Top 10 Cities for Corporate Events: A Comprehensive Guide
Cities must compete for attention in this rapidly changing and adventurous world. Although each city showcases its character through its people and culture, all cities need to make their unique personalities stand out to groups and tourists alike. Certain global destinations are already gaining a reputation for vibrant activities, easy mobility, top-of-the-line offerings for meetings and intimate cultural experiences
The Beijing Convention & Visitors Bureau (BCVB) was launched in 2012 by the Beijing Municipal Commission of Tourism Development to help China’s capital city gain more large-scale international meetings, events and conventions. The MICE industry in China, much like the country’s economy, is fast growing and has an estimated value of $150 billion annually.
“Building Beijing into an unparalleled MICE city is the objective of the BCVB, which will provide support for your MICE travel, including seeking support from local government, relevant authorities, industry associations and enterprises. We will make the greatest efforts to support successful bidding and hosting of MICE tourism projects.” —Beijing Convention & Visitors Bureau
Germany’s capital city is a world center for culture, politics, media and science. With an economy supported by high-tech, pharmaceuticals, biomedical engineering and renewable energy, it’s understandable why it ranks among the elite meeting destinations in the world.
“Extraordinary meeting facilities and great value for money are only two of many advantages of Berlin. Europe’s most modern hotel landscape can be found here as well as unique cultural offerings. These features make Berlin a perfect MICE destination and, according to the latest ICCA statistics, one of the top three cities for association congresses worldwide. With the Berlin Convention Office of VisitBerlin, meeting planners also have competent support in organizing and staging an event in our city. Customers benefit from our years of experience, a wide network of contacts and booking blocks of hotel rooms at no charge.” —Heike Mahmoud, VisitBerlin Convention Office
For the fourth consecutive year, the UIA ranks Brussels, Belgium, as the No. 1 conference destination in Europe. As the international center for political activity, Brussels experienced an 11.3 percent increase in overnight stays for business travel last year. Thanks to high-speed trains, Brussels is less than two hours from Paris, London, Amsterdam and Cologne, and three hours from Frankfurt.
“Brussels will continue to invest in ideas and infrastructure to ensure that it stays ahead of the field. A shining example is the European Association Summit (EAS) in May 2014, organized by VisitBrussels in collaboration with its partners. Held jointly with the European Business Summit in Brussels, the EAS provides association decision-makers and operatives with an innovative opportunity to enhance the value of their organization. Outside the conferences and corridors of EU power, Brussels has maintained its local traditions and rich heritage.” —Patrick Bontinck, VisitBrussels
There are so many places to hold events in the City of Light, including 1,000 venues and 600 Paris Convention Bureau business members, that it may be difficult for meeting professionals to choose. The capital of France also has daily airline connections to more than 526 cities in more than 136 countries and seven train stations linking Paris to the rest of Europe by high-speed train. Oh, and Americans love Paris.
“Paris is regularly voted the world’s most coveted and charismatic destination by independent international surveys. The secret of Paris’ attractiveness is undoubtedly due to its capacity to surprise by offering professional infrastructures of the first order in a unique setting, combining elegance, culture, history and modernity. Outstanding heritage, art and events that are constantly updated and its romantic image attract 32 million tourists to the Paris region every year.” —Christine de Gouvion Saint Cyr, Paris Convention Bureau
As the capital of Spain since the 17th century, Madrid has been a meeting center for hundreds of years. Using its rich history as a building block, the city has fully blossomed into one of the top international destinations for conventions and events. Its geographic location in the center of Spain is also a key to its role as a transportation center, emerging as the main European air hub for Latin America.
“The Madrid community is a region completely equipped for hosting conventions and trade shows of all kinds, situating itself among the most attractive locations for business tourism on a European as well as worldwide scale. Luxurious palaces and medieval castles blend with modern buildings, forming an excellent and varied backdrop for the celebration of all sorts of meetings and banquets.” —Joaquin Castillo Dolagaray, Tourism for the Community of Madrid
The meeting landscape in Sydney, Australia, is expected to launch into the stratosphere in late 2016, when the 50-acre Sydney International Convention, Exhibition and Entertainment Precinct (SICEEP) opens on Darling Harbour. The International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney) will be a key component of what is being billed as an “innovation hub” designed to reflect the city’s character and energy. ICC Sydney has already secured at least four major international events.
