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Trade Fair for the Games Industry to Move to Cologne From 2009

The decision on the new location of the leading trade fair in the interactive entertainment industry has been made. As of 2009, the new central sector platform GAMESCom will be held at the Cologne exhibition center. This was announced by Olaf Wolters, Executive Director of the Federal Association of Interactive Entertainment Software (BIU), and Oliver P. Kuhrt, Executive Vice President of Koelnmesse GmbH, today at a press conference in Berlin. "We are hugely looking forward to staging the leading trade fair in the games industry at the Cologne exhibition center in future. It is our objective to establish the sector platform in cooperation with the BIU as a top European event", explained Kuhrt. GAMESCom will take place for the first time at the Koelnmesse's exhibition center from September 9 to 13, 2009, and subsequently on an annual basis.

The Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Koelnmesse and Mayor of the City of Cologne, Fritz Schramma, who lobbied intensively for the move to Cologne in cooperation with the media administrative department, was also extremely happy at the decision of the Federal Association of Interactive Entertainment Software: "Of course, we are delighted at the association's decision and will support Koelnmesse in the realization of GAMESCom. Cologne is a hotbed of media, culture and events, and is therefore ideal for promoting growth.

This also applies to the games industry." In addition to Koelnmesse's overall concept for GAMESCom, four factors which convinced the BIU played an important role the exhibition center, including its infrastructure and catchment area; the international scope and global sales network of Koelnmesse; Koelnmesse's experience with major events; the integration of GAMESCom into the media and event city of Cologne.

With an area of 284, 000 square meters, Koelnmesse is the world's fourth-largest exhibition center. It is in the immediate vicinity of the city center and is directly accessible via international transportation networks. 135 destinations in around 40 countries can be reached from Cologne-Bonn Airport. The ICE high-speed train connections to the airports in Amsterdam, Düsseldorf and Frankfurt will provide additional routes for visitors to GAMESCom. With over a million inhabitants, Cologne is located at the center of Europe and is part of a highly-populated, strong economic catchment area including the Ruhr region, cities along the Rhine and the Benelux countries. There are around 80,000 beds available in the city and immediate surrounding area.

In order to develop GAMESCom on an international level, Koelnmesse can also call upon a global sales network, comprising eleven subsidiaries as well as foreign representatives in over 80 countries.

Koelnmesse considers itself well-prepared to realize the individual wishes and requirements of a leading European trade fair in the interactive software, games and computer sector. In addition to organizing major trade fairs open to the public such as imm cologne and INTERMOT, Koelnmesse also has topic-specific expertise in IT, media and games events. For example, the final of the World Cyber Games will take place at the Koelnmesse exhibition grounds at the start of November 2008.

Integration into the city of Cologne and the surrounding region was a key factor in the overall GAMESCom concept for the BIU. The 2006 FIFA World Cup or World Youth Day have proven that Koelnmesse and the city of Cologne know how to organize major events. Diverse locations, from the modern Congress Center, beach clubs and sporting venues to unusual event sites such as Cologne Zoo are available for GAMESCom's comprehensive supporting program. In addition, as the home of nine TV stations and ten radio stations, including RTL and WDR, as well as many providers of media-related services, Cologne is also ideally positioned to draw huge public attention to GAMESCom.



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