After Marseille in 2013 and Nantes in 2014, Atout France invited, to Strasbourg this time, about 120 hosted buyers from more than 30 countries to meet with French professionals. The aim of the event? To promote the French regions among international business tourism professionals. (Report: Rémi Dévé)
Organised by Atout France in partnership with Air France-KLM and the official support of Access Alsace and its partners, France Meeting Hub articulates itself around educational tours, incentives, workshops to promote France in general as a business events destination. If the general focus was on Alsace this time and its many attractions and novelties, meeting planners could also meet with a few other suppliers coming from all over France, from Cannes to Calvados, from Paris to Lille, and more.
What made France Meeting Hub unique for participants was the chance to discover three different MICE destinations from Alsace: Mulhouse, the creative, Colmar, along the famous wine route, and Strasbourg, the European gem. Highlights of the trip included the gala dinner at Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Strasbourg, a visit of then Council of Europe, and some fun incentives at the Château de Pourtalès, all this under a radiant sun luckily! All in all, there were many opportunities for exhibitors and guests to get together in a sociable party atmosphere, which made networking and bonding quite easy.
Isabel Pelletier, from Madrid-based EventsME, put it like this: "The format of the event is really ideal. Opportunities to network are legion, and if you want a more focused perspective, the workshops work quite well. Besides, the whole trip is really well organised and personally I had no idea that Alsace was so beautiful. The cruise on the Ill river in Strasbourg was just breathtaking!"
Pre-tours were also organised in Alsace the weekend before. From 2-4 October, the Alsace region hosted planners in Colmar, Mulhouse and Ribeauvillé to make them discover their business offer. Participants particularly enjoyed a private dinner at the Cité du Train in Mulhouse, a unique museum retracing European rail history and future, and the Museum Unterlinden in Colmar, which will re-open in December after a top-to-bottom refurbishment.
This overall operation aims to strengthen the position of France on professional meetings and events sectors. The France Meeting and Convention Board of Atout France, through its actions and the France Meeting Hub, highlights the diversity and the quality of the French MICE Tourism offer and facilitates the collaboration between international prescribers and the French professionals.
(Photo: Strasbourg, and her famous one-tower-only cathedral)
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