Page 1


ISS GOING OI EEUROPE EUROPEAN EURO EUR ROPE R OPEAN PEAN EAN EA 01|01|2010 01|01|201 0 11|01|2010 01|2010 |2 201 01110 0





Your event in the capital of Europe

The Brussels Convention Bureau check our request for proposal

Š Jean-Paul Remy


© Andreas Von Einsiedel

How small is Belgium and how big is Europe? EDITORIAL

MARCEL A.M. VISSERS Owner - Editor in chief

More and more I'm starting up conversations about 'being European'. It's a damn hard subject, but still the word is used a thousand times a day as if it's the most natural thing in the world. Imagine that we would stick the label 'European' on MIM magazine - which will happen what would change then? A bit of a loss of identity? Stop being Belgian? The president of the European Commission made a particular remark on 'identity': 'It's a dangerous word because it's often opposed to the identity of others. That's why we also strive for several identities within the EU and combine them with culture, because culture comes before economy on my list of values.' Barroso is a European idealist and so am I. In politic circles most people say: 'Being European equals equality, freedom, democracy and pursuit of unity.' Not a single word has been mentioned then about the christianhumanistic origin of Europe. And during the discussion about Turkey's entry and about 'what means being not-European' all stops were pulled out. I'll spare you the list.


When I'm talking about the European Meetings Industry - a fairly unknown territory - I tend to add a few concepts to the definition of being European. A European should speak at least three languages: his mother tongue, an international language and any other European language as desired. In my situation that would mean Dutch, English and French, but for a Slovene or a Pole it'll probably

be another story. A European should also know the map of Europe, explore other cultures and show a lot of interest in the European elections. He should take a look over the walls of his own country. That's already a - I'm using 'damn' for the second time hard challenge. That's why MIM magazine is starting to work on the exploration of Europe as a meeting and incentive destination with an optimistic feel. We're trying to forget our little home country of Belgium a bit or at least put it into perspective, although we can say that Belgium is a topnotch meeting country. It's well-organised and it has a well-trained army of professionals at its disposal. How well advanced are the other European countries? There's 27 of them at the moment. Our editorial staff has done quite some research on the subject, so I'm looking forward to reading the results from page 18 onwards. Marcel A.M. Vissers

When I'm talking about the European Meetings Industry I tend to add a few concepts to the definition of being European

MIM > Trees for life

Meetings Forest exists!

3. newly planted area

MIM magazine has bought a Grove with Trees for Life, an organisation that devotes itself to the restoration of the Old Caledonian Forest in Scotland. The Grove was inaugurated early September and was given the name 'Meetings Forest'. How many trees will be planted there on behalf of the worldwide meetings industry? TEXT MARCEL A.M. VISSERS

New oxygen for the meetings industry The meetings Industry is a big consumer of transport, food and paper and on top of that publishers are remarkable for using trees to print their magazines. In recent years the meetings industry was on the receiving end of severe complaints because we were allegedly overspending. That's not really socially responsible and thus bad for the image. That can't and shouldn't happen because the meetings industry is almost entirely aimed at bringing people together to realize the world's objectives. An honorable goal, one might say. This simple thought was at the basis of our initiative to start a Meetings Forest, a forest that might count 10,000 or 100,000 trees in a few years and where people can hold meetings in the tree tops, in a large tree hut... as if it's a dream.

Trees for Life Since the founding in 1989, Trees for Life has planted more than 800.000 trees,

2. Marking the fence line


and has worked to restore 458 hectares of land. I've asked Jane Beaton of Trees for Life how the Meetings Forest might look like, and this is what she answered: 'Your grove has just been planted and, not only can you visit it, you can come and help to plant some of the trees if you wish! There is no limit on the number of trees that we can plant in a grove, but if you have a rough idea of the number that you are likely to raise funds for each year (at £5 per tree) then we can mark out a specific planting area that will be added to in autumn and spring each year. 'It is no problem to name the grove 'Meetings Forest' and I can show you some images of tree planting work and the Caledonian Forest. The pictures show the different stages that your grove will achieve. Picture 1 and 2 are of the actual site where your grove is planted. Picture 3 shows an area that has just been planted – you can see the small trees newly planted in the area just beyond the fence. Picture

4. Dundreggan mature woodland

4 shows what will be achieved and sustained for generations to come thanks to your donations.' MIM magazine now owns the Grove as you see it on the picture and has started planting 10 trees. I hope that between now and Spring next year a lot more will be added. Just take a look at our special website and contact us to donate a tree to someone who did something 'green' or 'sustainable' in our industry in any possible way, or even better, come and plant trees together with us.

HOW TO PLANT A MEETINGS TREE write to visit meeting_media_company.html

1. Surveying area for planting


COLOPHON MIM magazine IS THE TREND-SETTING TRADE JOURNAL FOR THE MEETINGS INDUSTRY IN BELUX. MIM MAGAZINE IS NOW IN ENGLISH AND COMES OUT 6 TIMES A YEAR AND HAS A CIRCULATION OF 5000 COPIES, PUBLISHED BY MEETING MEDIA COMPANY BVBA/SARL. SUBSCRIPTIONS: An Annual subscription in Belgium costs 75 EURO (excl. 6% tax) and comprises 6 magazines. In order to subscribe, go to or send an e-mail to Editor in chief: Marcel A.M. Vissers T: +32 (0)3 226 88 81 Managing Director: Cécile Caiati-Koch T: +32 (0)2 761 70 52 MIM Director: Sophie Molle T: +32 (0)2 761 70 53

GENERAL Editorial Meetings Forest Short News

3 4 7

INTERVIEWS Cover Interview - EUMA


THE EUROPE ISSUE The Pioneers Professional Associations Europages

17 20 24

ABROAD Prince for a Day in The Hague Groningen The Swiss Meeting Trophy

29 30 32

Editorial Manager: Steven Kins T: +32 (0)2 761 70 54 Editor: Rémi Dévé Igor Hendrickx Address: 59, rue René Declercq B - 1150 Brussels (Belgium) T: +32 (0)2 761 70 50 F: +32 (0)2 761 70 51 Publisher: Meeting Media Company Marcel A.M. Vissers Mechelseplein 23, bus 1 B - 2000 Antwerpen (Belgium)

LUXEMBOURG SPECIAL Introduction Luxembourg City Moselle Kirchberg Countryside

Cover Photographer: Kristof Flamen - Upsilon Advertising

Design: UPSILON advertising, Gent T: +32 (0)9 267 39 40 Printing: Cartim - Destelbergen

MIM magazine sets great store by sustainable development and therefore chose environment-friendly FSC certified paper which comes from a controlled source. More info: and ® FSC, A.C. FSC-SECR-0045


36 39 43 45 47

Z a n z i b a r - Ta n z a n i a J u n e 2 3 T H , 2 0 0 8

MIM > General > Short News

Short news squash court, the possibility of living the thrills of Formula 1 through a simulator, and more... The ship is equipped with the most innovative technological systems to guarantee savings in energy and protection of the environment.

MSC Splendida

MSC Splendida, an Eco Ship After the launch of MSC Fantasia, MSC Cruises welcomes MSC Splendida, the largest passenger ship ever built for a European shipowner, futuristic, yet retaining its classic simplicity and elegance. MSC Cruises has laid out a 6-star service for highly-demanding guests who enjoy the pleasures of life with the MSC Yacht Club, a VIP area complete with 99 spacious suites and 24 hour butler service. For entertainment, on-board MSC Splendida there are 4 swimming pools, a

Business Events in Tasmania up 33% Tasmania(big).jpgThe latest Tasmanian Visitor Survey (TVS), covering the 08/09 financial year, shows that visitors to the state for business events have increased by 33% from the same time last year, bucking the national trend through the Global Financial Crisis. Business events consisting of conventions, exhibitions, conferences, seminars, corporate

meetings and incentive group travel, are a significant contributor to the Tasmanian economy and social capital.

The first French 5-star Sofitel in Biarritz After the 5-star hotels he had managed in Belgium, Bart Van Cauwelaert can proud himself on being the director of the first Sofitel in France with a 5-star rating. The authorities gave the rating on 23 September to the Sofitel Miramar in Biarritz with its 126 rooms.

Send your press releases to


Do you organise a titillating, original and creative teambuilding event or convention in Ostend in the course of 2009? If so, you can put yourself in the running for the Boost Award: Best of Ostend Teambuilding, Corporate & Public Event and Convention 2009.

APPEAL TO PCO’S, TEAMBUILDING ORGANISERS AND EVENT AGENCIES. You did not submit your case in 2008? Try your luck for the Boost Award 2009!

For entry and competition regulations: Boost Award Secretariat (Toerisme Oostende vzw) Monacoplein 2 / 8400 Oostende / T +32(0)59 255 317 /


MIM > General > Short News

Lindner Hotel & City Lounge in Antwerp

Fairy tale meetings in the southern part of Holland

The Golden Tulip Antwerp Centre Hotel behind the Central Station will be known as the Lindner Hotel & City Lounge from now on. Lindner Hotels & Resorts is a German, family-run hotel group with 33 city and resort hotels in the 4- and 5-star segment. The group is planning a few ambitious new projects, for example in Brussels and Amsterdam. Lindner Hotels & Resorts is now present in 5 European markets.

For more than half a century, Efteling’s stunning fairy tale location has entranced leisure and business visitors. The organisation of various meetings and incentives has been possible for many, many years: several meeting programmes, client oriented traning programmes, customised dinners, launches parties, ... 1001 options. From 11 December 2009 onwards, it will be possible for longer business events to be organised in a new and – literally – fabulous setting. Efteling Bosrijk is a new vacation park within walking distance of Efteling and of Efteling Golf. More than a few small homes and two impressive themed apartment buildings lie in a landscape dotted with dunes, dense patches of forest, open fields and babbling brooks. The ‘Landhuys’ with its 54 apartments and multifunctional room, can be rented completely for your event. It’s a fine addition to Efteling and Efteling Golf, making the list of meeting and incentive possibilities a neverending story.

Château St. Gerlach

New partners Maastricht CB No less than five new partners joined the Maastricht Convention Bureau recently. Three hotels, one restaurant and one PCO. Hotel Van der Valk Maastricht is situated on the outskirts of the town centre. The Kruisherenhotel is a five star design hotel in a former 15th century cloister and monumental gothic church in the city centre of Maastricht. Château St. Gerlach, a luxury hotel located in the surrounding area of Maastricht, has a historical ambiance, excellent hotel and meeting facilities, and an excellent cuisine. Beluga, a restaurant with no less than two Michelin stars, is beautifully situated along the banks of the river Maas. Klinkhamer Conference Management is specialized in organising, advising & consultancy and interim work.

Catering and Event pavillions on EMIF 2010 On 18 March the doors of EMIF will have to open extra wide because the Facts on Acts fair will be held on the same grounds. That's a one-day events fair that will have its own pavillion for visitors from the events industry. Visitors are welcome to visit both fairs of course. There will be another extra pavillion for catering companies that want to promote their services


during EMIF. They will get the opportunity to show their tricks to the fair visitors. Better not eat too much in the morning! EMIF is held on 17 and 18 March in Tour & Taxis, Brussels.


Rio de Janeiro

MCI goes to the Brazilian Sun MCI, a global leader in association, event and communications management, will expand its global presence with new offices in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. The MCI São Paulo office will mainly develop the corporate side, focusing on the Healthcare sector, whilst MCI Rio de Janeiro will be the centre for association clients, with a strong focus on Association Management. Moreover, as Rio de Janeiro is one of the main destinations in Brazil for incoming groups, Ovation Brazil, the destination operation, will be strategically based in that city.

Site announced Porto as ESNEP 2010 destination ESNEP 2010 (European Site Networking and Education Program), the industry’s foremost educational and networking event, will be held in the charming locale of Porto, Portugal from 9-12 April 2010. During the four-day annual event, Site members can expect an outstanding educational program, networking, and exciting destination discovery activities as they explore what this region has to offer for motivational experiences and programs. This year’s educational program will focus on the evolution of the industry and trends, CSR, driving business results through social media, and the next generation of incentives and how to employ them.

MIM > General > Short News

Creative Technology at EIBTM Dedicated daily Technology Hour sessions demonstrate how new technologies will impact the meetings industry. Creativity, innovation, Generation Y, the impact of social media and the future of technology in the meetings industry are to be tackled at EIBTM 2009. With a line up of international experts, the provocative and challenging sessions will take place at 13.00 each day from 1-3 December at Fira Gran Via, Barcelona, highlighting the ever shifting developments, trends and new technological products and services available to the industry.

