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The 6 best destinations for European Conferences and Meetings

07/03/2022

It is easy to underestimate the magnitude of the challenge that finding a suitable event venue presents. Not only do you need to source a venue that works logistically and provides comfort for your guests, but you may also need to ensure your new venue outperforms your last while staying within your budget constraints. This challenge can become even more complicated when searching for large conference and meeting venues within Europe. Many properties are suitable for smaller gatherings, but luxury properties with large conference spaces can seem few and far between.

We pride ourselves on our bespoke venue finding service; we believe your chosen venue should elevate your brand and inspire your guests. Here are some of our top destinations and venues for larger conferences and meetings within Europe:

 

Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon, where the sun shines 290 days a year and temperatures rarely drop below 15 degrees, is a city full of authenticity, history, and attractions. You will never be short of great things to do and see in Lisbon, like taking the famous yellow tram up and down the seven hills, admiring the historical Belem Tower, Lisbon's most striking monument, or strolling around the Monsanto park, the "lung of the city." It is no surprise that Lisbon was awarded the European Green Capital in 2020.

Thanks to the centrally located Lisbon Airport, the city is just a short flight away from most European cities (1-3hrs) and a 5-8hrs flight from North America. In just 15 min drive, you can reach the city centre, characterised by an incredible variety of restaurants, bars, and hotels, including the new 5* Epic Sana Marques.

Located close to the renowned Praça Do Marquês De Pombal square, the Epic Sana Marques Hotel offers 379 luxurious and sophisticated rooms. 3 Restaurants, an incredible Sky Pool Lounge, a Wellness, and Spa area, a Green Urban-Garden, and an extraordinary Congress Center & Event Center were recently redesigned and modernised.

With more than 2,000 sqm and 18 outstandingly versatile meeting rooms, Epic Sana Marques can host events up to 1,500 guests. Lisbon is the perfect venue for all occasions, including conferences, exhibitions, fashion shows, gala dinners, wedding receptions, and social and corporate events.

 

London, UK

 

We needn’t look too far away from home for fantastic conference and meeting destinations. The UK boasts over 20 major airports and multiple large city hubs bustling with unique venues and experiences.

London still leads the way as a top UK destination, with 57% of the surveyed organisers have planned an event in the Capital. The city has six airports alone with 396 daily direct flights to international destinations, over 70 Michelin-starred restaurants, and 4 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. There is a vast array of venues available, from modern convention centres to historic palaces and industrial warehouses. In 2020 alone, 65 new hotels opened in London, providing a further 8000 new bedrooms.

Speaking of new openers, possibly the most popular in town is The Londoner which opened this year and is already buzzing with new guests. The super boutique hotel boasts 350 bedrooms across 16 storeys in the city's heart near Leicester Square.

The Londoner is not short of space with six restaurants and bars accompanied by a dedicated meeting area spread across three floors with its own entrance for delegates. The Ballroom alone can hold up to 850 guests and boasts eight motorised truss systems, meaning you can arrive practically empty-handed and feel assured that you have state-of-the-art equipment available at your fingertips. There are a further 33 syndicate rooms, multiple breakout rooms, and dedicated entertaining spaces. However, this Hotel doesn’t feel like your average conference centre; it is a truly luxurious lifestyle property that provides a fantastic urban retreat.

 

Madrid, SPAIN

The Capital of Spain has long been a well-respected conference and meeting destination. It has won the World's Leading Meetings & Conference Destination Award for two years running at the World Travel Awards.

It’s no surprise that Madrid is so highly rated, given its artistic and natural heritage. Logistically speaking, Madrid is connected to 174 destinations with direct flights and has an extensive metro network, so travelling between districts is simple. There are over 800 hotels available, with more than 44,000 bedrooms between them.

There is no shortage of 5* properties in Spain's Capital, and we are very excited about the imminent reopening of Villa Magna Rosewood. Following an extensive refurbishment, the property provides elevated luxury within a contemporary style and is centrally located within the Serrano shopping district, just a 20-minute drive from the airport. The Hotel will boast 154 rooms and suites, four restaurants, bars, and multiple meeting spaces for 500 people. Madrid is ever-evolving in its provision for large meetings and conferences.

