Back in June, I attended Traverse, a conference dedicated to content creators and the blogging industry. Each year it takes place at a different destination, and this year it took place in Trento, Italy. The event has established itself as the most important gathering for content creators, and after attending last year’s edition in Rotterdam, I decided to attend again. One of the highlights of this concept is that it doesn’t have the usual ‘conference’ format, but rather a festival-like atmosphere with an extensive pre-conference programme and social activities, taking place during the week, with an educational conference being held on the weekend.
I purchased an early bird ticket, and until the very last moment, I was hesitant whether I should go because this period turned out to be a very busy time of the year. After many considerations, I decided to go and was very glad that I did because it exposed me to useful educational content, and I got to visit a new MICE destination. Unfortunately, I had to skip the pre-conference activities and could come only for the conference on the weekend, arriving Friday night and leaving Monday morning. The good thing about this event was that the overall programme provided an immersive experience of the city beyond the conference venue, so I still got to see enough of it to get a rounded destination experience.
Back in May, I attended Exclusively Corporate at IMEX Frankfurt. Exclusively Corporate is a conference specifically designed for the needs of corporate event managers. It offers a full day of education and networking during EduMonday, which takes place one day prior to the exhibition—this year EduMonday was held on 20 May 2019. In July, I shared with you a recap of a session delivered by Gerd De Bruycker, Marketing Director, Northern Europe at Cisco Systems regarding ‘Connecting events with your overall marketing mix.’ This time, I want to discuss a summary of the panel session regarding innovation, online and offline events, destination selection criteria and measuring ROI. The panellists were Bob Bejan, General Manager Global Events at Microsoft, Gerd De Bruycker, Marketing Director, Northern Europe at Cisco Systems, Danielle Purfey, Executive Director, Events & Meetings at KPMG US and Nicola Wedge, Head of Events at Barclays UK. The session was moderated by Pádraic Gilligan and Patrick M. Delaney, managing partners at Soolnua.
I have been fully involved in the MICE industry since 2011. During this time, I have attended numerous business events. For not a single moment during these years has the thought of attending as an exhibitor myself crossed my mind.
Nine years on, and this exciting day has arrived. On 18 July 2019, I exhibited for the very first time at a leading industry event in Germany called MICE Branchentreff, which took place at Lake Starnberg and was organised by Illerhaus Marketing.
For those of you who have been following my business activities closely, you will know that next year I’m launching the first international Event Planners Talk conference, which will take place in the beautiful city of Bern, the Swiss capital. The event will be held from 27–30 August 2020 and will bring an innovative combination of content, venues and side programmes for delegates to learn in the most inspiring environment.
This year from 15–20 June 2019, I participated in the second edition of the Switzerland Tourism Influencer Summit together with 29 other content creators from 22 countries. Each of us was assigned to one of the four topic groups, covering hiking and nature, lifestyle and Swiss hotels, Swiss products, producers and food and lastly, art in public spaces and architecture. Being the one covering MICE, I joined the art in public spaces and architecture group to visit Davos, Basel and Zurich.
Attending this trip was a big personal milestone for me because Davos and Basel are two iconic destinations that host world famous events including the World Economic Forum, Art Basel and Baselworld. For a long time, I had wanted to explore these two destinations and learn about their DNA. I wanted to understand what elements make these events so unique, but also the role played by the destination in their success, its infrastructure and how both the event and destination have developed over the years.
Upon arrival, my knowledge of Davos was primarily about the World Economic Forum, and after exploring the destination, I came to realise that the history of art and architecture, as well as creating a piece of art by ourselves, can demonstrate that no technological advancement can replace the necessity of people to meet face to face and conduct business.
Arrival in Davos
Switzerland is a country where it’s easy to get around by public transport, and the simplest way to get to Davos is by train. I used the Swiss Travel System 8-day pass, which provided me with unlimited travel in Switzerland by train, bus and boat. It takes 2.5 hours to travel from Zurich to Davos, and this is the moment when the experience already starts—as soon as you board the train. When travelling from Zurich to Davos, two different trains are used—the Swiss National Railway SBB and the Rhaetian Railway. Both trains provide spectacular views throughout the journey. But the Rhaetian Railway is particularly noteworthy because it operates in the mountain region of Canton Grison, so the moment you board the train in Landquart, the view changes to picturesque small villages with wooden houses, mountains, viaducts, creeks and grazing cows. It’s like a fairy tale!
Calgary is the rising star on the international MICE scene. To many, the Western Canadian city may be known for the Calgary Stampede, the 1988 Winter Olympics or that the city headquarters the major oil and gas companies operating in Alberta, which is Canada’s largest oil and natural gas producer.
Calgary is the fourth largest city in Canada after Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, and its economic verticals and sectors of expertise extend beyond energy, renewable energy and green economy. These verticals also include financial services, technology, agribusiness, creative industries, real estate, transportation and logistics, manufacturing and life sciences. Calgary has a fascinating history, cultural heritage, dynamic urban life, international food, art and architecture scenes, as well as an extensive business offering, all of which we had the chance to experience from 11–14 July 2019 during the #FamPede trip.