New Hilton name and logo

Bilderberg Kasteel Vaalsbroek re-opened The Dutch castle has been enlarged by a luxurious conference room and restaurant. Featuring 1500 m_ meeting space, 130 guestrooms and a Spa & Wellness-centre Bilderberg Kasteel Vaalsbroek is one of the biggest locations for meetings in a castle within the Netherlands and the Euregio. Bilderberg Kasteel Vaalsbroek belongs to the 5 top conference locations in the Netherlands. The new Moretti pavillion has a size of 330m_ and is equipped with modern meeting technology.

Hilton Worldwide (formerly Hilton Hotels Corporation) has announced the launch of its new corporate name and logo. Hilton's new name, Hilton Worldwide, signifies the company's global breadth and reach, and the logo incorporates key design elements that reflect Hilton's rich heritage, vision for the future and commitment to excellence in service. Hilton Worldwide's portfolio of ten brands comprises more than 3,300 hotels in 77 countries around the world. The company will open more than 300 hotels this year.

4th EFAPCO Congress 7-9 January 2010 Brussels, Belgium Holiday Inn Brussels Airport

'Skoj' in the Holiday Inn Brussels Airport Holiday Inn Brussels Airport has presented its new meeting concept, called Skoj, which is Swedish for 'fun'. Four of the meeting rooms refer to the world's historic meeting cultures. The Eskimo room features ice-like 'snowball' chairs; the Berber, sand-colored 'fatboys'; the Masai, a high table and chairs based on their Adumu jumping dance; the Native Americans, rustic cowhide and leather seats. Instead of old-school whiteboards and black markers, all rooms are equipped with a glazed colored panel that slides over the LCD flatscreen television, that can be easily written on and wiped off. Before, during the breaks or afterwards, you can stroll through the hotel’s gardens, play a game of petanque, shoot some hoops or jump on the trampoline. All this in the name of creativity.

Is there a more appropriate destination than Brussels, The European Union’s capital city, for holding the 4th Congress organised by the European Federation of the Associations of Professional Congress Organisers? Delegates will include leading meetings industry decision makers, conference organisers and representatives from public authorities. The congress will be one of the first major events to take place in the brand new SQUARE (Brussels Palais des Congrès). The theme will be 'Sustainability and competitiveness in the Meetings Industry'. A wide range of topics will be tackled by an impressive line-up of keynote speakers. There will also be panel discussions and round-table sessions allowing every participant to share knowledge on issues including 'strategies behind making the right business choices', 'Working with Generation Y', 'Corporate Social Responsibility' and 'PCOs’ liabilities versus clients' responsibilities'.

Star Alliance

Star Alliance launches worldwide meetings product Star Alliance has launched a global product for the meetings market: Meetings Plus. Companies, meeting planners and incentive agencies needing to organise gatherings with participants from different countries, now have access to the entire Star Alliance network, by contracting their travel needs through just one Star Alliance member airline. Meetings Plus can be used for most meetings of 50 people or more, with attendees originating in at least three different countries.

For more and regularly updated news, go to MIM 9



Where The World Meets

The Global Meetings & Incentives Exhibition Fira Gran Via, Barcelona, Spain

1 - 3 December 2009 Join over 250 international association executives for 2 days of networking, professional education and business. EIBTM is the leading international exhibition for the global meetings and incentives industry, taking place in the beautiful destination of Barcelona. Apply today for your place on the unique Hosted Buyer Programme and receive VIP beneďŹ ts. Find out more today:

A new hotel in town

Great hotels. Great locations.

Adding colour to life

Sleep well. Live well.

A refreshing experience

Park Inn Antwerpen is the newest and hottest hotel in Antwerp! Situated just a few steps from the Central Station, this comfortable and refreshing hotel with 59 brand-new guest rooms is offering you everything for a personal and cosy stay in one of the most bustling cities of Belgium. Be amazed, be inspired, be relaxed! Book NOW, call + 32 3 202 31 70 or mail to Park inn Antwerpen Koningin Astridplein 14 2018 Antwerp Belgium T: +32 3 202 31 70 F: +32 3 202 31 71

MIM MI M > Cover Co in Co inte terv rvie iew w

Chantal Sneijkers - EUMA Doing more than assisting Who's organising most of the events? Of course we have the Directors, Managers, Commercial and Marketing Managers, but the meetings industry might forget the hard work of one particular group now and then. MIM magazine wants to put them in the picture here and now, and we asked Chantal Sneijkers of the European Management Assistants (EUMA) Association why: 'Organising an event is something very practical, so it's often the management assistant who does the job, or at least a big part of it. I worked out the event for the Sporza editorial staff, for instance. During our education, project management is part of our teaching package too, and quite a few of us organised an incentive as a project during our training, which is an experience that deďŹ nitely helps us when we need to organize an incentive now.' INTERVIEW AND TEXT CÉCILE CAIATI-KOCH AND STEVEN KINS

MIM 12

MIM > cover interview

European Management Assistants Association MIM: First of all, why is MIM magazine interesting for you, being a Management Assistant? Chantal: 'I appreciate the interesting interviews with people that we can relate to. Also the practical info fascinates me, especially because you don't only talk about Brussels. For instance, I didn't know you could hold an event in the Antwerp Zoo. A Dutch EUMA member asked me about the incentive possibilities in Antwerp, and now I can help him. All the info you find in a reference book can be found online, but MIM magazine offers you all the info you need and gives inspirational ideas on top of that. It's no advertising leaflet either, so you can just sit down, relax and read it.'

Association structure and history MIM: Could you introduce EUMA to the readers of MIM magazine? Chantal Sneijkers: 'EUMA (European Management Assistants) is an international quality network of management support professionals who focus on their personal development and on the future of their profession. That's the mission statement of the association which has remained unchanged for 35 years. We don't want to present ourselves as a women's association either, we're Management Assistants! For those who might wonder, yes, we also have men among our members.'

MIM: How has the association evolved? Chantal: 'The Association exists since 1974 and has about 1400 members, represented in 20 national groups (Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, UK, Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Spain, Slovenia, Poland, Hungary, Greece and Cyprus). We also have individual members in the United States, Portugal, Russia, Romania and Croatia, because you need to be with at least ten people to start a national group. 'We try to put ourselves in the picture through our website and our own magazine 'proActive', but we also do interviews - like this one - and speak for alumni management assistants. It is frustrating to hear people say: 'We've never heard about

EUMA.' Even though we're in a media building here, it's difficult to get your message out there.'

MIM: What's the strategy for the future? Chantal: 'Just to keep on going actually. An association is something that lives, older people go while young people join in. You're a member during your entire professional career.'

MIM: Are there any partnerships or links with other organisations?

every year during the Annual Conference but not always for every function. If necessary, we hold ad hoc elections. Everybody gets the opportunity to get on the board but each position requires specific qualities. A PR Officer needs to be perfect in selling EUMA. Of course, you should be able to perform well in a team and work well with different cultures. For the rest, just believe in it and put a lot of your time and effort in the organisation.'

Working with a professional organiser allows us to really focus on the content and on keeping the participation rate low for our members

Chantal: 'We have links with sisterassociations in Portugal, United States and New Zealand or with Management Assistant Antwerp for instance, and in each country where we're represented we have corporate members, which can be schools for management assistants, or companies like hotels, airlines, educational publishing houses. 'Most national groups have quite a lot of national sponsors but we are also working hard to obtain a real European partnership. Therefore we're studying each sponsorship request individually in order to do the best thing possible for the association.'

MIM: How has the association changed in recent years? Chantal: 'I believe it hasn't really changed enough, but it's not easy to bring people together on an international level. Our focus has stayed the same for the past 35 years. However, we changed our name in 1999 and of course our members change. We start thinking more like a company, but we remain a voluntary association.'

Board MIM: How are the European board elections organized? Chantal: 'There are four European Committee Members, who are elected by the members for a period of two years, which can be extended by another two years, but that's the limit. So we can have elections

Events MIM: What kind of events do you organise? Chantal: 'In Belgium we have an event each month but the frequency depends on the national chapters. On the international level, we have an Annual Training Day around one particular subject which is selected by the members, and this attracts approximately 120 participants. In

Profile Chantal Sneijkers is the Executive Assistant at the VRT news service, which has about 300 employees, and she makes sure that the three editors in chief work together in perfect harmony, she supports them in every possible way and makes sure they don't lose track of the main objective. She's been with the VRT for 22 years now and previously worked in the radio department and the sports service where she covered the Olympics in Beijing. Chantal's been with EUMA for seven years now and really had a lightning career there - after only six months of being a member she was voted president of the Belgian chapter, she became the congress manager in 2007 and last year she was voted Board member, more specifically the European Public Relations Officer.

MIM 13


MIM > cover interview

autumn there's also the Annual Conference with around 250 participants. This is bigger because a trade fair is attached to it. The first two days are for the European board and then the full council with all the national boards is next.'

MIM: Can you already reveal something about the content for the Conference in Brussels? Chantal: 'The 2010 conference in Brussels will be held on Friday 22 October at the Sheraton Brussels Airport Hotel. The title goes as follows: A Brave New World, focus on what matters for your future! We have determined a general framework, but at this moment, it is not possible yet to confirm any specific titles of sessions and workshops as we are currently working on confirming speakers.

EUMA Board, from left to right: Chantal Sneijkers, European PR Officer, Maria Lazarou, European Chairman, Carla Veldhuizen-Ennik, Association Secretary, Valérie Aughuet, European Treasurer

website ( which is already up and running.'

MIM: How do you select your destinations? Chantal: 'National groups can apply to

We have 1400 members with buying or influential power from big companies all over Europe 'Next year, even more than now, we are all confronted with a world that has changed following the 2007 credit crunch and the 2008 financial and economic crises. We have woken up to a new world, to a new order. For a lot of companies it was a rude wake-up call. How can we deal with this 'brave new world' as a European business community and, on a personal level, as management assistants in our everyday working environment?

host an international event, so the location changes each year. Previous host cities included Copenhagen, Helsinki, Nice, Amsterdam, Athens, Malmö, Brussels and Berlin. When there is more than one candidate, the Full Council with all the national boards make a choice. A few years ago we had the more 'sexy' southern destinations but lately we had a lot of northern countries, but some of them are real eye-openers.'

MIM: What type of venues do you use? 'We will focus, not only on the bigger European picture, but also on what successful companies are doing to come out of these challenging times as winners. Attendees will have the opportunity to exchange ideas with knowledgeable speakers from the European governmental institutions and from successful and innovative companies.

Chantal: 'We mostly work with the larger four or five-star hotels as we have a need for big meeting rooms, but not as big as an entire conference centre. We insist on the rates for the whole group and while many members are sponsored by their company, we cover the travel and hotel costs for the board members.'

'As soon as speaker, or business partners for that same matter are confirmed, the information is updated on the conference

MIM: Do you work together with a professional organizer?

country to another each year and so the organizing committee changes with each conference. It is up to the local team to decide if they want to work with a conference organizer or not. We do however notice that the past few years we have always worked with a professional organizer; this allows us to really focus on the content and on keeping the participation rate low for our members. 'Working with a conference organizer does not only liberate the team from all practical questions and details, but it offers great advantages when it comes to dealing with VAT and insurance issues, it helps in getting the right business contacts and finally a conference organizer often has more negotiation power when it comes to venues.'

MIM: Do you take 'green' actions in your events? Chantal: 'We had congresses on this subject and we've stopped using plastic conference bags for instance. We send all our correspondence by email and many people bring their laptop with the documents they need for the meeting instead of printing their texts. All these small efforts are easy to do and still make a difference.'

Want to become a member of EUMA? Go to

Chantal: 'The conference moves from one

MIM 15





Š Jean-NoÍl Leblanc - Bontemps


A city of nuance and emotions, Lyon brings out the best in you naturally. Here, creativity and talent shine as one. Listen to your heart, discover yourself, follow your instinct. Your life will take on new intensity in Lyon.


MIM > Europe > Pioneers

What are ‘pioneers’ in the European meetings industry?


