There are so many great European cities for events and incentives it’s difficult to narrow it down just to three. With access into Europe readily available from most travel hubs, a lot more destinations have started to open up as popular event destinations. Here’s my top three for 2019:
Repeatedly named “The World’s Most Livable City” with Danes being ranked as the “World’s Happiest People”, there’s lots of different reasons why Copenhagen appeals to many.
Easily accessible, with Copenhagen airport being Scandinavia’s main traffic hub offering non-stop flights from around 165 international destinations, and just a short 13-minute Metro journey from the airport to the city centre, it’s a popular choice for both the business and leisure traveler.
The City offers a wide variety of hotel accommodation ranging from luxury 5* hotels to very affordable budget hotels. Over 23,000 hotel rooms in Copenhagen, the city is able to accommodate delegates for even the largest events and congresses. And delegates can sleep easy as 70% of these hotels are eco-labeled. Sustainability is a hot topic in Denmark, and so it should be – Copenhagen was chosen as European Green Capital 2014 by the European Commission and is set to be the world’s first CO2-Neutral capital city by 2025.
Aside from the hotels, Copenhagen offers a striking mix of contemporary urban industrial spaces, to historic venues and multi-functional halls. Multifunctional venues which can be used for both conferences, banquets and social events. Copenhagen is also a culinary heaven, featuring 19 Michelin
The delegate also has the opportunity to explore Greater Copenhagen – a metropolitan region that spans from Eastern Denmark to Skane in South Sweden with plenty of day trip possibilities.
All in all, a great city, easily accessible with lovely happy people – what’s not to love!
Steeped in history, Dublin is over 1000 years old and was originally a Viking settlement. Nowadays, it has developed into a popular vibrant European hub great for city breaks and conferences alike.
One of the main reasons it’s so popular is accessibility: regular flights from all major European hubs, and then the city centre is only a 15 minute transfer from the airport. Even the 5* golf resorts are a mere 20 minutes from the airport out of the city centre.
The city offers world class venues for any size of event offering great flexibility and value for money. The city boasts a great selection of 4 and 5* hotels, world-class larger venues inside the city and just outside, and quirky typically Irish venues that will never get boring: i.e Jamieson Distillery, Guinness Storehouse, Trinity College Dublin, Croke Park Stadium – to name but a few.
Dependent on the type of conference being organized, guests can hang out with the locals in a vintage cocktail bar, visit quirky art galleries, explore the home of Guinness or clear the cobwebs with a city centre high octane activity (on or around the River) – the possibilities are endless.
The city also offers an array of mouth-watering restaurants, hidden cultural gems and snugs in old world pubs await you. There’s also a cool live music and dance scene and a funky festival calendar.
Dublin really does have it all; coastal charming villages just 20 minutes from the city centre, an abundance of outdoor activities, seaside strolls and cliff top hikes.
So to summarize; Dublin, a cosmopolitan capital with a vibrant, unique and colorful personality – plenty to attract the discerning business traveler and the leisure guest alike.
The Costa del Sol
A personal favourite of mine, as having done a Spanish degree and spent my year abroad living in Granada, I love Spain and all things Spanish!
However for conference and events, it ticks a lot of boxes too. Even though it is full of clichés (over-run beaches full of Brits, ex-pats and a haven for retirees) it is often overlooked. While it’s true in some parts, there are also some wonderful genuine places that are quaint, attractive and well worth surprising a group with a second look. For example; Granada, Seville, Ronda.
Just a short flight from London, and a major hub for Europe and ROW, Malaga airport is busy all year round. And should the flights not work for any reason, there’s always the little gem of Gibraltar just down the road with equidistant transfer time into the Costa del Sol.
The wonderful weather and wide range of tours and possible activities make the Costa del Sol perfect for incentive trips. Fabulous hotel facilities, a sound infrastructure and congress centres in both Malaga and Marbella make the Costa del Sol a solid option for conferences, exhibitions and congresses too.
Malaga, although not normally a first choice for the business traveler, is a far cry from the original airport town it once was, and now boasts impressive art credentials and a zest for life. Originally the birth place of Picasso, Malaga is now on the radar as a contender for Madrid when it comes to art and also Barcelona for it’s dynamism and dining. Coupled with an historical centre boasting an 11th century castle and gothic cathedral, the area also provides an eclectic range of shops and bars. Throw into the mix only 15 minutes on the metro directly from the airport into Malaga centre, a great selection of central 4* and 5* conference hotels, this city is fast becoming a competition for Madrid and Barcelona.
Fun, flashy Marbella is a popular contender for events. With luxury yachts, helicopters, golf, watersports and extravagant beach clubs, this area has endless corporate possibilities with beachside resorts along the Costa offering luxury meetings in the sunshine.