In front of me now is the planning for an internal regional conference for a global IT and Telecoms leader.
In finding first the location and the venue, and then building the logistics, production and delegate management plan, there are a lot of things to consider over the next eight months. I will cover aspects of planning on each element in forward blog posts, but first comes the location search, and we’ve settled on Bucharest, Romania.
Located at the crossroads of Central, Eastern and Southern Europe, it’s the 12th largest country in the EU and boasts the Carpathian Mountains and the River Danube Delta with a climate that is temperate and still seasonal. Since the revolution in 1989 when the communist regime and its brutal leader, Ceaușescu, were overthrown, Romania has been working towards democracy and has been catapulted towards a once-unthinkable capitalist economy. The result of that will be judged by history, but for now the country is enjoying rapid economic growth.
Bucharest: A new service economy and some great hotels
Romania may not seem at first like a candidate for the short list for a business conference, but when you delve deeper it has a lot going for it. In Bucharest the economy is predominantly based on services, and with its agile response to the growth in tourism and its good infrastructure and international-standard airport of Henri Coanda at Otopeni.
There is a good range of international standard business hotels with state of the art meeting facilities, both downtown and located between airport and city. The Intercontinental, and the Sheraton come to mind downtown, with other established brands like Ramada Plaza and Crowne Plaza jostling for business and waving their meeting facilities flag to attract groups to their slightly out of town locations.
There are some great entertainment options, as well. The stuff of dreams, medieval fairy-tales, (and even nightmares, with tales of Dracula and Transylvania), rural tourism, focusing on folklore and traditions, has become an important magnet. Experiences like Bran and its Dracula’s Castle, and the painted churches of northern Moldavia, or the villages with fortified churches in Transylvania deliver compelling options for companies looking to create memorable experiences for their business event delegates. In terms of “signature” components of event agendas where private dinners and award ceremonies are concerned, then you can’t do better than to consider some of the spaces in the Parliament Palaces- now buried in the psyche as the manifestation of Ceausescu’s megalomania.
Don’t ignore Romania. Bucharest is easily accessible, the venue standards are international, and the pricing is very competitive, and the “experience” is assured. Next blog post: Production and AV for this project.