A wealth of world-class research institutions, pioneering enterprises and international organisations gives Switzerland a unique concentration of skills from across the globe.
Add ultra-modern event venues, a central location, breathtaking landscapes and famously reliable meeting professionals, and you have the perfect location for association meetings and conferences.
For more information on Switzerland for association meetings:
Hundreds of international organisations are based in Switzerland, including the UN bodies coordinating global dialogue on health, medicine, telecommunications, protection of intellectual property and trade. Switzerland’s long-standing commitment to diplomacy, international cooperation and humanitarian involvement reflects values important to multinational companies seeking new business locations. Foreign firms and their well-travelled employees appreciate Switzerland’s culture of tolerance, and find a cosmopolitan, receptive atmosphere that encourages innovative thinking.
Today, Geneva is home to more than 200 international organisations, including the European headquarters of the United Nations, various UN agencies and numerous NGOs, and is the world’s most active centre for multilateral diplomacy. The Red Cross movement, which originated in the city, is still based here, and the museum devoted to its work is one of many fascinating visitor sites that explore the city’s rich humanitarian tradition. Many sports organisations have also chosen Switzerland as their home, from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Lausanne to UEFA in Nyon and FIFA in Zürich.
Key clusters of competitiveness
Switzerland is a world leader in many fields, ranging from biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and medical technology to commodity trading, finance & insurance and information & communication technology. Globally important clusters of companies and research institutions are found throughout the country. A high concentration of specialist expertise in Switzerland is sure to boost attendance for any conference or association meeting.
A natural leader
Year after year, little Switzerland achieves big scores in international country rankings. Switzerland’s list of firsts is impressive. In the Global Innovation Index for example, Switzerland has topped the list of nearly 150 countries three years in a row. The Global Competitiveness Report, published annually by the World Economic Forum, has placed Switzerland first every year since 2009.
Or take the environment. The Environmental Performance Index, developed by Yale University and Columbia University in collaboration with the World Economic Forum, has ranked Switzerland first for the past two years in a row. Switzerland also leads the Energy Sustainability Index, published by the World Energy Council.
Switzerland’s cities, too, are world-class. The Cities in Motion Index lists two Swiss cities in the top fifteen, making Switzerland the highest-ranking country. The Quality of Living Report by the consulting group Mercer analyses more than 350 cities worldwide; three Swiss cities – Zürich, Geneva and Bern – are featured among the top ten in the past three surveys.
Pioneering and innovative, eco-friendly, clean and safe, Switzerland has earned its reputation for perfectionism and professionalism through proven success. Event organisers who opt for this small country also benefit from the great power of the brand: it promises quality, guarantees that events will run smoothly – and ensures the highest levels of participation.
Switzerland is proud to set high standards. Its landscapes, from glittering glaciers to alpine pastures and palm-fringed islands, enjoy unparalleled levels of protection. Even the water in rivers and lakes is usually clean enough to drink. Equally impressive are the accommodation and leisure facilities – and the warm welcome extended to guests in this cosmopolitan and charming country.
International Conference Centre of Geneva (CICG): "Meet the World in Geneva"
At the CICG, 22 conference areas can accommodate between 20 and 2,200 people. The multi-functional infrastructure of the venue provides ideal solutions and combinations. The four main conference areas, which can be divided or combined, and the numerous breakout rooms and individual offices, can be adapted to correspond with your projects. The CICG is located in the immediate vicinity of Place des Nations (UN) and within easy reach of the principal international organisations and diplomatic representations in Geneva.
World’s Finest Meeting Place in Davos
"The place where leaders meet" said Prof. Dr. Klaus Schwab! Davos is the clear alpine leader in the global meeting market with more than 400 events per year. With good reason: Davos has a rich tradition in hosting congresses: here, you will find the most modern congress centre in the Alps, which attracts the World Economic Forum (WEF) every year – this has made Davos a household name in the international world of business. Davos offers more than 100 different meeting rooms with a capacity of over 15,000 participants.
The latest extension has made the Davos Congress Centre one of the alp’s most modern congress venues. Up to 7,000 attendees can come together and benefit from the ideal infrastructure. There are 34 high-tech rooms for 20 to 1,800 people. The Davos Congress department guarantees perfect organisation, while the catering service ensures a range of culinary delights. And you get all this under one roof.
The Circle will be a destination in itself at Zurich Airport and the largest conference hotel in Switzerland. The venue will form a conference area with space for about 2,300 people – the capacity in the largest hall reaches 1,500 people. It will be suitable for congresses, events and meetings, but also for gala dinners, exhibitions, concerts, and product launches. Hyatt Regency and Hyatt Place complete the offer with 550 rooms.
In addition, The Circle will feature international brands and companies in its lanes and squares, a medical centre and state-of-the-art office space. A wide range of further offerings in the fields of art, culture, dining, entertainment and education round out the spectrum.