Throughout history people have selflessly committed themselves to a greater ideal – be they gold prospectors, scientists, politicians or humanitarian helpers. Consequently there must have been people at the cradle of the meetings industry. Several questions arise. How long has this discipline existed in Europe? Answer: no more than 50 years. So, it’s a young industry? Who invented this industry? It’s difficult to say … but it’s common knowledge which people have assisted at its birth: the founding fathers and mothers. The names of these pioneers can be found in the annals of professional organisations, like ICCA (founded in 1963 by a group of travel agents) and ECM (EFCT, founded in 1964). They were or still are presidents or board members of these organisations. You can be certain to find them all gathered each year at the ECM Summer School. There they often appear as eminent professors, transmitting their knowledge and experience to younger generations. Oftentimes they have specialised themselves in a certain branch of the meetings industry. There are association industry pioneers, statisticians, marketing and promotion specialists, ... they all have one thing in common: management qualities. The cleverness and skill with which they have led a convention bureau still resound. They lifted cities up and ensured a steady flow of money into the municipal funds. Their view on the meetings industry is shaped by conceptual thinking, economic realism and especially by an international take on business. Many of their statements have retained their original value and impact. That’s why these pioneers deserve an award. An award in which category? There’s only one: the award for hard and diligent workers. Should they be celebrated? Certainly.

I think priority should be given to Tuula Lindberg, who retired earlier this year and still deserves a farewell party. We will celebrate the other pioneers later. On the following pages, we’ll let a few pioneers tell in their own words what they did for the development of the meetings industry.

Resonant statements - Tuula Lindberg, former director of Finland Convention Bureau (1983). International awards include the JMIC Profile & Power Award 2008, the ICCA Moises Shuster Award 2002, the JMIC Unity Award 1998 and the Lorenzo de Medici Award 1997 for an outstanding contribution to the international meetings industry. ‘If we want to convince, we have to measure. If we want to measure, we have to report. If we want to prove something, we have to measure regularly.’ ‘A convention bureau should be managed like a household.’ - Christian Mutschlechner, director Vienna Convention Bureau (1977). Borsa del Tourismo Congressuale (BTC). Lorenzo de Medici-Award 2004. Reed Travel Exhibitions. Meeting Industry Personality of the Year 2008. ‘In our industry age doesn’t matter, neither does

Enrico Zuffi, Geneva

the colour of your. Only experience matters.’ ‘ICCA and UIA statistics: use them as a trend barometer, not as factual statistics, because… you should have your own meetings industry statistics!’ - Anne Wallin Rodven, director Oslo Visitors and Convention Bureau (VisitOSLO) (1990). ‘Some things should not be said during business hours. Rather, take them home to discuss.’ ‘A testimony is stronger than the best sales effort. Make happy clients your best marketing tool.’ - Airy Garrigoza was appointed in 1983 to start the Barcelona Convention Bureau. The Olympics of 1992 in Barcelona were a turning point for the European meetings industry: a second city became a hype and an example: a city that surpassed its own capital city. ‘The best present that EMC (EFCT) ever gave to the European meetings industry is the yearly Summer School. There’s no better school or university for young people in our industry.’ ‘What do female convention bureau managers have in common? Readiness to fight!’

Anne Wallin Rodven, director Oslo Visitors and Convention Bureau (VisitOSLO)

MIM 17

MIM > Europe > Pioneers

Pioneers in the European M New and upcoming destinations are always nice, but looking at the pioneers might give you an even better insight. This was the starting point of our Europe special, but how do you select who was the trendsetter back in the day? Simply think about who are the experienced longtimers in our business. That's how we came up with Vienna, Barcelona, Geneva and Finland, where Tuula Lindberg concentrated on statistics - something that was later adopted by the entire meetings industry and gave power to our sector. The names of our interviewees should even ring a bell, because they're considered by many as authorities in our industry. We wanted to know when and why they started a convention bureau, how they began promoting their destination and what they're doing today to hold off the competition. TEXT STEVEN KINS MIM: When did you decide that the meetings industry was an untrodden and lucrative - territory? Christian Mutschlechner: 'The Vienna Convention Bureau exists since 1969. At the time, we had just got our new conference centre under private management and the first hotel with meeting space. Already there were many meetings and congresses in Vienna so the city and the chamber of commerce decided that they needed a dedicated Convention Bureau.' Airy Garrigosa: 'The Barcelona Convention Bureau was launched in 1983 by the former Barcelona Tourist Board, a 100% City Council owned organisation. Actually it was the demand of the private sector related to the congress world that

Airy Garrigosa - director of Barcelona Convention Bureau

MIM 18


put pressure in order to constitute the Convention Bureau, the objective being to have a public umbrella and to promote the destination in the association world.' Satu Keiski-Toni: 'In 1974 we launched one of the first convention bureaus in Europe. The Helsinki Congress Bureau, despite its name, promoted the whole of Finland. It was an idea of the city of Helsinki and the Chamber of Commerce who wanted to attract association congresses at first, but later on also corporate events.' Enrico Zuffi: 'Sixteen years ago we started with the Geneva Tourist Office, which was officially changed into the Geneva Tourism and Convention Bureau in the year 2000 and since 2007 we have a dedicated direc-


tor for the convention bureau. The original idea to start this bureau was evidently to attract more meetings and more business to our city. The Geneva convention centres and hotels were the main driving forces behind the whole project.'

MIM: What were the first initiatives to promote your destination? Mutschlechner: 'The first steps consisted of building up the convention bureau within the tourist office, but it didn't take long before we started with an electronic database and that was a big leap forward.' Garrigosa: 'The first initiatives were to draw an inventory of all the facilities and services in town and produce a Congress Guide, to become a member of ICCA

Christian Mutschlechner directorr of The Vienna Convention Bureau



MIM > Europe > Pioneers

n Meetings Industry so that we have access to their database of International Associations and a few years later, at the time of the Olympic Games, to target Corporate and Incentive meetings.'

and from time to time we reevaluate everything that we're doing and the way in which we're doing it, with the intention of being upfront and being involved in any changes that might occur in our business. That's

'Today we've become by far more proactive and interconnected with our clients' Keiski-Toni: 'At the time, we had important connections with universities and faculties. That's why it was important in the beginning to motivate scientists to organise meetings. It was a good way to start.'

MIM: What do you have to do now to maintain your position as a meeting and incentive destination? Mutschlechner: 'Now we've become by far more proactive and interconnected with our clients. Actually it's all related to the database we installed in the early seventies. This provided a huge amount of info, so our approach to our potential clients became different but deďŹ nitely also easier. Our level of service permanently keeps on increasing


Tuula Lindberg, former director of Finland Convention Bureau (1983)

the key challenge today: to be part of any change or shift within the industry.' Garrigosa: 'Barcelona has always had - and still has - a very strong scientiďŹ c, medical and academic community, with seven universities, research centres, and six public hospitals, apart from the private ones. The hotel capacity has grown from 9,000 rooms in 1990 to over 33,000 today and more hotels are under construction or just about to open. New convention centres have also opened their doors: the privately-owned Catalonia Congress Centre, the CCIB with capacity for 15,000 people, and the Fira Gran Via, an exhibition and convention centre with almost



unlimited capacity. The city has become the fourth tourist destination in Europe after Paris, London and Rome.' Keiski-Toni: 'Our Ministry of Trade, Employment and Education supports the industry because we market and sell the destination. We're a one-stop-shop that connects 14 different cities, 12 destinations, 100 members and 23 universities in Finland, and we're giving all the leads we get to our members. In the future there's a good possibility that we'll start educating and training the members through annual sessions on ROI, or environmental issues, for instance. The relationships between the different partners is good because it's a small country.' ZufďŹ : 'The initiatives we take work exceptionally well for association meetings, partly thanks to our increased efforts in market research, but like everywhere else the corporate market is down. Due to this slowdown, the hotel rates have been adapted in Geneva. Further initiatives we take include the constant renovation of our venues, hotels and conference centres, but the most eyecatching thing might be the free transport we offer to the groups that come to Geneva, starting from the airport and during their entire stay.'

Keiski-Toni managing director of Finland Convention Bureau

MIM 19

MIM > Europe > Professional Associations

International professional associations:

A focus on Europe


For those who have been reading MIM magazine for a long time now, they must remember that not so long ago it was written in Dutch and in French. When we decided last January to write everything in English, the initiative was praised by the meetings industry as a whole. After all, English is the language with which everybody converses and communicates now. But writing in English is not just a phase. In fact, it makes sense in our overall effort to grow European. And that’s where it dawned on us. What if we asked presidents of European professional associations their views on the European meetings industry? The idea was to talk to EFAPCO, Site and MPI and have their insights, while giving pride of place to UK, Germany and France through national associations like ABPCO, ISES and ANAé. TEXT RÉMI DÉVÉ

MIM 20

First a statement that will certainly reassure most of you. Despite the current economic crisis, the overall situation is not that bad and the future does not look that bleak. Europe remains intensely popular for meetings and conference in the world. Cities like Paris, Vienna, Barcelona or Berlin have maintained their strong rankings in both the 2008 ICCA and

UIA statistics, even if, as Nicolas le Brun, EFAPCO (European Federation of the Associations of PCOs), points out, ‘numbers show that our market shares have slowly eroded over the last few years mainly to the benefit of Asia.’ In fact, according to EIBTM’s Mood of the Market Report 2009, the most popular destinations throughout the world in the last twelve months are Germany, Spain, Italy, France and the USA, followed by the UK, Austria and the Netherlands. Who’s to complain?

'Sustainability is clearly an aspect which is being implemented more and more by organisers worldwide and Europe is fighting to be at the forefront of this trend’

Compact, green and virtual

Nicolas Le Brun - EFAPCO

It’s the very nature of events that

Unlike in the US, meetings and events in EU are not being ‘attacked’ by a hostile popular media. Here we do not have the same ‘perception’ issues. According to Padraic Gilligan, who was President of Site in 2008, meeting and event activity in Healthcare and Pharma continues apace as these sectors have stayed relatively recession free ‘although there has been some attrition in expected delegate numbers at medical and other conferences due to destination or market specific economic realities.’

MIM > Europe > Professional Associations

Nicolas Le Brun - EFAPCO

seems to have changed in the past years, since people question the ROI and don't just organize an event for the sake of the event anymore. As Rebecca Cadman Jones, Chair of ABPCO (Association of British Professional Conference Organisers) remarks ‘events are more condensed. The quantity of meetings reduced slightly, even though most of them still offer high-quality content of course.’ These days ever more attention is being paid to priorities. Delegates who travel are increasingly keen to gain maximum benefit from their precious time at conferences. They want to meet the right people to share knowledge with them. Organisers clearly try to ‘compact’ their events while still keeping one or two slots for more social activities. The ultimate goal is of course to make events as cost-effective as possible: in fact all data indicates a preference for shorter meetings with lower costs, more straightforward logistic and less extensive perks or ameni-

© ICC Berlin

ties. Michaela Herzig, President of ISES (International Special Events Society) Europe, states it this way: ‘Since the beginning of the economic crisis, the trend has been to save money! The budgets have been reduced, so special events have to be created as creative and efficient as possible.’ Philippe Fournier, President of ANAé, adds: ‘long-distance became medium-distance and medium became short. Of course there are still lots of events happening abroad, but it’s less than last year. On another side, I feel that more attention to health and safety is paid in the organisation of an event nowadays.’ Nicolas le Brun also indicates: ‘the economic situation has brought even further meetings into business cities. Destinations with a ‘recreational or tourist’ image are usually finding it harder to secure conference business but some have reacted positively and positioned their offer differently.’ One of the aspects that almost all respondents who were questioned for this article agreed on

What’s happening In the UK: ‘These are tough times financially, but big cities like Birmingham, Glasgow and Manchester are getting big national and international events and ROI is higher this year. Because of Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and Olympics in London, a lot of events happen in the UK. But UK corporates and organisations are staying more at home, due to cost. Inbound tourism is coming mainly from the UK because people are looking where they spend their money on.’ Rebecca Cadman-Jones, Chair of ABPCO

In France: ‘The last couple of months have seen a dramatic decrease in the amount of time given to respond to RFPs. Agencies and meetings planners have less time to give a quotation for their services. Companies decide for their events more and more on the last minute. There are maybe less incentives this year due to crisis. Apart from that, a lot of smaller meetings take place compared to last years and the number of meeting participants also sometimes reduces.’ Philippe Fournier, President of ANAé

In Germany: ‘In the recent years there was a permanent growth in the German meetings industry market, but since the beginning of the economic crisis in autumn 2008 the number of special events and conferences went down. Today, German mid-sized companies prefer Germany as a destination for meetings and events, because of lower costs and the perfect infrastructure.’ Michaela Herzig, President of ISES Europe

MIM 21

MIM > Europe > Professional Associations

Seine - Paris

Didier Scaillet - MPI

'Europe has seen an increase in bookings to Central and Eastern Europe, because of improved infrastructure and transport links' Didier Scaillet - MPI is that sustainability definitely needs to be taken into account when organizing an event. Green is not just a word: now clients want to know about the internal policy of an agency regarding that particular matter, social programme activities that involve ‘giving back’ become increasingly popular and certifications of venues and/or behaviour have become the talk of the town. As Nicolas le Brun points out, ‘clients are now on the look-out for sustainable solutions. This encompasses not only green venues but destinations which are within easy reach internationally, requiring less travel. It is clearly an aspect which is being implemented more and more by organisers worldwide and Europe is fighting to be at the forefront of this trend.’ Didier Scaillet, Meeting Professionals International (MPI) VP Global Development, also notices that ‘the industry increasingly sees virtual meetings as an important trend, and many predict

MIM 22

a shift to Web-based learning as a way to control meeting and travel costs.’

