When the idea to stage an international, multi-day conference in Bern was born back in 2018, we didn’t know how things would turn out, and that we’d need to change our plans upside down. From a four-day live event format, the conference turned into an e-format and was live-streamed from Bern, Switzerland from 28–30 August 2020.
We worked closely with destination Bern – the Bern Convention Bureau, Switzerland Convention & Incentive Bureau and local hotel partners where the sessions were filmed: Hotel Schweizerhof Bern & THE SPA, Hotel Bellevue Palace Bern and Kongress + Kursaal Bern AG.
Business travel differentiates itself from leisure travel because it offers the delegates a unique experience they won’t get elsewhere. The delegates will have the opportunity to visit exclusive venues, meet local key figures in economy, sports or entertainment and have VIP experiences at the destination. Many travellers might not not even consider travelling to a certain destination for leisure, but after they visit for business and have this exclusive experience they are likely to come back for leisure.
The recent Meeting Trophy event organised by the Switzerland Convention & Incentive Bureau demonstrated how Switzerland can help planners achieve their event objectives and what Switzerland has to offer for MICE. The Meeting Trophy event now was in its 13th year and is a well tested and established concept that encompasses all the elements of a successful event: planners visit multiple Swiss MICE destinations and discover unique opportunities for corporate events, learn about key economic sectors, get insights into Swiss history, culture and traditions.
From 29 June until 2 July 2017 I was in Switzerland for the Meeting Trophy event organised by the Switzerland Convention & Incentive Bureau. In its 13th edition now, the yearly Meeting Trophy brings together international event professionals to compete in a series of tasks. These include both knowledge questions and sports activities with the aim of getting to know the different MICE destinations, as well as Switzerland’s history, traditions and culture.
This year, the event focused on the Eastern part of Switzerland, including Schaffhausen, St. Gallen, Flims – Laax – Falera and Zurich. Total of 8 teams and around 90 participants took part to compete for the coveted trophy. The teams were from North America, Belgium, Netherlands, Great Britain, France, Nordic Countries, Russia and my team, Germany.
Looking at the programme I knew some of the destinations because I lived in Switzerland for five years. And some locations I even visited myself. But I didn’t let it destruct my excitement and was open to new experiences. Luckily the organisers didn’t reveal the entire programme upfront and there were several surprises to expect!
Interlaken is a resort destination in the heart of Switzerland. The little town in Bernese Oberland is located on an alluvial land between lake Thun and lake Brienz and is a getaway to the mountains. Its location and easy accessibility from major airports and business hubs such as Zurich, Bern, Basel and Geneva, makes it an attractive destination for meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE), and the proximity to lakes and mountains offer further incentive and team building opportunities.
Last time I was in Switzerland was in 2012, and I missed all I love about this country! The landscape, nature, the punctuality, reliability, efficiency, the cute Swiss German dialect and food. I studied tourism in Switzerland and got to travel around so know its geography pretty well. What I knew little about was the MICE offer.