August was a very quiet month for B2B events in the UK, good reason to take some time off and travel to explore a new MICE destination. If you have been following my Instagram, Facebook and Twitter feeds (Links on the right hand side) you know already that I was in Monaco, very dynamic, international and glamorous MICE destination on the French Riviera. I was hosted by Monaco Government Tourist and Convention Authority (MGTA) and during the five days I explored many venues, restaurants, hotels and leisure attractions I’m very excited to tell you about in the following posts.
The main sectors of MICE business include finance, healthcare and new technologies. In 2013 MGTA launched a new Monaco Convention Bureau campaign to promote the destination for MICE business and represent the values, expertise and assets of the Monegasque industry.
Based on my stay I present you some of the key elements that make Monaco an attractive MICE destination, and they include:
1. It’s affordable – Monaco has the image of the most glamourous destination on the French Riviera, but don’t let it scare you. It’s not more expensive than London, Paris, Moscow or other major city or resort. During the high season (April – Mid October) and during major events such as the Grand Prix the prices are higher than during the low season (Mid October – March), and of course it will be hard to get large allocation of room for your event, but you can benefit from hosting your event during the low season, when the prices are lower as well and hotels have higher availability.
2. You can have a helicopter airport transfer from/ to Nice Airport – Monaco is easily accessible by car, bus, train and helicopter from Nice Cote d’Azur International Airport and the airport has connections to the major cities. I bet helicopter is not the usual transfer your attendees are used to and can serve as a perfect incentive to create the ‘WOW’ effect. It’s also affordable and costs Nice/Monaco: €125 – Monaco/Nice: €110 – Return trip: €220, experience – priceless!
3. Strong collaboration between the local tourist service-providers – during my stay I felt very welcome at all the hotels, venues and restaurants I visited. I felt the strong collaboration between the different service providers as they support and work closely with each other to assist the international visitor or event planner. The destination is very small and ‘everyone knows each other’, that means the destination works together as a whole to deliver the best experience to their guests.
4. It’s always a sea view – 99% of the event venues will have a breath-taking sea view. The other 1% of venues will have a view over the mountains or the city, which is not too bad either. I really couldn’t have enough of this view.
5. Modern facilities – most of the venues I visited were relatively new of about 5 – 15 years old and some of them had already renovation works in progress. I was very impressed that the venues try to keep their facilities up to the highest standards.
6. Easy logistics – you don’t have to worry about organising transportation for attendees between venues in Monaco. The delegates can walk from the hotel to Grimaldi Forum or to the restaurant, or to take the bus, which is very frequent and convenient. That brings me back to point 1 – the destination is affordable. Saving costs on transport can save you considerable costs on your event. Besides, attendees will enjoy walking and exploring Monaco during the lunch breaks, maybe going to the harbour or strolling through the Japanese Garden.
Other aspects which make it a fantastic MICE destination are: safety, sustainable practices (including the Prince Albert II Foundation -Monaco based charity that invests in various environmental projects) and last but not least the excellent weather all year long.
Couple of general recommendations:
– You can purchase bulk bus tickets and include them in the welcome packs.
– You can purchase a booklet with entrance tickets for all major leisure attractions attendees can do on their own leisure time (e.g.- Musée Océanographique de Monaco, Grands Appartements du Palais Princier, Jardin Animalier and more).
– You can purchase the big bus tour tickets and include them in the welcome packs.
During my stay I also met Pierre from the local DMC Raising Stones Events. It was very interesting to speak with him because he really knows everything and everyone in the Municipality and a source of creative ideas for events of all types and sizes.
Have you organised or attended events in Monaco? Would love to hear your experience and impressions, please share in the comments below.
That’s all for now and stay tuned for more updates to come in the following days!
Read more posts about Monaco on The MICE Blog.
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