Popular destinations, popular venues In terms of venues, everything of course depends on the budget one might have, but also on the type of event that needs to be organized. Rebecca Cadman-Jones observes that ‘large convention centres in big cities have frozen or dropped their prices.’ To her, that’s a first - it has never happened before. But to Padraic Gilligan, 2008 President of Site, nothing has changed much: ‘All planners are continually seeking new and innovative venues while, simultaneously, offering access for delegates to signature cultural icons in a private or exclusive setting.’ According to MPI (whose useful table regarding choice of venues is printed below), the top factors influencing venue selection are location and price, which are far more important than any other factor such as quality of service or

MIM > Europe > Professional Associations

'All planners are continually seeking new and innovative venues while, simultaneously, offering access for delegates to signature cultural icons in a private or exclusive setting'

Padraic Gilligan - Site

Padraic Gilligan - Site quality of conference facilities and food quality. Airport destinations are also becoming increasingly popular because travellers are struggling with transport. Didier Scaillet states: ‘Providing these hotels are of the right quality and venue, this trend will continue. Using airport venues often means that organisers can reduce the length of an event by a night and this is cost-effective too.’ Regarding the choice of destinations, you still find two ways of thinking: those who are on the look-out for a balance between cost reduction and efficiency; the others who need to offer something new to their delegates and are ready to try less well-known destinations and special venues often setting new trends. At EFAPCO, as Nicolas le Brun states, they ‘have certainly witnessed an interest in taking meetings to ‘new’ EU member states such as Slovenia, Hungary, Malta and the Baltic states.’ A trend confirmed

by MPI: ‘Europe has seen an increase in bookings to Central and Eastern Europe, because of improved infrastructure and transport links - and in particular to Poland, Hungary and Lithuania.’ To draw a quick conclusion, everyone stressed the overall importance of meetings in general for the sake of society as a whole. The message conveyed here is definitely optimistic: due to the current financial situation, companies should more than ever organize events and meetings to talk to their employees, to

motivate staff. The more stress you have in a company, the more you need to communicate and pass on information. In this way, it is crucial that the meetings industry as a whole promotes even further the importance of getting people together and the impact conferences have on societal and business development.

'The quantity of meetings has reduced slightly, even though most of them still offer high-quality content of course' Rebecca Cadman Jones - ABPCO

MIM 23

MIM > Europages

A mosaic picture of meetings & incentives in europe Sure, you can always choose the same, well-known destinations for your next meeting, event or incentive trip, where you can be sure of the same constant quality and reliability, but why not take a chance for once, and let your group discover a new location in Europe? Who knows, it might just be your next favourite spot in the old continent. Often the enthusiasm and hospitality of the people there make up for the possible lack of experience, and creative solutions replace the safe, obvious choices you otherwise might make. Some of these destinations might even astonish you with the capacity, hospitality and the possibilities they have to offer.

Tallinn - Estonia

Estonia Calling Estonia a new meeting and incentive destination is not stretching the truth when you consider the fact that the Estonian Convention Bureau was launched only last year. Tartu, Pärnu and the capital Tallin all have the advantage of being close to the airport and they have the advantage of being compact and walkable. Medieval towns are a perfect background for the modern facilities you find here and the old town of Tallinn even is a UNESCO World Heritage site. But no lack of restaurants, bars and shops here, however, how do you feel about a medieval castle with a handy Wi-Fi connection (remember, Estonia is one of the most wired-up places on the planet with a free wireless connection almost everywhere), or a tour around a Soviet base? Together with the Finnish city of Turku, Tallin will be European Capital of Culture in 2011, so you can expect more

MIM 24

novelties from this destination in the near future.

Czech Republic Outside of the already popular city of Prague, the Czech Republic can offer elegant spa towns, strange castles, large forests and even underground cave complexes. Combine this with the distinctive

Hrad Karlštejn - Czech Republic

MIM > Europages

Bratislava - Slowakia

cuisine, the heritage, and the art and you have yourself a new business destination. Hills and mountains form the main part of the landscape, so winter sports, mountain biking, climbing and hill walking are obvious choices, but don't be afraid to include a touch of Czech magic (just look at Hrad Karlstejn - the Czech Disney castle).

Slowakia Bratislava, the capital at the Danube, is for sure one of the European capitals where not many people have come during their regular holidays. That doesn't make it any less interesting though. Wine sampling is one idea, or exploring the massive Renaissance fortress of Cerveny Kamen, or even a visit to the Bratislava Opera. The old town can easily be discovered on foot and hides many historic venues that can be included in your event.

Finland Finland has presented itself on the convention market as one of the first destinations, but still it's an 'exotic' location for many people. New airline connections

Turku - Finland

will open the country for more potential visitors. Helsinki Exhibition & Convention Centre has been ranked among the top 10 European congress centres in terms of value for money, which is always a nice extra these days. The City of Turku on the west coast of Finland will be one of the two European Cities of Culture in 2011 alongside the Estonian capital Tallinn. Approximately 150 projects have already been announced for the occasion, so if you visit Turku in 2011, you're bound to be in the centre of the action. Turku Fair and Congress Centre is further developing its facilities and will be able to offer modern restaurant, meeting, congress and banqueting facilities for up to 800 people.

Gotheborg - Sweden

Sweden The second largest city in the country, Göteborg has already hosted major events like the 1995 World Athletics Championships, but its reputation as a meeting and incentive destination has not yet conquered the whole of Europe. What immediately catches the eye is the close connection to the sea and water. The wide river flows through the city and flows out into the sea, so the maritime influence is never far away. A fun way of showing different sides of Sweden in one trip is visiting one of the many islands in the city's archipelago where you can discover the local bathing houses for instance. Just jump on the ferry as if it was a regular bus. Of course the local cuisine makes clever use of the first-class ingredients, so you can be sure that you'll find a lot of fish and

Ljubljana - Slovenia

seafood among the chefs' specialities. We couldn't deny you the favourite must-sees in Göteborg, like Linnégatan which is lined with bars, restaurants and shops. Haga is the city's oldest suburb with lovely wooden housen nestled along the cobbled streets and here you'll find typical antique and fashion shops. Heaven 23 is the sky bar at the Gothia Towers Hotel, 23 floors up, as the name suggests. Enjoy the amazing view while you're trying the gigantic prawn sandwiches. The Spanish staircase in the ultramodern Museum of World Culture has become a new meeting place in the city.

Slovenia A very green (as a matter of fact, it's the second greenest country behind Finland) and rural country where health spas have been part of the culture for centuries that's one of the descriptions you might give. Many of those wellness locations lie in quiet and leafy environments. Slovenia

MIM 25

Networking creates Experience. Experience creates Knowledge. Knowledge creates Technology. Technology creates Convenience. Convenience creates Well-being. Well-being creates Feeling. Feeling creates Motivation. Motivation creates Participation. Participation creates Meetings. Meeting creates Understanding. Understanding creates Networking!

is obviously the perfect destination if you want to discover the great outdoors. But it's not only idyllic, it's also safe, accessible, and diverse. Slovenia also enjoys an excellent climate, has many new and renovated venues, can offer an efficient, friendly service, and prides itself on its honest people. Examples of the fine local food and wine can be found everywhere thanks to the long culinary heritage that sprang from the many cultures that influenced the country. The very active Slovenia Convention Bureau has introduced a system whereby its members have to pass a formal standardisation process. This will certainly make the search for quality suppliers a lot easier. The capital Ljubljana, Bled in the northwest Alpine region and the northern Adriatic coastal resort of Portoro_ are the main attractions they can present. The upgraded airport will further help the country's development as a business destination. Ljubljana, meaning 'the beloved' is a charming, compact city - everything can be done by foot through the narrow, cobbled streets, and over the many bridges over the Ljubljanica river with the many restaurants and trendy bars on its banks. Historic buildings are all over the place and can be used as event venues: a medieval castle with seven event rooms plus a courtyard, museums and galleries. The large university also has its impact on the city, making it more youthful and vibrant. Lake Bled can be reached in less than an hour from the capital and its ancient castle on top of a cliff will offer breathtaking views that make the trip more than worthwile. The fascinating underworld space of the Postojna caves can be the setting for business meetings, receptions, cultural events, concerts, cocktail events or culinary experiences. They comprise six rooms plus a mansion at the cave entrance used for award-winning, medieval-style dinners. The area also includes the Lipica stud farm, the original home of the Lipizzaner white horses. Switch the urban scenery for the Alps after only a quick drive and you'll have a whole range of winter activities at your disposal. Kranjska Gora at the Austrian border is world-famous among skiing fans, and there's also Maribor. The mysterious beauty of the Alps is inherently and also apparently connected to the Mediterranean display of colour. You could say that Slovenia is tucked in nicely between Vienna and Venetia and that's something you'll notice when you come into contact with the country and its people. They're efficient but they have flair and they'll amaze you with their quality and service.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina wants to spread the message that they're the heart-shaped country at the Adriatic Sea. Actually the name of the country is bigger than the actual surface of it on the map of Europe but still everybody knows the name of its capital: Sarajevo. It doesn't have any giant buildings that spoil the charm of the city and it even seems that the surround-

MIM > Europages

Sarajevo - Bosnia and Herzegovina

ing hills have protected it from any bad influence. The region has known many different cultures however, as demonstrated by the mosque, synagogue, Orthodox and Catholic church close to each other. At only 25 kilometres from Sarajevo the 1984 Winter Olympics were held, so you know that you'll find the diversity you need for a business trip here.

Italy Together with Spain, Italy is much appreciated for its Mediterranean climate and cuisine but there's more to them than just their main cities Madrid, Rome, Barcelona, Milano. Try something new here and you'll avoid the remark 'typical' when people talk

Como - Italy

about your next company trip. In Italy, Venice could be your destination to hold an intimate gala dinner or a true masked ball, Umbria might provide the perfect setting for a gastronomic discovery tour along the typical villages, the hills around Lake Como are the ideal backdrop for a more active approach and everybody knows the reputation of the Italian brands of sports cars, so why not get to know them in their home town, up close and personal?

Spain In Spain, the typical andalusian city of Jerez de la Frontera can show you what Andalusia is all about: flamenco, wine,

sherry, bodegas, bulls and horses. On top of that, the city has a more than adequate meeting infrastructure and its own Formula 1 track. The Basque Country may be one of the most authentic regions in Europe, up till now it has remained virgin territory for meetings and incentives. However, if you take into account that you find the highest concentration of Michelin-starred restaurants in Spain here and that Bilbao is home to the outrageously-designed Guggenheim Museum, you may want to reconsider. Following the example of this landmark, Santiago Calatrave designed a new airport and bridge and the city got an award-winning metro system.

Ireland Limerick - Ireland

You don't always have to include a visit to the Guinness Storehouse to your Ireland trip. Why not try out what the Irish countryside with its beautifully named places like Limerick, Killarney or Donegal has to offer instead? You can be part of the Irish magic and tradition by cutting out the turf yourself or participating in the Irish Olympics with famous sports such as turf stacking and hitting the sliothar, while you're spending the night or dining in an old Castle afterwards, and don't forget to simply admire the unique landscape! An animated lunch in a real Irish pub will definitely add to the ambiance.

