Successful Meetings - October 2008 - (Page 116)

Meeting Sites Essential Tool Box Convention Centers/Facilities: Fira de Barcelona, nearly 4 million sf of space; Feria de Madrid, 1.6 million sf of exhibition space. Daily Business Costs*: MADRID Hotel $193 F&B $172 BARCELONA Hotel $188 F&B $193 For More Information: Turespana For complete listings, visit Facility Quick Search at *Business Travel News 2008 Corporate Travel Index Spain RELAXATION CENTRAL: At first glance, Spain may seem like the least productive place to host a meeting or group, what with Spaniards’ penchant for afternoon siestas and long, leisurely evenings. In truth, there may be no better place, thanks to the history, great food, and variety of hotels that can be found throughout the country, not to mention the numerous venues that cater to groups both large and small. By Jennifer Merritt well as individual organizers who make budgetary decisions for international business travel, meetings, and incentives. The Big News EIBTM, the Global Meetings and Incentives Exhibition hosted in Barcelona, announced in June that it is expanding its offerings for the more than 3,500 buyers planning to attend the conference Dec 2-4 at the Fira Barcelona Conference Center. New will be extended education programs and 15 post-event tours to such places as Costa del Sol/Malaga, Leon, and Madrid, as well as the presence of new vendors like Barcelo Hotels, Meetme, StarCite, and Uniqueworld. The event caters to groups of meeting planners as Casino de Madrid, founded in 1836 as a FACILITIES UPDATE Hilton Hotels just opened its fifth property in Spain, Hilton Madrid Airport, providing 284 guest rooms and more than 18,000 sf of meeting space. IFEMA, located in Madrid, the Spanish center of business, offers four types of meeting and event space: auditoriums, halls, hall rooms, and outside spaces that can accommodate anywhere from 300 to more than 1,800 people. members-only gathering space for nobility and gentry, is now a venue to host all kinds of events. Michelin-starred chef Ferran Andria oversees the food services. The historical home El Palacio de Linares is ideal for events with 300 people or fewer. Its auditorium can fit up to 300 guests, while its smaller rooms can sit up to 200. Le Meridien Barcelona reopened in June after a $46 million refurbishment. All 233 rooms have been redesigned with a contemporary feel, and its seven meeting spaces can host up to 260 people. City of Festivals Seville, the capital of Andalusia, is a fascinating city that offers a variety of historical festivals throughout the year. One in particular is perfect for groups: Feria de Abril, or April Spring Fair. And the city is now an easy highspeed train ride from Madrid on the Ave line. What started as a cattle fair in the late 1800s has evolved into weeklong celebrations that are quintessential Andalusia, featuring men on horses, women in flamenco dresses, and lots of eating, drinking, and socializing. You’ll want to look into sponsoring one of the many casetas, or tents, that pop up on the fairgrounds in the Los Remedios section of Seville, essentially forming a lively, tented town. These private, invitation-only areas can hold up to 70 people, but surely the Sevillianos often squeeze in many more. During the day, you’ll see the decorated horses helmed by men in traditional dress—a sight that can make you feel as if you’ve stepped back in time. At night is when the true festivities begin, with the crowds growing larger as the evening goes on. For an authentic experience, be sure to have the caseta stocked with sherry and manzanilla, a light sherry with a hint of saltiness. —JM SUCCESSFUL MEETINGS 116

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Successful Meetings - October 2008

Successful Meetings - October 2008
Editor's Note
Supplier News
On the Record
Planner News
Planner Spotlight
Personal Success
Technology Talk
Food &Beverage
Tools of the Trade
On Site
Technology for Modern Meetings
A Tale of Two Cities
A Cast of Thousands
Places & Spaces
Mexican Destination Resorts
New Orleans
Lake Tahoe / Reno

Successful Meetings - October 2008