Before the first note sounds again

Following the near completion of the successful renovation work lasting almost 18 months and costing around 30 million euro, the staff are all ready for scientific conferences, shareholders' meetings or stirring guitar solos. But in the meantime, the team of the Liederhalle in Stuttgart are meeting an important social challenge of quite a different nature.

Ready. There's currently a lot of activity at the refurbished Liederhalle Culture and Congress Centre. Some 3,000 people come here daily to be vaccinated against Covid 19. They leave the event venue in the heart of Baden-Württemberg's capital feeling happy. Regular guests will certainly have been struck by the changes in the congress area of the Liederhalle with its range of meeting rooms.

With great attention to detail, the concert and congress venue has been renovated at a cost of approximately 30 million euro. These measures were necessary owing to fire prevention regulations. The architect Eberhard Becker, from the architectural bureau asp-Architekten in Stuttgart, was happy to take on the job: "We have integrated and enhanced the Liederhalle's technical, structural and design features." In practical terms this includes the modernisation of the fire protection, building control and network systems and the stage and event technology, as well as the redecoration of the interior.

There are now 4,500 LED lights over the visitors' heads, and the ceilings of the foyer are painted dark blue. Exhibitors and congress and conference delegates alike will profit from the stylish but restful, unpretentious ambience. "The new design concept has created a completely different atmosphere. It focuses on the essentials, namely human encounters, ranging from networking during coffee breaks to visiting a trade fair stand," says an enthusiastic Katharina Bitterle of the Stuttgart Convention Bureau after her visit.

"We are already looking forward to presenting the 'new' Congress Centre to our customers, says Norbert Hartmann, Director of the Liederhalle Culture and Congress Centre for the last 16 years. The location now offers event planners a great many practical innovations, including additional rooms that can be divided off by means of flexible partitions to use as work areas, an artists' cloakroom, break room, storage etc. These now comprise the extended backstage area of the Hegel Hall.

"The entire congress area has been occupied from mid December 2020 until probably 31st July by the main vaccination centre of the Klinikum Stuttgart," says Ellen Schmid from the Liederhalle marketing team. "For us, this is an 'event with a difference', but as can be seen from the feedback that we're getting from the vaccination patients, everyone is very happy with the way things are organised here. We're delighted about this, and it proves just how flexible we are as an event location. And it's being put to good use!".

As unusual as the situation may be for Norbert Hartmann's team, everything is already geared to the relaunch. Mathias Uteg recently took over as Deputy Project Manager from Petra Moda de Aguiar, who is on maternity leave. In the autumn the team will have additional support from a new trainee.

And nearly even more important in 2021: Provision has also been made for practical, virtual space, with hybrid, corona-compliant events already welcome. Since modernisation work started in July 2019, some 140 km of new cables have been laid. They power the building management system and the stage and event technology, creating the network that will provide the necessary scope for any event format.

"At the Liederhalle Culture and Congress Centre, we now have all the prerequisites for comprehensive data processing and safe data management. This makes our location ready to face the future," affirms Martin Rau, Managing Director of the in.Stuttgart Veranstaltungsgesellschaft. He sees the upgrading as "an investment in the future, with a great many sustainable solutions that are also of relevance for the cost-effective running of our business."

The future has already begun: The staff of the Liederhalle were well aware of this even before the vaccination centre moved in. "After the pandemic is over, the congress and conference section will no longer be the same as it was. We will have to adapt to staging more digital and/or hybrid events," Norbert Hartmann predicts. He is quite sure that "We will definitely have to provide more comprehensive advice for our customers and offer them every possible kind of event format. An exciting and appealing task."

The event expert Hartmann plans "to be able to reopen the entire location for events most probably in the autumn/winter of 2021, following the end of the vaccination campaign and completion of the few jobs that still remain to be done.

All those wishing to take advantage of the accumulated expertise of the Liederhalle team for their next digital or hybrid event will find suitable offers on the newly designed website: Your online conference as a hybrid event in the Liederhalle, or as a short information film on YouTube.

Those wishing to view the newly renovated Liederhalle now can enjoy a virtual tour from the comfort of their own home

Norbert Hartmann and his team are looking forward to the event location being able to operate to full capacity once more. Speaking on behalf of their colleagues, Martin Rau and Ellen Schmid are unanimously "optimistic that we will survive this crisis and that our venue can soon be filled with really great events."

The concert halls are internationally renowned for their almost perfect acoustics, attracting many classical and contemporary performers each year. For their events, congress planners from all over the world appreciate the authenticity and quality of the ambience, the services provided, and the positive feedback received from their delegates at the Liederhalle Stuttgart.

Norbert Hartmann, © Kultur- und Kongresszentrum Liederhalle

In­ter­view with Norbert Hart­mann

"We expect a positive result for 2022"