MIM 27

From 7 to 9 January 2010, the European FederaƟon of AssociaƟons of Professional Conference Organisers – EFAPCO - will hold its 4th Congress in the brand new SQUARE. The central theme “Sustainability and CompeƟƟveness in the MeeƟngs Industry” comes precisely within the remit of the European Union’s DG Enterprise and Industry. A wide range of topics will be tackled by an impressive line-up of keynote speakers who will prompt sƟmulaƟng interacƟve debates with delegates including some foremost industry personaliƟes.

MEETING TOPICS MeeƟngs in 2020 OpportuniƟes emerging from a crisis environment


VAT in Europe for meeƟngs prescriptors Sustainability : How to implement it in your meeƟngs GeneraƟon Y: future leaders, future clients Technology and new social media: who is in the driving seat? StandardisaƟon in the MeeƟngs Industry How to combine compeƟƟveness and sustainability

Let’s meet in Brussels! All informaƟon on the congress is available from the congress website at SPONSORS & CONTRIBUTORS

official carrier

MIM > Prince for a day 2009

Prince for a Day 2009 in The Hague Each year, on the day before the Royal festivities of Princes Day, conference and event professionals from The Hague and Delft organise their Prince For A Day networking event, which has become a brand within the meetings industry. Fokker Terminal In inspiring and entertaining ways, the multi-programme event Key words during the 2009 edition of showcased the attractions of the Prince For A Day were inspiration and two cities for corporate, govern- creativity. MICE partners from The Hague mental and association confer- and Delft presented themselves to conferorganisers in original and unexence organisers from The Neth- ence pected ways as participants were swept erlands, Belgium and the United up in a whirlwind of stimulating activities and memorable experiences. This year’s Kingdom. PICTURES BY PHOTONIC

Each year, on the day before the Royal festivities of Princes Day, conference and event professionals from The Hague and Delft organise their Prince For A Day networking event, which has become a brand within the meetings industry. In inspiring and entertaining ways, the multi-programme event showcased the attractions of the two cities for corporate, governmental and association conference organisers from The Netherlands, Belgium and the United Kingdom.

multi-tour programme included graffiti and mind mapping workshops by the sea, a 'CHAOS' workshop set in what used to be a cigarette factory as well as a hands-on outdoor sand sculpting session. There were visits to the Houses of Parliament and the Peace Palace as well. Expert speakers, such as Josephine Green (Philips Design), Rob Davidson (University of Westminster) and Ynzo van Zanten (Green Inc.) shared valuable insights and thought-provoking ways of looking at a wide range of issues, both related and unrelated to the conference industry.

'Prince for a Day is an incredibly fun and efficient initiative to get acquainted to the meeting and incentive facilities in and around The Hague. We were literally and figuratively treated like princes and princesses and were really pampered on a gastronomic level. The programme was diverse and the lectures were an interesting extra. This trip gave me a whole range of new contacts, and that always comes in handy in the Meetings Industry. Thank you very much, The Hague! I hope I can use your facilities as soon as possible.' Sarah Beyens (right), Q8

pont e Possemiers, Du , Inbev & Nadin ot ch rs Ae n Va Carine re the Best Team De Nemours, we

All participants reunited in the early evening at the beautiful Voorlinden manor house, where the day’s creative experiences were shared in a great atmosphere of excitement, inspiration and friendship. Prince For A Day 2009 exceeded all expectations! For more information and all photographs, please visit Marianne Hoogeveen, Account Manager Belux,

'There were some very good culinary achievements and there is quite a lot of potential. The Spaansche Hof was a top location that exceeded our expectations and was just great and also Landgoed Voorlinden seemed very suitable for my clients. I would recommend combining culture and venues a bit more, unfortunately we were not able to see much of the town centre of The Hague during the event. Also I would recommend to give the international guests a choice of routes next time' Patrick De Leersnijder, BNP Paribas Fortis

MIM 29

MIM > Groningen & Dutch Frisian Islands

Beach sailing

Welcome in Groningen & Dutch Frisian Islands We already announced it in our previous issue and we were part of it: from 21 till 23 August the Groningen Congres Bureau and Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions (NBTC) came up with a programme to let us discover the North of the country.

On a sunny Friday morning I joined a group of 15 people on the way from Antwerp to Groningen by bus. The organisers chose this means of transport because it's the best way to let your guests mingle, but don't forget that Groningen also has its own airport, Groningen Airport Eelde.

And indeed, we did find out a couple of things. For instance, now we know that at a mere four hours from Brussels there's a place that's the living proof that the Netherlands is more than tulips and Gouda cheese. And if you're the person that thinks highly of 'sustainability', then you'll be glad to see a city and a region where cycling is the best way to get from A to B. But as you read along, you'll notice that we encountered even more original means of transport. TEXT SOPHIE MOLLE AND STEVEN KINS

mixture of old and modern buildings that reflect a harmonious architecture.

little secrets around town. The Fish Market is a must-see, but so is the Martini Church.

But Groningen is also a young city due to the 40,000 students, and we even got to take part in a remake of Baywatch together with scantily-dressed students who were running in slow-motion alongside the canals with the music of the show in the background...

King Bicycle

Along the canals When we arrived in Groningen along the canals, Michiel, our 'skipper', and Astrid, our guide, were waiting for us in a a small boat . He spent the entire afternoon with us to show 'his Groningen'. This tour along the water took us to the ICT, Central Station, the Groninger Museum... It's definitely a great and original way to get a first impression of a city. In turn, we saw a

MIM 30

Back on solid ground Astrid showed us the

Standing in front of the NH Hotel de Ville, I noticed that the Netherlands being a bike country is not a myth: there's more bikes than motor vehicles and most of the city centre is a low-traffic zone, which is great for the environment as well as for getting some exercise.

MIM > Groningen & Dutch Frisian Islands

Here you get authenticity and simplicity, and there's also an audience for these values Groningen - full of bikes and young people

The director of the NH Hotel, Egbert Brinks, accompanied us to Nienoord Castle where Wilma Haket welcomed us in a private park to open the gates to the castle for us. With the setting sun in the background she started telling us the history of the castle that dates back to 1525, and that after some renovation works it's now used as an event venue. When we pulled up a chair at the dinner table she rang a bell and just like in the olden days she announced every single dish - one was even more delicious than the other. In short, an original evening in an exceptional setting.

A lifeboat comes to the rescue The next morning we were dressed in life jackets and stepped on a rescue boat under way to the Dutch Frisian Islands, Terschelling to be more precise. The combination of the comforting sun rays and the salty water were a true pleasure. Of course, there's a more comfortable and quicker ferry service available if you're on a tight schedule, but this really is the most fun. Peter of the Frissewind Events agency welcomed us and his words will really give you an idea of what you can expect: 'Here, we're not constantly trying to propose more and more, but we can give you what we have: authenticity and simplicity, and there's also an audience for these values.'

A discovery by bike Discovering the island is done by bike because the streets are very narrow and there are only a few cars. Everyone goes

The lifeboat

along according to his or her own rhythm and becomes part of the island. Peter made us discover an old little theatre with red seats, a tiny stage and numerous theatre and film posters. This venue can accommodate about fifty people and is often booked by companies wishing to invest in a more personalized infrastructure. Afterwards we visited the largest hotel on the island, the Golden Tulip with its magnificent sea view. A picnic was provided on the shore of a natural lake where a forester explained us what the island can offer and what vegetation can be found. The thing that matters most is that everybody contributes in order to preserve the nature on the island. But I look around and noticed how peaceful it was, time stood still, the sky was perfectly blue, the people on the island are all charming, in a word, there isn’t a cloud in the sky.

Hanging on to the kite

Teambuilding to the max The afternoon was a bit more dynamic with some teambuilding activities on the beach, more precisely golf and kite initiations. Golf took quite some concentration and the kite demanded some power and self-control. But without a doubt, beach sailing was the most fun. It looks a bit complicated during the first few try-outs but in the end it's quite easy. The only determining factor is the presence - or lack of - wind. Luckily we were accompanied by a nice breeze, so we enjoyed the experience.

A boat tour through Groningen

We only stayed one night on Terschelling in the Sandton hotel where we were offered some refreshments by the director Marion Riemersma, and we already want to come back, be it for work or pleasure.

MIM 31

MIM > Switzerland

+ Switzerland

Where the world meets (and competes)

During the last weekend of August the Switzerland Convention & Incentive Bureau organized – for the fifth year in a row – the Switzerland Meeting Trophy between teams from several countries: Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, the Nordic and the North-American countries. As the first FAM-trip I ever took part in, it proved to be a most memorable and remarkable baptism. We, Team Belgium, enthusiastically took part in the rally, going even so far as to wear matching clothes in the national colours and trying to bribe the other teams with chocolates. Sadly, thanks to our mediocre performance in the physical tests, we lost – proving that brain does not always win out over brawn. TEXT IGOR HENDRICKX

Diverse Zürich Zürich, the economical and cultural capital of Switzerland and one of the cities with the highest quality of life in the world, was our first stop. We flew with Swiss International Airlines, which offers interesting fares for meetings and incentive partici-

MIM 32

pants. Zürich Airport is connected to more than 150 destinations and is fully integrated in the Swiss rail network. That way, you can reach the city centre of Zürich in under 8 minutes. We, however, were taken by EuropCar to the Hotel Zürichberg. This hotel with a historic exterior and a warm,

modern interior is located high above the city in a peaceful forest. That evening we could take part in a ‘soirée été’ on the terrace with its magnificent view over the lights of the city and surrounding countryside. This was our first contact with Switzerland’s most beautiful asset: its unspoiled and versatile nature. The official welcome and presentation took place the next morning on a boat trip. We took our breakfast surrounded by the turquoise waters of Lake Zürich. We

MIM > Switzerland

met the other teams, each got a backpack and a personalized vest and a rally book with questions and tests to be filled in the coming weekend. Armed with these presents, we climbed the mountains to the legendary cigar-shaped red train “Churchill”. It was built for the National Exhibition in 1939 and after a recent restoration can be used for meetings and other events. Next stop: Lucerne.

Festive Lucerne Lucerne is the location of many famous festivals, fairs and other large and international events. When we left the railway station, we found ourselves in the very centre of the historic city. In the immediate vicinity of the station we found the Culture and Convention Center Lucerne and many five and four star hotels. Lucerne combines lots of professional experience organizing large events with easy accessibility and dedicated infrastructure. I can’t emphasize enough how impressive the modern convention centre is. The multifunctional building overlooks the historic centre, the river and the lake and employs large windows and reflection pools to create wide open spaces inside and outside. A wide variety of events can be organized in several large halls, rooms, foyers or on the terraces. After enjoying a small reception and a pedalo race on the lake, we received the keys to three rental cars: a convertible, a business sedan and a small van. A chequered flag waved us away on our next stop. The journey was a memorable experience by itself, especially in the convertible, because the scenic road to Interlaken let us enjoy many beautiful vistas over lakes, mountains and valleys. On the way to Interlaken we stopped for lunch in Ballenberg, an open air museum, displaying traditional buildings and architecture from all over Switzerland. We spent an enjoyable rustic afternoon there, before we returned to the road.

Splendorous Interlaken The spectacular alpine landscape around Interlaken makes a perfect backdrop for memorable conferences and events, as they’ve been for more than a hundred years. The historic Casino Kursaal, the centre of the meetings industry in Interlaken, will soon receive a new annex with a capacity for up to 1200 people. The leg-

endary hotels in the neighbourhood exude the heady atmosphere of an age long past and the excellence of modern service. The first disappointment of the trip took place that evening: we heard that the Nordic team had taken the lead. Luckily we could drown away our sorrows with the excellent cheese fondue dinner, while enjoying a most amusing floor show. The next morning we rode by bus to the Schilthorn cable car, which would take us up to Piz Gloria. This revolving restaurant was the location for most of the scenes in ‘On her Majesty’s Secret Service’ and offers an exhilarating view of Switzerland’s highest mountain tops. It certainly was exhilarating, but not the only possibility to do something sporty in group: Interlaken still is a centre of winter and summer sport.

Cultural Basel Basel, historic city of art and culture, was our final stop of the trophy. To get there, we took a special train, complete in Belle Epoque style. We lunched onboard as if we were on the legendary Orient Express. This train, like the ‘Churchill’, is yet another example of the many possibilities that the Swiss trains offer. In fact, the rail network is Switzerland’s other main asset. Whether you’re just travelling from A to B or hold a meeting, followed by a lavish dinner, you can be certain of a personal and perfect service. Basel is regarded as one of Switzerland's centres for art, music and architecture. Thanks to its central location at the 'three-

countries-corner' where Switzerland, Germany and France meet, the city on the elbow of the Rhine is also an important centre for fairs and congresses. A visit to the ‘Vincent van Gogh – Between Earth and Heaven’ exposition proved extremely interesting. The Meeting Trophy was concluded in the Art Deco Badischer Banhof with a banquet and party. The reaction of all participants to the Fifth Meeting Trophy was overwhelmingly positive, which is a rarity in an industry of perfectionists. Then again, events in Switzerland are run like Swiss clockwork.

