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.
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.
Karlsruhe and its region is a fascinating MICE destination which I had the opportunity to discover during a study trip from 24–25 May 2019 with the Convention Bureau Karlsruhe & Region. I guess that many of you know the Black Forest, but not everyone knows Karlsruhe, and in fact these are two nearby destinations which unite under one umbrella when it comes to MICE.
While the city of Karlsruhe has one of the top universities, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), and is a hub for knowledge, entrepreneurship and research, the wider region also has state-of-the-art meeting spaces, such as in Pforzheim and Ettlingen, as well as diverse offerings for incentives in the wider Baden-Württemberg region (the German state where Karlsruhe and Black Forest are located), which is also one of Germany’s top wine regions.
Monaco is committed to sustainable development and fight against climate change. The Monaco Convention Bureau reinforces its commitment to sustainability through green initiatives and a newly launched at IMEX Frankfurt 2019 #BusinessIsGreen digital campaign. IMEX took place from 21–32 May.
Monaco, under the leadership of H.S.H. Prince Albert II, is one of the first nations in Europe to adopt a more environmentally conscious attitude. His Serene Highness has defined a roadmap for 2050 to become carbon neutral at this date, and all local stakeholders are on board to achieve this target.
Business tourism in Monaco is an important economic pillar, and the Monaco Convention Bureau and its partners including hotels, venues and Destination Management Companies (DMCs) are working collaboratively to implement, communicate and design event programmes that are environmentally friendly.
These strategies were introduced at the press conference at IMEX Frankfurt, together with key business figures for 2018.