Opening is planned in 2018.
Congress Center Basel
Congress Center Basel consists of an event hall, auditorium, modular break-out rooms, musical theatre, modern exhibition halls – all located directly alongside the exhibition complex designed by Herzog & de Meuron. The modern hall complex not only constitutes an architectural highlight but also fulfils the most innovative and demanding client wishes with its state-of-the-art facilities. The Congress Center – Switzerland's biggest congress centre in terms of surface area – is linked directly via a footbridge to the exhibition complex designed by Herzog & de Meuron; participants can move freely between the different premises. This boosts visitor comfort and makes Basel's state-of-the-art congress infrastructure exceptionally attractive. The 25 modern rooms available at the Congress Center Basel are noted for their multi-functionality and variable configurations and hold up to 6,000 people.
In Zurich - Evolutionary Medicine Conference 2015
The 1st Evolutionary Medicine Conference on the theme of “Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Human Health and Disease” took place at Zurich University from July 30–August 1, 2015. The conference was attended by a total of 140 participants, including a Nobel Prize winner.
The reception was held on the eve of the first event day at the Elephant Park at Zurich Zoo, and the closing dinner on July 31 at the Zunfthaus zur Zimmerleuten. On August 1, Swiss National Day, the delegates were invited on a cruise on Lake Zurich.
When asked the reason why the conference was held in Zurich and in what way Zurich Tourism’s CVB had been to assist, Dr. Kaspar Staub, the co-organiser of the conference, replied: “The Institute for Evolutionary Medicine at Zurich University is one of the leading establishments of its kind in the world, so Zurich was virtually predestined to host the first international and interdisciplinary specialist conference in Europe. Zurich Tourism’s CVB were extremely helpful in organising the accommodation and social events, as well as in providing us with material."
in Basel - IFA 2015 - International Fiscal Association Congress
According to Maurus Winzap, President of the Organising Committe: "Basel's infrastructure for staging the 2015 IFA Congress was perfect, especially since the premises are directly linked to the new exhibition hall designed by Herzog & de Meuron. Together with the available hotel capacities, it was right to opt for Basel as a congress location. The more than 2000 financial experts who attended from all over the world held a high-level conference in Basel for five days, and enjoyed an interesting and varied accompanying programme. Both in the formal setting of the opening ceremony and the emotional ambiance of the gala dinner with its accompanying show at the end of the conference, the Event Hall provided the perfect opening and closing highlights for our congress."
In Geneva - Sibos
For the third time SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) has chosen Geneva to organise its annual conference Sibos. For one week every year, Sibos brings together some 8,000 business leaders, decision makers and topic experts from a range of financial institutions, market infrastructures, multinational corporations and technology partners. With nearly a dozen conference tracks, hundreds of speakers and conference sessions, about 200 exhibitors, and multiple networking events, Sibos is the place to discuss business strategy, build networks and collectively shape the future of the financial industry. Sibos 2016 will take place between 26 and 29 September at Palexpo. With over 106,000 square metres of contiguous exhibition space, Palexpo is one of Europe’s largest, fully-integrated international convention and exhibition centres.
In Davos - World Economic Forum
The flagship event of the World Economic Forum (WEF) is the annual meeting with over 3,000 delegates, which takes place in Davos in late January every year, involving internationally renowned, leading economists, politicians, scientists and businessmen. Many other informal meetings take place in Davos - also due to its village atmosphere. There is indeed a real "Spirit of Davos". It is one of the reasons for Davos’ success as a congress city. Here at 1,560 m above sea level, despite the city infrastructure, nature is the headline act. It gives the congress delegates the feeling of being a small part of a whole. It is this atmosphere that makes it even easier to find compromises and solutions that would have been unimaginable elsewhere.
Switzerland really is CONNECTED, not just virtually but physically. It’s a world of clock-work travel where trains meet planes and connect with busses, boats, mountain railways and even cable cars in a fully integrated transport system which brings you and your delegates quickly, safely and efficiently to your inspirational Swiss meeting venue.
Five international airports connect Switzerland to the rest of the world, ensuring that every part of the country is easy to reach.
Zurich Airport is the largest international airport of Switzerland, the principal hub of Swiss International Airlines and offers direct flights from 127 destinations in 60 countries. For years it has been known as “Europe’s Leading Airport” (World Travel Awards).
Efficient public transport: Once you have arrived in Switzerland, the super-efficient Swiss Travel System looks after you and whisks you to your final destination. Waiting times are short, transport infrastructure is modern and everything runs on time. In many Swiss cities like Basel and Geneva, conference delegates travel free on public transport, including airport transfers.
Everything is quick, easy and reliable, just as you’d expect from Switzerland. All this saves time and money – for delegates, their employers and meeting organisers.
Destination Davos Klosters
The Convention Bureau Davos represents and markets the Destination Davos Klosters, which gathers the leading suppliers of city, from hotels to congress centres and cities to event agencies. Its services make organising events and conventions a surprisingly simple and uncomplicated process.
