mtlg_new_europe

MEETING STAR 2021

A decade ago, at Toleranca Marketing agency, we developed a system of evaluating congress destinations with the help of an original matrix dubbed the “MEETING EXPERIENCE INDEX” or simply MTLG – MEETOLOGUE. Since the inception of evaluating destinations, we have been diligently using the reference system to present a realistic offer of congress destinations through time. Up to now, 118 destinations have been evaluated, including every important congress destination of the South East and New Europe region.

The system is a systematic, structured and analytical process, encompassing numerous factors labelled as important by event organisers. We dare say that our evaluation is the most comprehensive and complex destination grading system. The evaluation is not based solely on the number of congress events taking place at a destination but also delves into analysis holistically.

WHAT IS NEW EUROPE?

The answer to this question is something of an unsolved conundrum. A clear definition of New Europe doesn’t exist, the most general definition being that these are the countries of Eastern Europe that were once behind the Iron Curtain. Technically, this means 24 countries of Eastern Europe, adding Greece and Turkey to them. In our Editorial, we include the fresh, energetic and lesser-known European destinations in New Europe.

BEST IN NEW EUROPE

1. PRAGUE 4.68

2. ATHENS 4.53

3. BUDAPEST 4.52

3. TALLINN 4.52

4. LJUBLJANA 4.51

5. WARSAW 4.50

5. ZAGREB 4.50

6. BRATISLAVA 4.42

7. DUBROVNIK 4.41

8. THESSALONIKI 4.40

9. KRAKOW 4.38

10. ST. PETERSBURG 4.36

1. PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC 4.68/5


Prague has for a long time not been an Eastern European gem, but a true European tourist metropolis with a diverse and comprehensive offer, luxury hotels and sometimes too high prices. The story is reminiscent of Škoda, of which the Czechs are very proud and is one of the oldest automotive in Europe. Reputable, solid and reliable pre-war limousines were after the war changed by cars that were behind the times. Today, Škoda’s shine, again and again, puts the Czech manufacturer where it once was. The same can be said for the meetings industry, where Prague began to seriously falter at the top of the location of the European league. If we look at the position of Prague regionally, Prague certainly has all the conditions to remain one of the most popular congress destinations for a long time.

The number of 4* and 5* hotel rooms25,470
The number of 4* and 5* hotels313
Destination population1,335,083
Banquet hall maximum capacity2,400
The largest hall in the city10,237 m2
Theatre style hall maximum capacity13,500
Number of studios for digital and hybrid events15
Average internet speed when organising an event32 Mbps
Loader Loading...
EAD Logo Taking too long?
Reload Reload document
| Open Open in new tab

Download here

prague_convention_bureau
Photo Credit: Prague Convention Bureau

2. ATHENS, GREECE 4.53/5


A historic city with excellent connectivity to the rest of the world and where you will find infrastructure befitting a major European capital, but with better weather and in a more interesting location. Athens allure includes 300 days of sunshine a year, more than 30,000 hotel rooms in 439 hotels, 95,000 sq.m of conference space, 1,000+ restaurants and 200,000 flights per year. All major hotels in the city underwent a refurbishment for the 2004 Olympics. Athens is an attractive destination in its own, very special way. It is a unique combination of the old and the new, set in a spectacular Mediterranean landscape.

The number of 4* and 5* hotel rooms17,656
The number of 4* and 5* hotels176
Destination population3,818,434
Banquet hall maximum capacity9,500
The largest hall in the city13,050 m2
Theatre style hall maximum capacity15,000
Number of studios for digital and hybrid eventsNA
Average internet speed when organising an event12 Mbps
Loader Loading...
EAD Logo Taking too long?
Reload Reload document
| Open Open in new tab

Download here

travel_trade_athens
Photo Credit: Athens Convention Bureau

3. BUDAPEST, HUNGARY 4.52/5


If we put congress destinations of New Europe in a football perspective, then in the premier league Vienna dominates, which is immediately followed by Prague and Budapest. The city has no shortage of picturesque special venues or the most luxurious hotels, not to mention the crazy and diverse incentive locations. All this has been for many years an excellent and well-established MICE destination and a well-oiled congress machine. In addition, Budapest, unlike its rivals, is also a very pocket-friendly congress destination. The calendar of congresses and events clearly illustrates why the city on the Danube has developed into one of the world’s leading congress destinations.

The number of 4* and 5* hotel rooms7,600
The number of 4* and 5* hotels54
Destination population1,750,216
Banquet hall maximum capacity7,000
The largest hall in the city20,700 m2
Theatre style hall maximum capacity12,000
Number of studios for digital and hybrid events7
Average internet speed when organising an event25 Mbps
Loader Loading...
EAD Logo Taking too long?
Reload Reload document
| Open Open in new tab

Download here

budapest_hungary
Photo Credit: Canva/Pexels

3. TALLINN, ESTONIA 4.52/5


In terms of congress needs, of the Baltic triplets, Tallinn is probably the most picturesque and diverse. The city has gone through many historical changes, right through from the medieval salesmen and knights of the Teutonic Order, to the protestant reformation, Swedish and Russian imperialism, turbulences of both Wars and then to the Soviet Union, before finally independence and the flourishing of its IT-industry and capitalism. All of these events today create a special culture that is the basis for the development of a congress industry not lagging behind the competitive destinations. Tourism is a branch of the economy that develops fast. According to the “Tallinn 2025” strategic plan, the capital of Estonia could become a centre of festival and event tourism in the Baltic Sea region.

