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MICE Destinations

Destination guide for sustainable venues in Stuttgart 

Everyone is familiar with one side of Stuttgart’s story—its fame as the birthplace of the first car and its dominant presence in the automotive sector. Yet, there’s a less explored narrative that’s now emerging.

There’s a lot happening in Stuttgart right now, especially in its transformation into a leading destination for sustainable events.

Attending Urban Future event

A prime example of Stuttgart’s green transformation is the Urban Future event I attended last June. It drew over 2000 participants dedicated to sustainable urban development. I listened to speakers discuss efforts to make the city livelier for its residents. 

One of the sessions I attended was called ‘If Stuttgart must not become Detroit, what will it become?’ and it highlighted city transformations that can be seen also in Stuttgart. 

The city attracts new talent to avoid population decline and brain drain and besides the automobile industry there are other clusters in the Stuttgart region. These include quantum computing, green tech, medical technology and AI. 

Small but mighty: incentive destination Interlaken, Switzerland   

The Swiss resort Interlaken is a prime destination for congresses, exhibitions, meetings and of course, incentive travel. Incentives are a unique aspect of MICE (Meeting, Incentive Travel, Conferences and Exhibitions) travel because they can be customised to the tastes of the client and are highly exclusive. On a visit to Interlaken in April, I had the pleasure of interviewing Camilla Struben, Team Leader MICE at Congress Kursaal Interlaken, about why Interlaken is the perfect destination for incentive travel. Camilla shared the variety of possibilities for incentives in Interlaken and how the Congress Kursaal Interlaken can support event planners for organisations.

Interlaken caters for different group sizes and requirements and offers a variety of programmes for incentives, ranging from adventures to luxurious activities. The destination provides access to privatise hotels and venues, surrounded by beautiful lakes and mountains. The availability of customisable programmes and the natural environment makes it an extraordinary experience.  

Even though Interlaken is small, it has many possibilities. There are more than 30 hotels and a variety of venues, including the Kursaal Interlaken. There are rooms for more than 1,000 people. As the adventure capital of Switzerland, it is centrally located with easy access by train.

This interview will showcase the destination and what activities can be organised for corporate groups.  

SwissSkills Bern 2022 – Shaping the future for young people 

Over 60 percent of young adults in Switzerland choose vocational training or apprenticeship over an academic path. This is an important economic factor that affects a country’s competitiveness in terms of the labour market and low unemployment rate, which in Switzerland is at about 4 percent.  

SwissSkills is an agency focused on promoting the vocational education system in Switzerland. Its goal is to demonstrate the benefits of apprenticeship in Switzerland and to showcase a wide range of professions to young people who are interested in pursuing a career path that enables on-the-job learning. 

SwissSkills organises a biannual event which will take place this year from 7 to 11 September at the Bern Expo in Bern. The experiential event format will showcase 150 professions and will allow attendees to engage directly with the employers and ask questions of current apprentices in the programmes. 

Vocational training is common in many countries around the world. The EuroSkills and WorldSkills events are two global events in which young people compete to showcase their skills and win gold medals for their countries. These events are important to promote the variety of career paths available to young adults and also to support them in identifying and integrating the new skills required by the job market today, such as digital skills. 

I interviewed André Burri, General Manager of SwissSkills, about the event this year and the uniqueness of the vocational training and apprenticeship system in Switzerland. We also discussed why Bern is the perfect destination to host an event of such scale and importance. 

Swiss Sustainability Forum to lead a sustainability agenda in Bern

Bern’s positioning as a leader in the energy and environmental sector, and its easy accessibility within Switzerland and from neighbouring countries, make it the most suitable city to host the Swiss Sustainability Forum

Organised by media company NZZ Connect and as part of the overall initiative Sustainable Switzerland by Neue Zürcher Zeitung, the highly ambitious event, the Swiss Sustainability Forum, will take place from 22 to 24 September 2022 at the Kursaal Convention Centre in Bern. 

I interviewed Isabel Niklaus, Lead Ecosystem Sustainability, who is responsible for events that are part of the sustainability projects at NZZ Connect including the Swiss Sustainability Forum and Impact Finance Forum. 

Circular Economy Entrepreneurs 2021. Photo credit: NZZ Connect.

Bedload Experts Meet in Interlaken for an International Symposium

The international community of bedload specialists met in Interlaken in late 2021 to address current and future issues regarding the implementation of restoration measures in Switzerland.

Wasser-Agenda 21, a forum and network organisation for Swiss water stakeholders, organised the first International Symposium on Bedload Management which took place at the Lindner Grand Hotel Beau-Rivage in Interlaken from 8 to 10 November 2021. I interviewed the event organiser, Dr. Carlos R. Wyss, Project Manager at Wasser-Agenda 21, who gave insights into the event design process.