Switzerland Convention and Incentive Bureau Benelux

MIM 33

A new venue that puts Lille on the map? You bet!

Hotel Casino Barrière Lille Nicolas COUTON Sales Manager Hotel Casino Barrière Lille.

The North of France becomes increasingly attractive to organize events, especially thanks to its accessibility and proximity, but you need top-level venues to complete the offer. Nicolas Couton is the new Regional Commercial Manager for the North & Benelux at Lucien Barrière Hotels & Casinos and he can tell us something more about this new Lucien Barrière property.

Are you a new Ch’ti? Nicolas Couton: 'Yes, I’m from La Baule where I’ve been working for 3 years for Lucien Barrière Hotels. I recently arrived in Lille to prepare the launch of the new Hotel Casino Barrière Lille which opens in February 2010 in the business district of Lille. I can recommend a stroll around the old quarter of ‘Vieux Lille’, which is crammed with restaurants, bars and boutiques... I love the ‘Rue de Gand’ which is pedestrian-only on summer evenings and covered with restaurant tables.'

Could you say it's more than just a Casino? Nicolas: 'Yes, much more! It’s a new destination inside the city. The Casino will be open by the end of the year and the entire complex by February 2010. It will include a hotel with 142 guestrooms & suites for which the 5-star classification is on its way, a Wellness Centre with hamman, sauna, massage, 3 restaurants and 4 theme bars, meeting rooms covering 800 m², and a Theatre with 1200 seats and a variety of musical shows. Anything is possible here!'

What did you think of Lille?

Any ideas for the event organizer?

Nicolas: 'I remember my first visit in March 2009 for Festival XXL, when I was immediately knocked out by the sheer vibrancy of Lille. It’s also a very entrepreneurial and Europe-facing city full of contrasts. 'And the new Hotel Casino Barrière with its 44,000m² of space for events, gaming & entertainment, right at the heart of Euralille, will help reinforce Lille’s attractiveness both to the general public and to major event organisers.'

Nicolas: 'We can propose lots of activities. Of course Casino Nights are part of our programme. You can let your group be escorted by a Casino Coach who will explain how all the machines work and what are the rules of each game. But our partner agencies are developing new incentive ideas like puzzle and orienteering courses with a road book written in the 'ch'ti' dialect, or an eco-responsible incentive that will make your group members aware of sustainable development in a playful, fun and ecological atmosphere.'

Is this an important addition for the Lucien Barrière Group? Nicolas: 'Yes, this is our first development in the North and it’s definitely a new generation of establishments with a daring architecture and an unequalled level of comfort and service. We have two things at stake – to become a new benchmark for business & leisure events and to market a new business concept in a difficult economic climate.'

Contact: Nicolas Couton - Hotel Casino Barrière Lille +33 (0)3 28 14 45 46


Lille – Your new destination for business and for pleasure 777, Pont de Flandres I 59777 Lille - FRANCE I

LU EMBOURG X hot city / cool country ‌ and so close by !

L U X E M B O U R G : S U R P R I S I N G FA C I L I T I E S & M O R E . . .

MIM > categorie > onderwerp

Nothing says Europe like LuXembourg

The size of a region but the independence

of a state.

'A small country is an advantage for everyone,' says Olivier Barbieux, Director of the Luxembourg Tourist Office in Brussels, and he adds: 'Luxembourg may have the size of a region but it has the independence of a state.' That's one of the main advantages of the Grand Duchy, certainly if you link that to its favourable position on the European map - literally and figuratively. When we were there, we absolutely loved the contrast between the bustling city life and the relaxing peace and quiet in the countryside... with an extra European touch. What has struck us even more during our visit was the speed with which new projects and developments are underway. But these lady and gentlemen will give you an exact idea about what's going on in Luxembourg: Pierre Barthelmé, Executive Counselor 1st Class at the Ministry of Tourism and Chairman of the Board of Luxembourg Congrès, Roland Pinnel, Director of the Luxembourg City Tourist Office, Jean-Jacques Knaff, Director of Luxembourg Congrès, and Sarina Migge of the Luxembourg Convention Bureau. INTERVIEW AND TEXT SOPHIE MOLLE AND STEVEN KINS

MIM: How do you see the future of the meetings industry for Luxembourg, especially considering the recent efforts that were made? Roland Pinnel: 'The current trend towards short-haul destinations puts Luxembourg City in a privileged position. Having its largest share of clients within Europe, it's ideally situated in the heart of Europe and therefore easily accessible. Luxembourg is an authentic, secure and dynamic capital, in constant growth, especially in terms of the infrastructure offered, with a combination of the new and the old, purpose-built or unusual venues combined with an excellent selection of support services

MIM 36

and qualified providers. Multilingual, with an open spirit and excellent means of communication, our capital city is and will stay a privileged place of welcome. The Luxembourg Convention Bureau, the official conference bureau of the city of Luxembourg will, even more than before as a principle of solidarity, promote the destination as a whole with its partners.' Pierre Barthelmé: 'Due to recent developments in seminar and conference infrastructure, both in the capital and throughout the country, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg intends to assert its rightful place among the medium-capacity

European meeting and incentive cities and regions. 'The recently (re-)opened the European Conference Centre in LuxembourgKirchberg is one of the many venues in Luxembourg, next to the great hall of the Philharmonie, the Municipal Grand Theater or the Cultural and Meeting Center Neumünster Abbey. Across the country, there's also the Cultural, Tourist and Congress Centre Trifolion in Echternach, the Cube521 in the Ardennes in Marnach, or the usual suspects such as the Domaine Thermal or Casino2000 in Mondorf, to name but a few.'

MIM > LuXembourg > Intro

'Thanks to recent developments in seminar and conference infrastructure the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg intends to assert its rightful place'

MIM: It's obvious that the new Conference Centre will play an important role. Barthelmé: 'Luxembourg is often in the spotlight on the news in Europe because of its status as one of the three capitals of Europe: indeed, the meetings of the Councils of Ministers of the EU are held here and have necessitated an in-depth upgrade of our European Conference Centre. This being done, we intend to capitalize on that reputation to communicate that these magnificent facilities are available to any company or organization to hold its congress or seminar outside the months of April, June and October when the sessions of the '27' are held in Luxembourg.' Jean-Jacques Knaff: 'Don't forget that we're not really a conference centre. It has been built for the European Minister Council, with specific requirements in mind. It requires a closed-off centre, while it needs to be open and accessible for conferences. Nonetheless, we have tested every possible event, even a fashion show and a disco - and it was the best disco in Luxembourg, I may say. For a special event we once put cushions on the floor of our loft-style room and we invited some musicians with a cello and a harp to create the perfect atmosphere. Everything had one colour: the main dish was one colour, the dessert another, and so on. Every evening a lot of passers-by stop and look inside because the light show looks so impressive. 'It's a prestigious centre with a lot of wood in the interior, and when there is an exhibition everything needs to be protected, which is not obvious. The prestige is shown in the lights in the auditorium; if you replace one, you have to replace all of them, which takes two to three weeks. Cleaning all the windows even takes one month. 'Since we have floor heating, car presentations are impossible because they are too heavy. But we have a wonderful site which is close to the Philharmonie. We had Vodafone UK and they're returning in 2010, and we also had a lot of pharmaceutical companies, lawyer associations...

Pierre Barthelmé

'We don't have exclusive partners, except for catering, because we consider our reputation to be extremely important. Since it is the same catering as for the ministers - and they are happy - it has to be very good.' Sarina Migge: 'Another fact about the Centre to point out is that it is a very secure location because of its specific concept.'

MIM: How do you promote the centre and the destination? Knaff: 'The European Minister Council will occupy this conference centre three months a year: in April, June and October, and then the city will be packed. That means there are nine months left, which is the reason why we, as Luxembourg Congrès, are making promotion for this centre and for the Grand Duchy. Of course it is important that you have enough capacity to accommodate people, so it is easier to sell the centre and then the rest of the available accommodations in the destination.' Barthelmé: 'In my capacity as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Luxembourg Congrès and my duties in the Ministry for Tourism, I can perfectly combine the resources of both Luxembourg Congress,

a Luxembourg City Convention Bureau, a National Tourist Office and our tourist representations abroad. To demonstrate the importance of the MICE segment to the Luxembourg Government, the declaration of the government programme of the new government mentions the development of this economic activity. 'Of course we are present at the main professional fairs like CONFEX, IMEX and EMIF but we complement this with fam trips, road shows, round-tables with professionals whom we meet in the different European markets. Often, our Embassies are valuable partners in this approach.'

from left to right: Sylvie Meyer, Olivier Barbieux, Sarina Migge and Jean-Jacques Knaff in the European Conference Centre

MIM 37

MIM > LuXembourg > Intro

Roland Pinnel

Knaff: 'Luxembourg is a cosmopolitan village. Filling up the conference centre equals promoting the destination because people visit the city and return afterwards, be it for business or pleasure. We do not accommodate groups under 300 people, so we send those to another location in Luxembourg. Once they visit Luxembourg, they see that everything is close-by.' Migge: 'We let people choose their hotel according to their budget, but we are able to offer them a wide range of possibilities within close proximity of each other.'

MIM: Apart from the new hotels that are opening, are there any future projects that the public might be interested in? Pinnel: 'The new Conference Centre on Kirchberg is partially opened. The final renovation phase will be terminated by the end of 2012. The Cité / Cercle complex, a cultural and business meeting place right in the downtown area, will open in two steps: the Cité officially in January 2010 and the Cercle building beginning of 2011.

'The current trend towards short-haul destinations puts Luxembourg City in a privileged position' Furthermore a tramway is planned, connecting the train station, the airport and the Kirchberg plateau with the city centre.' Barthelmé: 'To accommodate participants in conferences, seminars and incentives that we wish to draw to Luxembourg, the capacity of the hotel infrastructure has been expanded or modernized. Several hotel projects have emerged in Luxembourg City, or will open their doors soon: Sofitel & Novotel in the station area, in addition to their presence in the Kirchberg plateau, the Melia group opposite the Conference Centre Kirchberg and the castle-hotel Urspelt in the Ardennes, near Clervaux will soon be joined by the hotel 'The Place d'Armes' in a listed building on the square that bears the same name and the 'Suitehotel' Accor, also in Kirchberg.' Migge: 'There are also a few other novelties in Luxembourg like the Rives de Clausen, and a new 4-star hotel next to the brasserie Mansfeld, in a beautiful location next to the river and near the Casemates.'

Légère Premium Hotel Luxembourg

Olivier Barbieux: 'I can only add that spring next year will see the opening of a new-generation design hotel in Munsbach: the Légère Premium Hotel Luxembourg. This four-star property will be located near the airport and will have 156 rooms and 400 square metres of conference space.'

'We have tested every possible event in the European Conference Centre, even a fashion show and a disco - and it was the best disco in Luxemburg, I may say'

NH Luxembourg A nice view and easy accessibility when flying in from abroad, where can you find that? The only answer: NH Luxembourg ****. It's right next to the new airport, but strangely enough you don't get awakened at night by a plane that's flying over, and you have a wonderful 180 degree view from the fourth floor meeting room where you feel as if you're inside the control tower of the airport itself. The hotel recently had some major behind-the-scenes refurbishments, which have made the hotel an even better place to stay. Contact: T: +352 340 571 - F: +352 3489319413

MIM 38

MIM > LuXembourg > City

Luxembourg city Vibrant Elegance

© New Spirit agency

According to Thai Luong of the Melia, Luxembourg is a vibrant location, as proven by the free concerts on Sunday morning, for instance with the Simple Minds, and we definitely won't challenge his point. On one side you have the characteristic, elegant side of the city that's been kept up to date, which is perfectly illustrated by the Place d'Armes hotel, a historic building that has been restored marvellously. On the other side you have the modern, more 'design' aspect which you find in the Sofitel Luxembourg Le Grand Ducal and the Grand Hôtel Victor Hugo for instance.

