Denmark has always been a planner’s favourite thanks to its unique conference design techniques, together with its sense of innovation and sustainability. In the beginning of December 2015, HeadQuarters magazine joined the EMEC 24-Hour Tweet Tour of Copenhagen organized by Wonderful Copenhagen. It was quite an intense trip, as you would expect!
Copenhagen’s idea was to invite international trade journalists to showcase the destination's offering as a meeting venue, the Danish meeting design concept ‘Meetovation’ - which HQ already wrote extensively about! - and the last preparations for MPI’s EMEC 2016(to be held on 7-9 February in the city). The annual European Meetings & Event Conference (EMEC) is a 3-day conference organized by MPI, it provides professional development, networking and business exchange opportunities for all their members.
24 hours around Copenhagen
In the meetings industry people are used to 2-3 day long presstrips (sometimes even longer). On this occasion, Ann Marie Barsøe, Press Manager at Business Evens Denmark, and Ulrika Mårtensson, Head of Communications (Meetings & Conventions) at Wonderful Copenhagen, wanted to add a twist to them and organised an innovative 1 day-only Tweet Tour. During our 24-hour stay we tweeted our way in and around Copenhagen and shared our thoughts on the spot about the Danish capital and its main industry players. This new press trip type is a perfect way to create expectation among participants prior to an event.
We had the opportunity to meet with several enthusiastic meeting professionals such as Steen Møller, Head of Business Events – VisitDenmark, Bo Krüger and Ann Hansen, official Meetovation Trainers & Facilitators at EMEC 2016. They gave us a lot of information on how Danes design unique meetings by applying the ‘Meetovation’ elements: return on investment techniques, active involvement from participants, responsible thinking, creative set up and local inspiration.
Sustainability and outstanding venues
Our trip officially started at Radisson Blu Scandinavia Hotel, where we were lucky enough to stay. The hotel is located within walking distance from the city centre and only 15 minutes from Copenhagen airport by metro. Its 5-star meeting facilities will serve as the EMEC 2016 conference venue and official hotel for the delegates.
At Radisson Blu we were also introduced to its unique food concept Brain food, developed together with nutritionists from different countries. The food we eat and how we eat it affect our brains; Brain food helps keep sugar levels stable in the blood and as a result it helps delegates concentrate and learn more at conferences.
Our visit then led us to Crowne Plaza Copenhagen Towers, Denmark’s most sustainable hotel, where we had a Skype interview with Matthew Marcial, Senior Director of Events at MPI. “The different MPI chapters will get the chance to experience a new concept and I’m sure they will be interested in applying it. We wanted to take the risk and do something unique and cutting-edge”, said Matthew. It will be the third time the conference is held in Copenhagen but it will be the first time ever that MPI organises a conference entirely based on Meetovation. The conference will focus on MPI’s pillar: education, networking and business exchange. But what will be unique is the way in which participants experience them.
“Meetovation uses an emotional design to guide people into different directions.” said Ann Hansen while talking about designing creative set ups for meetings at Rub & Stub, a radical no-food-waste restaurant which has been listed as a “sustainable dining experience” for EMEC participants.
After experiencing Copenhagen by rickshaws, we visited some of the capital’s most outstanding locations. Next to the little mermaid, Langelinje Pavillonen, was one of the most popular sites in the capital in the 60’s. Now the venue has just been renovated, gracefully combining Danish tradition and modern design. The pavilion has been chosen for the Past Leaders exclusive dinner during EMEC.
Toldboden is one of the most famous hangouts and nightclubs in Copenhagen; this conference venue will be the rendez-vous venue for EMEC.
Our 24-hour tour came to an end with a lunch at Copenhagen Street Food, the opening reception venue for EMEC 2016. The view from this special waterfront location will help create a perfect atmosphere for delegates. “Food from different cultures will help people connect and network” said Maja Tini Jensen, PR & Communication consultant at Toldboden and Copenhagen Street Food.
Ann Marie and Ulrika’s warm hospitality and the activities they had prepared gave us a perfect overview of the city. It also showed us that, even if attending a conference can be very boring, there’s always a way to engage attendees and connect to them in different, unexpected ways.
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