 

Berlin, Germany

With its three UNESCO World Heritage sites – The Deutsche Oper, the Staatsoper Unter den Linden and the Komische Oper – and three opera houses, Berlin is also the only European city with more museums than rainy days; something to keep in mind for outdoor activities and events!

On 31 October 2020, Berlin saw the opening of the new Willy Brandt Berlin Brandenburg airport (BER), connecting the Capital to all central transport corridors in Europe.

According to the 2019 ICCA statistics, Berlin made it, once again, in the top 3 of the Top 20 Country and City Rankings for association meetings. The city boasts Europe's largest convention, entertainment, and Hotel complex, the Estrel, located only 13 km from Berlin Brandenburg airport. The Hotel offers more than 1,000 rooms and suites, four restaurants and bars, an open-air location with its own landing pier, and a wellness centre.

The Estrel Hotel adjoins directly to the Estrel Congress Center (ECC), one of Berlin's largest and most modern conference, trade fair, and event locations, with 85 event rooms comprising 30,000 sqm of function space sized for events and meetings up to 15,000 guests. Including the new Estrel Auditorium, which has recently opened last August. With pioneering technology, contemporary art, and a compelling minimalist interior design, this new incredible structure is taking the lead in the events industry.

 

Amsterdam, Netherlands

 

Amsterdam is an iconic destination where history meets technology and innovation. The city is best described as a vibrant capital with a village vibe, according to the Dutch people.

Connectivity is vital when searching for a conference location; Amsterdam is undoubtedly a leader in this field. Trains from many different European cities take you to Amsterdam Central Station or Schiphol Airport Station.

Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, located only 20 min away from the city centre and nominated as the best airport in Western Europe in 2020, also has direct flight connections to more than 300 destinations worldwide.

The city has more than 36,000 hotel rooms and venues, including one of the most authentic 5* hotels in the Netherlands, the Hotel Okura Amsterdam, where Eastern and Western influences are uniquely entwined.

The Hotel, with 315 beautifully decorated rooms, was officially opened in 1971 by His Royal Highness Prince Claus of Netherlands, in one of the trendiest districts in Amsterdam, De Pijp.

Okura’s guests can enjoy a breath-taking panoramic view over the city from the esteemed 2 Michelin Stars Ciel Bleu Restaurant and the Twenty Third Bar, both located on the 23rd floor. The Hotel has 20 modern and flexible meeting rooms and four foyers that can host 2,500 guests.

But Okura Amsterdam is not just a hotel; it also serves as a barometer, thanks to its coloured LED lights displayed from the roof, which give the latest updates on the weather!

 

Cannes, France

The host city of the annual Cannes Film Festival and Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, the luxurious city of Cannes, an exceptional destination located only 25 min from Nice French Riviera International Airport, can offer a wide variety of experiences, venues, and hotels.

From the modest fishing villages to the world-famous seaside resort, with more than 300 days of sunshine a year, you can enjoy from a relaxing beach; the city has 550 event venues, 46,000 sqm of exhibition space, 8,000 hotel rooms, and 140 meeting rooms.

Among its five-star hotels is the newly renovated beachfront, JW Marriott Cannes, located on La Croisette, the legendary oceanfront avenue bustling with luxury shops and delightful restaurants. The Hotel has more than 200 rooms and suites, a fully-equipped fitness centre, a heated rooftop outdoor pool, and two main restaurants. The Italian Scalini Restaurant and the Le Panorama Rooftop, where you will be able to relax accompanied by the scenic views of the French Riviera.

The JW Marriott Cannes is also the perfect venue for your meetings and large-scale conferences, thanks to its 18 modern and versatile events rooms and a total area of 2,236 sqm. In each event room, you will be able to enjoy state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment and high-speed internet access.

Source: Eventful
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