Place d'Armes The main thing they want to do is preserve the character of the old building, but this has some consequences of course. No two rooms are alike and everything had to be tailor-made, so we don't have to tell you that no trouble or expense was spared in this project that will open at the end of 2009. Three different styles are combined in a perfect balance: modern, baroque and art-deco, and all over the place real design pieces can be admired. A lounge bar, brasserie, restaurant, wine-vault and a wellness centre complete the already marvellous picture.

Grand Hôtel Victor Hugo A new name in Luxembourg is always refreshing, and this one definitely is. The Grand Hôtel Victor Hugo **** is a design boutique hotel with a perfect location in between the city centre and Kirchberg. The 40 rooms and 5 suites each have their own colour according to the floor they're on and the sales director, Mr. Castellanetta, is very proud of some of

the famous guests he's already welcomed in his property. The 3-star Hôtel Victor Hugo across the street copies some of the characteristics of its bigger brother but in a looser atmosphere.

Château de Septfontaines We arrived at the castle and we were actually interrupting on a movie set, that was an immediate indication of how well-preserved this property really is. It's located next to the Villeroy & Boch factory and was the home of the Boch brothers. Christian Coljon wanted to stress two things: the flexibility of the different spaces (there's more than 3000m2 of event space) and the contrast between the château and the industrial grounds, because you can actually choose between the smaller meeting rooms in the castle or the bigger spaces in the old factory. Christian is also president of No Borders which organizes concerts that promote the connection between cultures all around the world.

Alvisse Parc It's not exactly in the city centre, but it's really nearby, and still you feel as if you're in the forests. If you need a large amount of rooms, the Alvisse Parc **** is a good alternative with its 765 beds divided over 245 rooms and 95 studios. Mireille Micoud was proud to tell that the lobby, the bar and the restaurant are being refurbished, which will give the hotel a new appearance. A major asset is the 1300m2 Europe meeting room.

Hilton Close to the Alvisse Parc lies a true monument among the Luxembourg hotels, the Hilton Luxembourg *****. It towers above the quiet Gruneward Forest and this ensures a superb view from one of the 337 guest rooms, 15 meeting rooms, Indigo Restaurant or Bar Mezzo. Surely the Hilton brand stands for quality and business will definitely feel important here, as proven by the business centre which is open 24/7.

MIM 39

MIM > LuXembourg


37° IN LUXEMBOURG is the first 'green' meeting place of the Grand Duchy, the newest conference centre and event venue of Luxembourg city, an architectural piece of art

Human Warmth 37° is nestled in the Cloche d’Or business park with a breathtaking view of green surroundings. An open deck invites for coffee breaks and after-work parties. The facades of the two adjacent buildings offer an excellent advertisement space when illuminated at night for events of all kinds. German architect Stephan Braunfels calls 37° his first masterpiece in Luxembourg. The owning company matched architectural purism with minimalistic Italian furniture: Elipse tables and Verner Panton S chairs, the combination is predominantly modern. The building is managed by a group of people known for their professionalism in event productions, your event will be in experienced hands. Contact: Annik Paquay Impasse Drosbach 1882 Cloche d'Or, Luxembourg T: +352 661 37 37 00

Meeting facilities 2009 (total of 2315sqm) 'grande salle' 614 sqm, daylight, 442 conference in theater style, 450 cocktail, 400 walking dinner, 300 seated dinner wooden deck 515 sqm, daylight, 250 cocktail business lounges from east to west: 64 and 73 sqm, indirect daylight, 16-24 in boardroom or cabaret style, 35 in classroom style, up to 45 in theater style business lounges from north to south: 66 and 79 sqm, indirect daylight, 20-30 in boardroom or cabaret style, 40 in classroom style, up to 55 in theater style reception area for coffee breaks 170sqm, daylight

Meeting facilities 2010 (total of 4000sqm) workshop 514sqm, daylight, 120 classroom + space for workshops or luncheon/dinners 120 restaurant 1021sqm, daylight, seating 350 reception area enlarged, 270sqm, daylight, coffee breaks and display/exhibition area 250

Restaurant Le Pétrusse Restaurant ‘Le Petrusse’ is a specialist in hosting and entertaining large groups. The restaurant offers you a magnificent view of the Petrusse valley and is ideally located within 3 minutes walking distance of the old city centre. Whether it’s for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a cabaret night, restaurant ‘Le Petrusse’ can receive around 180 guests in a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

MIM 40

Luxembourg Visit Tours YOUR INCOMING AGENCY IN LUXEMBOURG: Our specialty: the ‘Three Borders Country’ Our desire: to be at your service for the conception of trips across our country Our hope: to share with your friends our knowledge and our love of Luxembourg

MIM > LuXembourg > Le Royal

Hotel Le Royal Luxembourg

Get the Royal Treatment Le Royal is part of the Leading Hotels of the World, so you know this is not your ordinary hotel. It was a hot day in the Grand Duchy and at noon Florence Pichon escorted us through the restaurant 'La Pomme Cannelle' with its new chef, to the sunny terrace where someone was preparing deliciously smelling summer food on the barbecue for the guests of the outdoor restaurant 'Le Jardin'. Nonetheless, Florence quickly had our full attention for what she had to say about Le Royal.

Although this is a five-star hotel, it recently received the Ecolabel rating for its commitment to preserving the environment. They promote the use of bikes and public transport, they sort and recycle waste, print on recycled paper, use ecofriendly maintenance products,... In short, they really make an effort to be 'green'. Accessibility is no problem either, since the hotel arranges a shuttle service to the train station and the airport. There are 210 rooms, of which 32 Royal Club rooms that have a private elevator with direct access to this new wing. In the latter you're also pampered with Hermès products in the bathroom. If you want to feel special, this is the exclusive environment you're looking for. If you're wondering whether or not this property can handle top-level events, we heard the reassuring news that recently the Elite Model Casting was held in the Salon des Roses, which can accommodate a maximum of 600 people. How's that for a reference? But if you're in a more lowkey mood, just install yourself in the Piano bar, sit back and enjoy the atmosphere. And when you need even more thorough

relaxation, head to the health club with its heated swimming pool, exercise room, massage room, beauty salon, sauna, hammam and solarium. And the future is still promising for this well-established name in Luxembourg because Florence promised they want to keep on working on their 'business profile' in order to respond to what matters most to business clients, and although there are already nine meeting rooms, she mysteriously added that more projects were planned.

Terrace of the Restaurant Le Jardin

If you want to feel special, this is the exclusive environment you're looking for Contact: Florence Pichon T: +352 241616 715 F: +352 22 29 85

MIM 41

MIM > LuXembourg > MeeTincS

MeeTincS The missing piece to your success The Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg is ideally located for the organisation of a congress, an exhibition, a conference... At the heart of Europe, within easy reach and providing an infrastructure in constant evolution, Luxembourg and MeeTincS are in a position to meet your expectations. In 2008 Marcel A.M. Vissers, our own editor in chief gave MeeTincS the ‘Award for the Biggest Buzz’ at the EMIF. This was just another of many crowning moments for a company that has been an important player in the Luxembourg meetings industry for over 12 years. Why? The answer is simple. MeeTincS combines in one company four essential parts of the meetings industry. From preparing to finalising your event, MeeTincS is there to face any challenge, plan for the unexpected and check each detail. From simple staff parties with an Oktoberfest theme to 3-day motivation trips to Marrakech. From oenological hunts in the exclusive Caves Saint Martin of Remich to team building workshops for the Glory of Uruk. These incentives will

meet your expectations anywhere and anytime. A PCO’s job is never done. Before, during and after your congresses and conferences MeeTincS’ experienced and multilingual team will take care of, amongst other things, finding a venue, booking hotel rooms, designing a website, social programme, follow-up, publishing documents, ... It doesn’t matter if it’s a seminar, a conference, a congress, a training session or an exhibition, each event gets its own personal and specific approach. With the globalization of political, economical, social and cultural relations, hardly any events are left where all participants have the same mother tongue. Having interpreters on stand-by will create an atmosphere of trust and congeniality, but is easier said than done. MeeTincS has a team of translators and interpreters at your disposal to translate in the shortest of time and into 60 different languages. All are bound by the strictest professional secrecy. In a business where each word is worth gold and has to reach its target, they only select the very best. Even if you’ve decided to organise your event by yourself, without MeeTincS professional assistance, you can still rely on them to provide the very best equipment. Their equipment is constantly updated and state-of-the-art. Simultaneous translation, conference sound systems, video, wireless voting system ... The material is of such high quality that it has been used for both Luxembourg presidencies of the European Union (1997 and 2005). Your event will be supported by their technology and their technology will be supported by their technicians: tailored know-how.

MIM 42

Teambuilding in the Caves Saint Martin

MeeTincS is there to face any challenge, plan for the unexpected and check each detail To sum up: MeeTincS will help you with the organisation of any kind of meeting or incentive, translation and interpretation and with rental equipment. Their professionalism and experience are supported by a long list of references, including the accession of Grand Duke Henri, a NATO summit, dozens of meetings of foreign Heads of States in Luxembourg, the Benelux IFA Seminar of 2003, ...


MIM > LuXembourg > Moselle

Moselle A European Landmark You've probably read the name Moselle already on some wine label, but this region in the South East of the country has more to offer than that. It's named after the river that separates it from Germany, a river that is in this case also a condominium - it belongs to Luxembourg and Germany at the same time. That's why it was the scene of one of the landmarks in the history of a unified Europe. Schengen Yes, Schengen is a village in Luxembourg! That was the first remark of Martina Kneip of the Schengen Tourist Office. In 2010 - 14 June to be exact - they're celebrating the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Schengen agreement, the event that gave this little place its spot in the history books. This is still remembered by the Europe memorial stone. The European Centre is currently being transformed into a sort of a museum, a documentation centre to be exact, with a permanent exhibition on Europe and the Schengen agreement. The official opening is planned during the official festivities in the presence of the Ministers for Foreign Affairs on 14 June 2010. But Martina ensured us that the city is more

Commemorative monument for the Schengen Agreement

than just the agreement, even Victor Hugo was here. As a proof, there's a painting of the Château de Schengen that the French writer made. In the Europa Museum a small room and a cosy cellar are available for cocktail events. The MS Princesse Marie-Astrid played an important role in the history of Europe. It was on this ship that the Schengen agreement was signed by the leaders of Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, thus creating a Europe without frontiers. This place where Germany, France and Luxembourg meet, was the perfect symbolic location for this. Now themed seminars on the water can be held along different trajectories. The boat stops along the way and the passengers can take the bus to Trier for instance. Easter 2010 will be the time that the new ship will see the light. Of course, Princess Marie-Astrid will be there to inaugurate it. From mid March to June and from September to mid November the ship can be privatized. The same people also run the Wine House and Museum in Ehnen which is great for up to 180 people and this place will also be renovated, in order to give the region another new asset. Bernard Massard is a name that rings a bell when you're talking about wines in the Moselle region. We can imagine that you're immediately thinking about blind tastings and sampling some local products - and this is of course possible here but the property which lies alongside the Moselle river also has enough space for events. First of all, you have the entrance

Caves Bernard Massard

hall for 100 people and a smaller room which is perfect for buffets, then there's another room for 40 people which is built like a wine-cellar and on the first floor there's room for 100 people in a seated arrangement with access to the terrace and a view of the river. Mondorf-les-bains is a rather exclusive town in the south of the region, at the French border, famed for its spa treatments, and the most reputed name in that area has to be the Domaine Thermal of Mondorf (see further on). Casino 2000 is another big name in Mondorf-les-Bains. The staff aims to fulfil every possible wish an event organiser might have, be it in one of the three restaurants or the eight private salons.

MIM 43

MIM > LuXembourg > Mondorf Parc Hotel

Mondorf Parc Hotel

Al Thermen

Attila Laszlo joined us for breakfast on the terrace of the Mondorf Parc Hotel and from our ďŹ rst impression and the friendly tone in his voice, we could tell that he's not at all as savage as his name might suggest. On the contrary, he was more than happy to welcome us in his hotel and show us around the domain - and yes, it's more than big enough to rightfully call it a domain!

