Europe Congress kicked off the 2024 MICE season with MCE Central & Eastern Europe

Salzburg set the stage for 2024’s first MICE event where 200+ event planners and event solutions providers gathered for 2,5 days of networking, one-on-one meetings, and even a yodeling lesson. Europe Congress partnered with the Salzburg Convention Bureau to put on the successful B2B forum at Salzburg Congress, a top-of-the-line congress center in the historic center of the city.

The MCE Central & Eastern Europe followed in the success of last year’s inaugural Events Club Association Forum, also held in Salzburg, helping to cement the city as a major MICE destination. This event saw more hosted buyers and solutions providers than last year, making it one of the biggest B2B forums the city of Mozart has ever seen. Heidi Strobl, Managing Director for the Salzburg Convention Bureau, was delighted to partner with Europe Congress for the second time, saying: “After the Association Forum, we also had the MCE Central & Eastern Europe Forum organised by Europe Congress in the city of Salzburg. For us as the Salzburg Convention Bureau, it is a huge success to have nearly 100 event planners in the destination as we tried to present Salzburg as a diverse and sustainable destination.”

Participants got to see the diversity, sustainability, and pure charm of Salzburg firsthand on the opening day of the forum as attendees were treated to three cultural experiences unique to Salzburg. After checking in to the event’s official hotels – the Sheraton Grand Salzburg and IMLAUER Hotel Pitter Salzburg – eventgoers could choose between a private tour of the Salzburg Fortress, a tour of the city center, and a private apple strudel and nockerl cooking class (complete with a surprise opera performance) at Edelweiss Cooking School. After the experiences, participants were treated to an entertaining evening program at Stiegl-Brauwelt, Austria’s largest privately-owned brewery.

In between a yodeling workshop and a three-course meal of traditional Austrian fare, participants switched tables to meet as many people as possible in one night. Christina Reppa, managing director for A La Carte Travel highlighted the importance of connecting with colleagues outside of a meeting environment, saying: “I think because our business is a people business it’s a good opportunity to get to know the people in a different way and not only with this ‘business’ talk.”

With the ice officially broken, day two of the forum was all about cementing strong business connections. 25+ convention and tourism bureaus presented their locations throughout the day while each participant attended up to 35 match-made business meetings to connect with a wide array of event buyers and suppliers. Made PandisRaie, Business Project Manager at Visit Tallinn remarked on the success of the meetings, saying: “The quality [of the meetings] every year gets better and better. Every time a few weeks later I have a request for an event in Tallinn… This event alone has made the financial aspect reasonable already as I do get business from these events.”

After an intense day of networking, attendees were whisked away to the whimsical DomQuartier Salzburg, the former residence of Austrian archbishops and the venue for that night’s dinner program. Guests were treated to a three-course dinner of modern Austrian gastronomy by IMLAUER catering, while a string quartet and dynamic opera singers from Classic Rocks created an atmosphere of elegance to match the venue’s historical significance.

The last day of the forum saw more B2B meetings, the legendary EC tombola (a lottery-style prize giveaway for participants) and a continuation of traditional Austrian experiences. Attendees could choose from a private brewery tour of Stiegl-Brauwelt, a backstage tour of the Salzburg Marionette Theatre, and another apple strudel and nockerl cooking class by Edelweiss Cooking School before saying “auf wiedersehen” to the city and the new connections made within it.

“This event was another great success to add to our growing portfolio, our gratitude goes out to anyone who supported this forum, especially our Salzburg partners” said Alain Pallas, Managing Director of Europe Congress. “Now that our first event of 2024 is in the books, we look forward to bringing together the top MICE professionals in new lucrative destinations.”

The article Europe Congress kicked off the 2024 MICE season with MCE Central & Eastern Europe first appeared in TravelDailyNews International.

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