MILAN - Milan MICE venues include two of the largest convention centers in Italy: the gargantuan Fiero Milano, with 345,000 square meters of meeting and exhibition space, featuring the 400-room NH Fiero Milano and located just outside the city in the area known as Rho; and the Fiero's old space, Fiero Milano City, which is still available with 43,009 square meters of space including the MiCo Conference Centre (which can accommodate up to 18,000 within its 70 rooms).
Although mid- and upscale hotel brands known to Americans (Westin, Sheraton) are present, the largest MICE hotels in Milan are the 235-room Excelsior Hotel Gallia, with more than 10,000 square meters of meeting space; the 283-room ATAHOTEL Quark, with 6,000 square meters of space; and the 246-room Nhow Milano, with 3,000 square meters in 13 meeting rooms. Meeting groups go en masse to La Scala, the historic opera house, which also offers event space. Visits to the former convent that houses Leonardo's Last Supper, private tours of the Duomo, and a scalable rooftop complex should also be on the agendas of meeting planners. Afterward, consider a visit to Milan's Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, next to the Duomo, which was designed in 1861 and is considered the world's first shopping mall.
Special MICE venues in Milan's outskirts include La Sforza Castle at nearby Lake Como. The lake's proximity (less than an hour by car) means that meeting planners can benefit from both business and pleasure when booking venues in Milan.
ROME - Italy's largest city and capital Rome counts itself among Europe's most visited destinations. For those visiting the city, more than 2,500 years of spectacular history awaits at nearly every turn. The city's historic center is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Also known as the Eternal City, the metropolis is where Julius Caesar lived and died, and where the Pope currently lives.
Rome is easily accessible from all over the world. Its principal airport, Fiumicino-Leonardo da Vinci International Airport, is served by several international airlines offering direct and connecting flights to all major parts of the globe. The city is also a principal railway node and has an extensive motorway network, which proves advantageous for business guests as they can get to their event site in a short time.
Palazzo dei Congressi is a principal MICE venue in the city, which contains a prestigious congress hall – the Florence Auditorium – that has an overall capacity of 1,000 seats. The historical venue also has various meeting halls, which have capacities for 50, 80, or 200 people.
Some of the best hotels in Rome city center also happen to be great MICE venues. Major MICE hotels include the 238-room Boscolo Exedra Roma, whose largest room can host up to 200 persons; the 236-room Starhotels Metropole, which has nine meeting rooms for up to 180 persons; the 232-room Radisson Blu, which has a conference center for hosting up to 500 delegates; the 135-room Grand Hotel de la Minerve, which has a meeting area for up to 120 guests, as well as four smaller meeting rooms; and the 127-room SINA Bernini Bristol, which has 7 multi-functional rooms for meetings and sessions. Other great MICE accommodation options include Hotel de Russie, Mercure Roma Piazza Bologna, Sofitel Rome Villa Borghese, Hotel Hassler Roma, Kolbe Hotel Rome, and Villa Morgagni.
BARCELONA - Barcelona is a fun, modern and artistic city at the center of Catalan language and culture. The second largest city in Spain, Barcelona is known for its bold expression in culture and art. Everything here, including its people, culture, language, spirit, economy, location, and outlook on life has made Barcelona a "World Class City" by the Globalization & World Cities Study Group & Network. Today, this city is home to conventions, tradeshows, art and cinema festivals, as well as one of the preferred meeting destinations of international event planners.
Barcelona–El Prat Airport (BCN) is the city's international airport located eight miles southwest of the center of the city. It is major international hub, served by dozens of airlines. It's easy to get to and around the airport via the eight lines of the citywide subway system and other public transportation.
Chief among MICE venues in Barcelona is the seaside Barcelona International Convention Centre, or in the local parlance, the Centre de Convencions Internacional de Barcelona, which is in the district of Diagonal Mar. Featuring 38 well-lit rooms across three floors and two mezzanines, the center was designed by Catalan architect Josep Lluis Mateo. There is an enormous Exhibition Hall, which can be laid out in a modular way into eight separate spaces, and the Banquet Hall.
Barcelona's largest MICE hotels include the 465-room Princesa Sofia Gran Hotel, which has space for up to 1,200 delegates; the 483-room Hotel Arts Barcelona with over 1,000 square meters of function space for meetings and special events; the 473-room W Barcelona with a meeting space of 6,800 square meters; the 433-room Hilton Diagonal Mar Barcelona, which can accommodate up to 1,000 delegates; the 432-room Fairmont Rey Juan Carlos I featuring 24 meeting rooms with multiple layout options; the 378-room Barcelo Sants with 3,000 square meters of convention halls; and the 368-room Autograph Collection Barcelona Forum (largest event space for up to 600 delegates).
MADRID - Capital of Spain since the 16th century, Madrid is now a modern metropolis with remnants of its Hapsburg past (early 16th - 17th centuries). Most of what remains today is the redesign of the city from the early 20th century. Internationally famous for its art collections, home to one of the world's foremost sporting clubs - Real Madrid, and headquarters of the World Tourism Organization - these reasons and more make Madrid MICE venues lively places.
Nearly 13 kilometers west of the city center, Adolfo Suarez Madrid–Barajas is one of the Europe's most impressive international airports and operates flights to most world destinations, offering superb airlift.