Davos Klosters offers many special venues like: Congress Centre Davos (7,000 people), Ice stadium Valliant Area (7,080 people), mountain venue Weissfluhgipfel on 2883 m. above the sea level, Vision - Madrisa Tower, Bernina Express or Glacier Express (spectacular alp train) and many more.
Lake Zurich Navigation Company (ZSG)
Whether a nostalgic paddle steamer or a motorboat – the Lake Zurich Navigation Company rents out a variety of boats for all kinds of events. The customer is free to decide how long the trip should last and what route it takes. The largest boat, the MS Helvetia, has banquet seating for 280 guests. The motor boat Panta Rhei is the youngest member of the fleet and offers banquet seating for approximately 250 guests. The lake side dockyard hall is also available for hire, which is suitable for large events.
Safran Zunft in Basel is the historical house of the spice trader guild. The significant Safran Zunft was first documented in the 14th century. In 1423 the Saffron Guild bought the "Ballhof" building located in the Gerbergasse. Around 1900, when the Gerbergasse was widened, the guild house had to be pulled down and built again. It was considered as important to preserve the nature of the ancient guild house. Today the Restaurant Safran Zunft, located in the centre of the Old Town, is an excellent example for the many guilt houses that are used as special event venues. It is characterised by an incomparable, historic, turn-of-the-century ambience. The setting of the historic guildhall (Zunftsaal) offers space for formal gala dinners, cocktail parties and receptions for up to 500 people.
Geneva - Globe of Science and Innovation (CERN)
The Globe of Science and Innovation is a landmark for CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) and a symbol of sustainable development for all. It is 27 metres high and 40 metres in diameter, which is about the size of the St. Peter’s Basilica’s dome in Rome! A unique visual landmark by day and by night, the Globe of Science and Innovation is a metaphor for Planet Earth. On the ground floor, the “Universe of Particles” exhibition takes the visitor on a journey deep into the world of particles and back to the Big Bang. You can organize conferences and cocktails for up to 250 people.
Atlantis by Giardino***** in Zurich
The Atlantis by Giardino***** opened on 1st December 2015 following an extensive renovation programme.
Styled as an urban retreat, the 95-room hotel provides a unique and indulgent alternative to the city’s current hotel offering. Situated in the western part of Zurich, Atlantis by Giardino is just a15-minute drive from the city’s famous Bahnhofstrasse and within a stone’s throw of the countryside, thanks to its location on the edge of a forest at the foot of the Üetliberg mountains.
A Y-shaped building with three wings, the hotel is set in its own extensive grounds and has a 25-metre heated outdoor pool, as well as an indoor pool and generously proportioned spa, alongside two restaurants and two bars, and flexible meeting space for meetings and events.
Three flexible meeting spaces will easily accommodate as few as eight for a board meeting and as many as 200 for a cocktail event.
High-quality accommodation in Davos
Davos might well be "the best meeting place in the world", because it offers high-quality hotel infrastructure in over 60 properties with over 27,000 guest beds from 1 to 5 star. Davos is not just a unique congress city, it is also an ideal location for seminars and conferences of any size. Fifteen seminar hotels in Davos Klosters are specialised in the professional organisation and execution of seminars.
Dizzy with choice in Geneva
Geneva offers a high quality hotel infrastructure with 126 hotels and over 9,000 hotel rooms - among them 33 hotels from 3 to 5 stars with state-of-the-art conference facilities. Furthermore Geneva and its surrounding areas have a total capacity of 12,850 hotel rooms in international and local hotel chains. Starling Geneva Hotel & Conference Center is the largest hotel in Switzerland with 500 rooms. It is situated next to Geneva Airport and the Palexpo exhibition centre. You can organise events in 5,500 sqm of conference and exhibition areas divided into 43 adaptable meeting rooms.
Thousands of rooms in Basel
Basel and its surroundings consist of approx. 9,000 rooms. Nearly 6,100 rooms are located 15 minutes from the city centre whereof 1,000 rooms are within walking distance to Congress Center Basel. An additional 3,000 rooms are located within a range of 30 minutes from Basel including hotels in nearby Germany and France. Meeting planners can choose among global hotel chains, such as Swissôtel, Pullman and Radisson Blu or private hotels with an individual charm like Grand Hotel Les Trois Rois, Hotel Basel, Hotel Euler or Hotel Der Teufelhof. Grand Hotel Les Trois Rois is considered one of the oldest hotels in Europe. This five-star property spoils the guests with a unique view of the Rhine. Its Salle Belle Epoque can host meetings for up to 260 delegates.
Supported by the Union of International Associations (UIA), the International Association of Professional Congress Organisers (IAPCO) and the Interel Group, the global public affairs and association management consultancy, Headquarters Magazines serve the needs of international associations organising worldwide congresses.