops custom-made concepts for events and applies them in practice professionally, holistically and with an eye for detail. This creates environments in which people can develop their potential. Enthusiasm is the outcome when "the congress dances".


Photos: © micelab:bodensee/Wolfgang Schneble

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