“For association events, meetings in Sydney offer the chance for global thought leaders to connect and collaborate with the many diverse Australian businesses and institutions that have a reputation for creative thinking and global success. There is a real sense that Sydney is undergoing a transformation, with many new infrastructure developments offering great opportunities for future business events.” —Lyn Lewis-Smith, Business Events Sydney
Canada’s west coast jewel is surrounded by snow-capped peaks, sun-drenched sands and the sparkling Pacific Ocean. Vancouver also features an award-winning convention center, first-class hotels and exceptional cuisine, making it a popular international meeting destination among planners and attendees for many reasons.
“Vancouver is consistently voted one of the world’s most livable cities, and has received countless awards and accolades for its attraction to meeting planners and visitors worldwide. We’ve also achieved the all-important balance between accessibility to destinations worldwide, meeting spaces that can accommodate a range of attendee numbers and tastes, and year-round activity options for post-conference gatherings. It’s no wonder Vancouver is quickly becoming a central fixture on the world meetings stage.” —Dave Gazley, Tourism Vancouver
If you think Tokyo is something special now, just wait six-plus years after the city hosts the 2020 Summer Olympics and its offerings are expected to be even more spectacular. Japan’s capital city already boasts more than 96,000 hotel rooms. And there’s no extra charge for the unique “omotenashi” hospitality.
“Tokyo’s multifarious convention venues cater to any size of meeting or conference. Our culinary portfolio, Japanese and international, has more Michelin stars than any other city in the world. These, in combination with its dynamic combination of modern convenience and time-honored tradition, make Tokyo a uniquely compelling meeting destination. As host of the 2020 Olympic Games, the warmth of our charm glows stronger now than ever, making this the perfect time and Tokyo the perfect place to inspire each and every guest attending business events here.” —Geraint Holt, Tokyo Convention & Visitors Bureau
In addition to being a sophisticated, well-connected northern European center, Copenhagen, Denmark, has the ability to boost attendance among attendees seeking a fairy-tale setting. The packed city center gives attendees plenty of places to explore on foot and there’s great public transportation, reflecting the city’s leading-edge commitment to sustainability.
“We offer a broad range of meeting and hotel facilities, English-speaking professionals and a highly educated population. On top of that, we are famous for our wide selection of restaurants specializing in New Nordic Cuisine. If you want to combine business with pleasure, you will also find a world-class selection of culture and leisure opportunities from opera, ballet and concerts to sailing, hiking and swimming.” —Bettina Reventlow-Mourier, Wonderful Copenhagen Convention Bureau
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Cosmopolitan and multifaceted, the capital of Argentina features a fascinating mix of races and cultures that help make it one of world’s most welcoming international destinations. Meeting attendees will obviously want to learn to tango and catch a soccer game. But Buenos Aires’ diverse restaurants, 700 art galleries and party-all-night vibe also contribute to memorable meeting experiences.
Why Buenos Aires?
“Buenos Aires is the most important cultural city in South America as well as one of the political and economic hubs of the region. With more than 3 million inhabitants, the city has experienced a dramatic growth in infrastructure in recent years, thus having an enhanced range of gastronomy, entertainment, hotel and tourism services.” —Buenos Aires Convention & Visitors Bureau
In the ever-changing landscape of business travel, it’s important to stay ahead of the curve and keep an eye on emerging destinations. At PTG Travel, we remain committed to providing our clients with the latest insights and trends in the industry. Whether it’s a classic business hub or a hidden gem, we’re here to help you navigate the world of corporate travel with ease. As we move forward into the post-pandemic era, we look forward to seeing which destinations will rise to the top and become the new hotspots for business travel. Trust PTG Travel to be your guide on this exciting journey.