But ďŹ rst of all he wanted to focus on Luxembourg as a meeting destination because of the good accessibility and the knowledge for organising mid-scale meetings and business events. Mondorf Parc Hotel is not only a thermal centre, he assured us, but also a business location where you can have residential seminars. The main building, the four-star Mondorf Parc Hotel, has 113 rooms, 30 identical suites. Two restaurants on the site; a cool bistrot atmosphere in the “Maus Kättiâ€? and the “De Jangeliâ€? offers a modern design where the red sets off nicely against the grey.

you can also book twin rooms now, and free WiFi is installed throughout the hotel. The “Al Thermen�, or old spa, has been completely renovated and now houses a ballroom that can be combined with the amphitheatre in the neighbouring Waasserhaus or with the historical Orangerie, a great location for elegant events.

To respond to the business market two new renovations have already been done:



Then there's also the Mondorf Le Club which groups the sports and spa activities - or Tonic and Zen as they call it -, and if we look at the offer, it's no wonder that Attila stays in shape.

Business meets Wellness

Salon BĂŠmol



(+352) 23 66 60 |


MIM > LuXembourg

Kirchberg In Luxembourg City most national and European institutions have their headquarters in the Kirchberg quarter. It’s no wonder that a lot of meeting and incentive possibilities can be found on this plateau overlooking the city centre: Utopolis, D’Coque Arena, LuxExpo, and of course the Conference Centre. There are even special guided architecture tours in this part of town. Two atypical yet interesting locations deserve special mention: the Philharmonie Luxembourg and the Mudam. The Philharmonie Luxembourg is Luxembourg’s national concert hall, the grand auditorium which can seat over 1500 people. The bold curves of Portzamparc’s Philharmonie form an exceptional setting for musical, artistic events or conferences. If you pass by after dark, you certainly can't miss the Philharmonie. Maybe even more exclusive as an event location is the Grand Duke Jean

Museum of Modern Art or Mudam. The museum stands on the site of the old Fort Thüngen, parts of which have been rebuilt.

Melia Luxembourg The new Melia with its modern and 'design' approach is definitely a worthy addition to the Kirchberg area. Thai Luong informed us that this is not really a conference hotel but then again that's not really necessary because they're right next to

Europe Square

the Conference Centre. However, there is a meeting room for 150 people and the Italian restaurant is also accessible for exterior guests. At the back of the hotel there's now a new street that leads to the city centre down a winding road, which is a great alternative for the traditional route along the main roads. Then he took us to a suite on the top floor and said: 'Have a look at the best view of Luxembourg!' And how right he was.


Official fair opening with H.R.H. Grand Duke Henri and Director Jean-Michel Collignon at Luxexpo

Luxexpo is located on the very outskirts of the city, looking out over the green countryside. Perfect if you’re in need of a peaceful location. Its actual distance from the city is negligible with its own tram stop, a direct bus connection to the airport and its close proximity to an international railway station. The Luxexpo team has acquired vast experience and knowledge to help you organize any kind of event. The team does not allow itself to remain complacent and

For more than thirty years, Luxexpo Exhibition and Conference Centre has been the location of multiple trade and cultural fairs and a variety of exhibitions for the general public or for professionals. The success of this large venue can be measured by the many events organized by third parties: presentations, conferences, workshops, seminars, product launches and banquets that fill the calendar. set in its ways. The most prominent example of their progressive thinking is the construction of a new conference centre (completion planned for 2013). Like so many things in Luxembourg: 'Ça bouge!' Until then, Luxexpo offers a total operational space of 35,000m2. Two restaurants can accommodate up to 600 people. Conference facilities for 20 to 2000 delegates and all technical equipment is up to date.

Luxexpo - Arcelor

MIM 45

MIM > LuXembourg > Accor

Sofitel and Novotel Mixed Doubles

Sofitel Luxembourg Europe

Sofitel Luxembourg Le Grand Ducal

Sofitel Luxembourg Europe As he told us, many VIPs have come here before us to have a drink on the terrace, have dinner in one of the restaurants, or enjoy a nice cigar in the Havana Lounge. The Venetian restaurant, Oro e Argento, with an Italian chef was renovated this Summer and was awarded 'Best Discovery' in Luxembourg for 2009 by Gastromania. Maximilian explained that Sofitel’s new concept for meetings, 'Inspired Meetings', will provide themed packages to suit the client. Every single element of the meeting reflects the same motif. Therefore they work together with different partners and event companies. The hotel also has a good relationship with the nearby Philharmonie, which is a good option for people who are interested in an evening programme. 'We want to profile Sofitel even more on the meeting market,' he explained, 'so we now have a dedicated

MIM 46

The Accor group has a few tricks up its sleeve in Luxembourg, and its latest addition - the Sofitel Luxembourg Le Grand Ducal - might be the most stunning trick of them all, but our visit started in the European district. If your event is held in one of the venues on the Kirchberg plateau, you can’t have many more convenient options than the two hotels from the same group that lie next to each other, like brothers. The Hotel Manager Maximilian Von Hochberg welcomed us in the Sofitel Luxembourg Europe - 'one of only two five-star meeting hotels in Luxembourg', he proudly announced - and invited us for a drink on the terrace which is in the middle of an impressive atrium. This gave us a magnificent view of the hotel, since all of the 109 rooms are built around it.

Novotel Luxembourg Centre

meeting planner who takes care of a whole project from start to finish, more or less as a consultant.The emphasis is also on the quality of the gastronomy, and we're proud that we're the hotel brand with the most Michelin stars.'

Novotel Luxembourg Kirchberg When you're not looking for 5-star luxury, the adjacent Novotel definitely has its own qualities. It has a brand-new main meeting room, with 260 rooms newly renovated in 2009. They also have their own meeting approach with the Meeting@Novotel offer and the 10 meeting rooms promise nuremous possibilities, especially if you consider the options you have at the Sofitel just next door.

Novotel Luxembourg Centre The same level of expertise can be found in the four-star Novotel Luxembourg Centre. Located in the city centre, and

Novotel Luxembourg Kirchberg

very convenient for those traveling via the train station with its high-speed connections, the hotel can offer 150 guest rooms and 7 meeting rooms.

Sofitel Luxembourg Le Grand Ducal After our visit of the Sofitel and Novotel on Kirchberg, we were treated to a glass of champagne on the top-floor of the 5-star Sofitel Luxembourg Le Grand Ducal, and they must have anticipated that we were going to be enchanted by the view, as we were so impressed that we even stayed there for dinner. The experience was not a disappointment, but we should have known that beforehand, since the menu is under the direction of the famed chef Antoine Westermann. Equally as impressive as the view and the food is the design of this hotel. Although it is a hotel with 128 rooms, it breathes a modern yet cosy atmosphere.

MIM > LuXembourg > Countryside

Countryside An Adventurous Nature A Apart from Luxembourg city, Kirchberg and the Moselle region, the countryside of Luxembourg is definitely worth mentioning. Drive away from the busy roads and you'll find yourself in a beautiful green, hilly and perfectly peaceful environment which might be the ideal place for your back-to-basics event with places like Echternach, Château d'Urspelt, Château de Vianden... If you want to explore the more adventurous side of the countryside, the guys at Parc Mamm'Out will definitely be able to help you (see below). Echternach lies at the very center of the German-Luxembourg nature park. This is not the only name by which this sub-region is known. Other names are: ‘Mullerthal’, valley of the millers, because of the numerous watermills, and ‘Luxembourg’s Little Switzerland’. Whatever you want to call it, the region is alive with fauna and flora and is the perfect location for walking, cycling and other more sporty or adventur-

ous incentives. Indeed, right at the very gates of the town, one can find a grand recreational park of 60 hectares: canoes, sailing, surfing, fishing, paddle boating, mini-golf, … The close proximity to Germany makes Echternach and its surroundings especially interesting. Very recently, the region has gained a multifunctional venue, also available for congresses: Trifolion (see below).

Dancing procession of Echternach

k o sm o .l u

Nature & Culture in Echternach

Luxembourg & More, your MICE* partner in Luxembourg.

* Meeting Incentive Conference Event

9, RUE 1900 - L.2157 LUXEMBOURG - TEL. +352 26 33 26 96 -

MIM > LuXembourg

Château d'Urspelt Country Class

Castle of Urspelt and its garden

'Over here the mentality is different and more relaxed than in the city'

Entrance of the castle

After a hard day's work we arrived in front of the driveway of the Château d'Urspelt late in the evening - too late actually. We were heartily welcomed however, and were invited to the restaurant for a sumptuous cold dish, which proved to be a sensible choice due to our late arrival. The winding roads had taken us to a place that was peaceful and quiet and the stately presence of the residence, the interior and the rooms exuded this same feeling. As the charming lady of the house, Diana Lodomez, says: 'This place has a soul. Over here the mentality is different and more relaxed than in the city.' When she gave us a tour around the property you could tell she was more than just proud - this is clearly not just a hotel, it's a family estate!

Diana's father owns a successful construction company, F. Lodomez Constructions, and he wanted to give something back to the region, so he bought the deteriorated estate in 2005. That's when his experience in the construction business came in handy because they did everything themselves, turning it into an authentic, modern and comfortable château. When it was restored, it first served as a holiday home available for families from Friday to Monday. It only opened as a hotel since October 2008 and received its four stars in February. Now 14 people are working on the estate. It has 29 rooms but then there's also the impressive suite that looks like it came straight from a fairy-tale. Whoever needs to relax can book a private session in the two wellness

rooms, one with a sauna and the other with a hamam. The restaurant opened in July and is typical for the region. The one who prepares the meat is the same person who produced it. There are also several meeting packages available. Everything is possible, small or big, thanks to a number of multipurpose rooms and the space that is available in the separate reception area in the same authentic style and with a wooden-beam ceiling.


Typical teambuilding activity

Many adventurous teambuilding activities are artificial, but not so in the Luxembourg Ardennes. It's really back to nature, hidden in the woods on the banks of the river Wiltz where Mamm'Out's operating base lies. If you're in for some adventure, the action takes place in three quarries: abseiling, crossing a rope bridge, rock climbing, death ride and much more. For the less adventurous among us the environment is also perfect for mountain biking, GPS search or hiking with a nature guide. After a nice hard day of action it’s time to relax on the terrace and just enjoy the beauty of nature. In Spring or Fall the fireplace provides a cosy feeling and you can spend the night in the Tipi Tents, the gite or another hotel accommodation. After your stay you’ll be convinced that an active and exiting teambuilding gives your team the extra drive and new energy they’ll need! All of this is organised by Axel Vosters together with the Mamm’Out Team according to your wishes and the luxury level of your group.,

MIM 48

MIM > LuXembourg

Trifolion, Centre Culturel, Touristique et de Congrès Echternach is a charming and picturesque place surrounded by the craggy terrain, thick forests and myriad streams that gave the region the nickname ‘Little Switzerland’. It’s also the oldest town in Luxembourg, attested by its Roman ruins, medieval fortifications and the abbey-basilica at its centre. The town has been the site of the ‘International Festival Echternach’ since 1975. Overlooking the abbey is the newly built ‘Trifolion, Centre Culturel, Touristique et de Congrès’. The five-storey Trifolion is a prime example of how contemporary architecture can merge with the surrounding architecture of times long gone. Large windows, high ceilings and wooden panelling create an

atmosphere of peace and quiet for the many concerts and congresses that fill the centre’s calendar. The building has a congress hall with a capacity for 700: the main naive has comfortable fixed seating while the side galleries allow for flexible seating – perfect for personal assistants, journalists, etc. Moreover the side galleries allow seated dinners prior to concerts. Special cabins for interpreters are available for simultaneous interpretation. The adjoining auditorium has room for 300 and can be arranged in whatever way you wish. This room also sports an impressive round gallery. The main welcome hall has a surrounding gallery too as well as a star-

Events for you. A webpage. It is new. Click and suscribe. You are lucky. Win a prize. Congratulations.

Trifolion: culture and congress at the same place

dotted ceiling. Additional rooms of varying size can be used for seminars, workshops and smaller meetings. In short, Trifolion is the place to meet if you want to enrich your event with culture and nature.

© Ph. Hurlin




75, avenue de Cortenbergh 1000 Brussels T.: (+32) 2 646 03 70 F: (+32) 2 648 61 00

1, rue du fort Thüngen 1499 Luxembourg T: +352 4302 577 51 F: +352 4302 575 75

Place Guillaume II - B.P. 181 2011 Luxembourg T: +352 22 75 65 F: +352 46 70 73

© Ag A eency cyy Ne New N ew SSp Spi ppiirrit it it

LuXembourg, hot city / cool country ...and so close by!

Š AAgency ency cyy Ne New N w Sp Sppiiri Spi rrit itt


The 107th edition of MIM magazine

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you