One of the renowned MICE venues in this huge city is IFEMA, also known as the Feria de Madrid, boasting 200,000 square meters of exhibiting space, 12 halls and 3 convention and congress Centers. Popular Madrid MICE hotels include the 467-room Westin Palace, which has 20 meeting rooms, including the newly refurbished and very grand Espacio Palace for up to 800 persons; the luxurious Silken Puerta America, a trendy, stylish place with five event spaces for up to 1,000 persons, including the atmospheric Jean Nouvel Penthouse; and the 162-room Ritz Madrid, which has five spaces for MICE meetings, including the Salon Real for 400 persons and the Salon Alfonso XIII for about 250 guests.
Paris, the "City of Light," is one of the international MICE capitals, drawing millions of tourists from around the world every year. It is a glorious city renowned for its café culture, fine dining, and high fashion, among many more attractions. Paris also has one of the most comprehensive transportation networks in the world. The city is served by three commercial airports: Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport, Paris Orly, and Beauvais-Tillé. Visitors can choose from taxis, buses, shuttle services, airport coaches, or the RER train service to get to the city center or around in the city.
One of the two main venues in Paris for conventions, congresses, and exhibitions is Le Palais des Congrés de Paris that is attached to the Hyatt Regency Paris Etoile. The Palais des Congrés has 32,000 square meters of event space, which includes 19,000 square meters of exhibition areas, 4 auditoriums, 20 breakout rooms, 85 meeting rooms, and a VIP Club. The other venue is the Paris expo Porte de Versailles, which has 221,235 square meters of customizable space, including 8 pavilions, 2 auditoriums, 32 meeting rooms, and 21,000 square meters of outdoor exhibition space.
The best hotels in Paris for conferences and events include Pullman Paris Montparnasse that has more than 4,000 square meters of meeting and banquet space; Hyatt Regency Paris Étoile, which has over 2,900 square meters of event space and 25 modular meeting rooms; Paris Marriott Rive Gauche Hotel & Conference Center that has 55 event rooms; and Westin Paris - Vendôme with 2,000 square meters of total meeting space.
Other popular MICE hotels close to the famed Palace of Versailles are the Mercure Paris Vaugirard Porte de Versailles; Oceania Paris Porte de Versailles; Trianon Palace Versailles, a Waldorf Astoria Hotel; Pullman Château de Versailles; and Novotel Château de Versailles hotels. Airport properties with great meeting spaces include the Hilton Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport; the Hyatt Regency Paris - Charles de Gaulle; the Paris Marriott Charles de Gaulle Airport; and the Hilton Paris Orly Airport.
London is one of the world's greatest business and events destinations. With six airports, an efficient underground metro network, black taxis, and red buses, London is one the world's most accessible capital cities. At 1,577 square kilometers, it is the 37th-largest urban area in the world, defined most notably in its geography by the Thames River. The city has six airports, with Heathrow as London's and Europe's busiest.
London's glittering nightlife and dining scene lends itself to private events that will tempt guests to break out of the boardroom and the hotel bar. For instance, No. 5 Cavendish Square welcomes business events of any type or size. Cultural venues are also sure to give guests the feeling of a true London experience. The prestigious Tate Modern has spaces for private events for up to 350 guests, while the Royal Academy of Arts is available for events of up to 800 people. The 100,000-square-meter ExCeL London Convention & Exhibition Center has already hosted well over 1,500 national and international events. The Business Design Centre features an impressive main exhibition hall of 6,000 square meters and welcomes over 80 exhibitions and 250 conferences each year. The centre lays claim to being the first all-in-one trade, exhibition, and conference complex in the U.K.
With stunning views of the Tate Modern, the Globe Theatre, the mighty Thames, and the Millennium Bridge, The Mermaid London conference and events centre boasts a stunning backdrop and uniquely modern lighting and decor. For a more traditional look, Alexandra Palace, opened at the end of the 19th century, is a timeless venue for large groups to enjoy exhibitions, conferences, and ceremonies, as its Great Hall accommodates 2,500 to 7,250 guests. And in Westminster, the prestigious and popular QEII Centre has four large auditoriums and seven conference rooms that host up to 400 meetings annually.
As Britain's second largest city, Birmingham provides an outstanding destination experience for all its business tourists, whether they are coming for a seminar, a conference, or an exhibition. Birmingham's central location in the UK and its connectivity by air, road, rail, and bus make it a desirable and easily accessible MICE destination. Its nearest airport, Birmingham Airport, is nine minutes away from the city center by train. The West Midlands city can also be easily explored by foot, with many of its attractions just a few minutes apart.
Birmingham has more than 36,000 rooms available for visitors and a range of world-class event venues and state-of-the-art facilities. The International Convention Centre (ICC) is one such spectacular venue that welcomes 300,000 delegates annually, and features 10 meeting rooms and 11 halls. Another popular purpose-built venue in the city is the National Exhibition Centre that has 20 exhibition halls, 34 conference suites, and a host of additional outdoor spaces.
Birmingham also has loads of MICE hotels to offer, such as Copthorne Hotel Birmingham, Malmaison Birmingham, Hotel La Tour, Macdonald Burlington Hotel, Hotel du Vin Birmingham, Jurys Inn Birmingham, Hyatt Regency Birmingham, Crowne Plaza Birmingham City Centre, Holiday Inn Birmingham City Centre, Hilton Garden Inn Birmingham Brindleyplace, and Thistle Birmingham City Hotel. The city also has enough picturesque canals, waterside attractions, outstanding museums and galleries, an explosion of gastronomic restaurants, secret cocktail bars, and craft breweries to keep the business guests entertained.