MICE CEE attended the M & I Forum in Vienna

MICE CEE attended the M & I Forum in Vienna

MICE CEE attended the M & I Forum in Vienna
December 01
12:43 2015

By Zuzana Adamson

Of the events each year that are specifically organized and focused on the MICE business by WorldWideEvents UK, we attended the most recent focused on the CEE region: “The Eastern Europe, Gulf & India Forum.”

It was held between the 22nd and the 26th November in Vienna, Austria. The organizer chose Vienna as the host city as it is consistently rated one of the TOP international meeting destinations in Europe. We distributed about 100 copies of our MICE CEE B2B printed magazines/catalogues that promote a number of CEE suppliers that couldn’t be present personally, so that professional news from the CEE could be well represented to the rest of the World, and it appears that delegates to the forum were happy to snap up their copies and enjoyed them.

The Hilton Vienna, one of the two most famous convention hotels in the city (with the InterContinental) is this year celebrating its 40th anniversary, and was the choice as host venue for the M & I Forum. It was a good idea to choose the Hilton Vienna because of its prime location right in the city center, surrounded by the historic state-of-art buildings, museums, cafes, concert halls, theaters, and the gorgeous St. Stephen Cathedral. Hilton Vienna offers 579 rooms and suites including executive floors, 2 large ballrooms for up to 1300 guests, and 11 additional multifunctional meeting rooms with natural daylight. One of the many great things about this Hilton is that after a demanding day of various and productive meetings during the forum, guests could happily relax and luxuriate in the hotel’s wellness facilities as well as make use of its fitness center.

One could think that the event took place over quite a number of days, but in fact there were two groups of buyers that arrived separately, one followed by the other. So that when the first group of buyers was departing on November 24, the second group was just arriving, while the sellers were of course present throughout the entire forum. The total number of suppliers that attended the M & I Forum in Vienna was 93, and the number of buyers 123. The buyers were in large part the organizers of congresses for the medical and pharma sector (Kenes International, Astra Zeneca, Can Ozen Internat.), event managers from corporations (Ericsson, ECI Telecom, Mary Kay, Teoco, DuPont), and agencies like Activezone, Ban Tours, Weco Travel, coming from a wide variety of countries including Russia, Poland, Turkey, Ukraine, UAE, Israel, India, Hungary, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Croatia and more. The suppliers came from both the hotel sector, including Hilton, Marriott, Starwood Hotels, Melia, Rixos, Vienna International, and convention bureaus from Vienna, Berlin, Barcelona, Madrid, Krakow, Azerbaijan, among others.

The event was a harmonic and good mix, as it on the one hand focused on work and intensive meetings sessions and on the other, offered various accompanying programs for networking. The morning before the lunch of Day 1 and Day 2 were focused on one-one meetings: each meeting took exactly 20 minutes (which you could see scheduled, monitored and timed on a large wall screen). In the afternoons the AIM Group, the DMC agency cooperating in the organization of this M & I Forum, prepared a panoply of activity programs to choose from: learn to cook a strudel, learn about Austrian cuisine, ice-skating, or waltz dancing, Viennese style. I opted for the ice-skating and we enjoyed that a lot. At the same time, the delegates were able to further their networking opportunities while experiencing this pre-winter fun on the ice.

Chris McQue, Director of Buyer relations, explained the ideas behind the M & I Forums: “We created the M & I Forums because we wanted professionals from the MICE industry no longer to be wasting valuable time by going to large trade fairs. We wanted to give them the opportunity to go directly to the center, to meet directly with the right suppliers. For this objective, we developed a special program – it is a sophisticated tool and very productive system that is able to match the right suppliers with the right buyers. A big part of our M & I Forums is focused on local regional activities. So this mix of local activities (with local suppliers), together with intensive one-one meetings, is more effective for buyers than just a classical Fam trip.”

I arrived as a part of the second wave of buyers. The elaborate dinners took place at the splendid historical venues of the Intercontinental Vienna and Austria Trend Parkhotel Schonbrunn. The first group had enjoyed Austrian and international cuisine at the Grand Hotel Wien and Palais Ferstel.

The M & I Forum was a lot of work, a lot of fun, participants enjoyed the event, and they also has an “active” way of experiencing the destination. It was clearly evident that the right people were connecting with each other, which is of primary importance. The event was the seamless employment of digital technologies with programs that further permitted the matching of the right people together – this is clearly a trend in the contemporary business-successful “meta” MICE event. It was, in our estimation, a great job by a large team of organizers, headed by Event Manager, Christina Fanshawe. While saying goodbye, participants were clearly looking forward to the next M & I Forum.

On the pictures:

1. One-one meetings.

2. One-one meetings.

3. Dinner at Parkhotel Schonbrunn

Related Articles