The number of 4* and 5* hotel rooms5,188
The number of 4* and 5* hotels41
Destination population437,619
Banquet hall maximum capacity1,200
The largest hall in the city3,075 m2
Theatre style hall maximum capacity1,892
Number of studios for digital and hybrid events11
Average internet speed when organising an event37 Mbps
Loader Loading...
EAD Logo Taking too long?
Reload Reload document
| Open Open in new tab

Download

tallinn_estonia
Photo Credit: Tallinn Convention Bureau, Kaupo Kalda

4. LJUBLJANA, SLOVENIA 4.51/5


According to its conference and accommodation infrastructure, Ljubljana belongs to the group of capitals suitable for medium-sized and smaller meetings (up to 2.000 participants). It is positioned side by side with the new EU member states and geographically in the region of the Western Balkans. With two top-level convention centres and a very well developed hotel meetings offer, Ljubljana is the region’s leading congress destination. The city is extremely safe and one of the region’s most sustainably oriented.

The number of 4* and 5* hotel rooms2,120
The number of 4* and 5* hotels23
Destination population279,756
Banquet hall maximum capacity1,200
The largest hall in the city2,456 m2
Theatre style hall maximum capacity2,200
Number of studios for digital and hybrid events10
Average internet speed when organising an event56 Mbps
Loader Loading...
EAD Logo Taking too long?
Reload Reload document
| Open Open in new tab

Download here

feel-slovenia-convention-bureau-green-active-meetings-events
Photo: Slovenian Tourist Board

5. WARSAW, POLAND 4.50/5


Today, Warsaw is one of the fastest-growing capitals in the EU and a city that can pride itself on a mix of new and old architectural styles. Its growth in infrastructure was strongly boosted when Warsaw was the host of the UEFA European Championship in 2012 and many new hotels were opened. The biggest congress hotel, the Hilton Warsaw with a hall for 1,600 participants, is one of the biggest in Europe, but The Palace of Culture with its 40 congress halls is also an interesting option.

The number of 4* and 5* hotel rooms12,000
The number of 4* and 5* hotels45
Destination population1,753,977
Banquet hall maximum capacity2,500
The largest hall in the city10,000 m2
Theatre style hall maximum capacity5,200
Number of studios for digital and hybrid eventsNA
Average internet speed when organising an event26 Mbps
Loader Loading...
EAD Logo Taking too long?
Reload Reload document
| Open Open in new tab

Download here

warsaw_poland
Photo Credit: Canva/Pexels

5. ZAGREB, CROATIA  4.50/5


A great congress future awaits Zagreb. It is well established in the international congress market and in addition to Ljubljana and Belgrade, it represents the future backbone of the continental meetings industry of the region. All three cities are progressing steadily on the charts of developed meetings destinations; the final breakthrough of the entire region is intertwined and dependent on the marketing of major regional congress cities in the international market.

The number of 4* and 5* hotel rooms3,202
The number of 4* and 5* hotels30
Destination population807,254
Banquet hall maximum capacity1,600
The largest hall in the city5,000 m2
Theatre style hall maximum capacity2,200
Number of studios for digital and hybrid events5
Average internet speed when organising an event22 Mbps
Loader Loading...
EAD Logo Taking too long?
Reload Reload document
| Open Open in new tab

Download here

zagreb_croatia
Photo Credit: Shutterstock

6. BRATISLAVA, SLOVAKIA  4.42/5


The city of four rivers defines the Danube river with its tributaries and with the mighty Renaissance castle above the intimate and compact old town. Bratislava is an undiscovered European congress capital that slowly and steadily penetrates into the congress market. It represents a novelty for the international congress market which impresses due to the kind and sympathetic city centre but also because of not excessive commercialization. The city is close to the congress organizers mainly due to a more personal congress experience – the city is very friendly and there are no problems with safety. The city centre is full of pubs, restaurants and shops and the hotel offer includes the best-known hotel chains.

The number of 4* and 5* hotel rooms3,198
The number of 4* and 5* hotels26
Destination population434,736
Banquet hall maximum capacity599
The largest hall in the city2,500 m2
Theatre style hall maximum capacity1,892
Number of studios for digital and hybrid events2
Average internet speed when organising an event24 Mbps
Loader Loading...
EAD Logo Taking too long?
Reload Reload document
| Open Open in new tab

Download here

bratislava_cvb
Photo Credit: Bratislava Convention Bureau/Duomedia

7. DUBROVNIK, CROATIA 4.41/5


Dubrovnik is the flagship of regional tourism and is commonly the first association of meetings organizers we meet daily. It is the closest in the region to renowned Mediterranean convention destinations Cannes and Monte Carlo. The modern and well-equipped centres at hotels such as Dubrovnik Palace, Excelsior, Bellevue, Grand Villa Argentina, Importanne Resort, Dubrovnik President, Valamar Lacroma and Radisson Blue are all great for hosting a variety of events. Well-developed is the entire conference infrastructure including destination management and creative agency scene. The city is safe and one of the tourist icons of the Adriatic and justifiably the most painted tourist skyline with unprecedented experiential diversity for conference guests.

The number of 4* and 5* hotel rooms4,006
The number of 4* and 5* hotels28
Destination population42,615
Banquet hall maximum capacity700
The largest hall in the city890 m2
Theatre style hall maximum capacity1,200
Number of studios for digital and hybrid events2
Average internet speed when organising an event20 Mbps
Loader Loading...
EAD Logo Taking too long?
Reload Reload document
| Open Open in new tab

Download here

dubrovnik_croatia
Photo Credit: Getty Images

8. THESSALONIKI, GREECE  4.40/5


Thessaloniki is the second-largest Greek city, located in the North of the country on the Thermaic Gulf. Many consider it as the capital of Greek cuisine, which is a guarantee for an enjoyable time at your event. Most of Thessaloniki’s big events take place at the Thessaloniki International Exhibition & Congress Centre, at the heart of the congress offer. The city’s hotel offer is also diverse and perfect for smaller corporate events. The entire congress offer is connected by the proactive Convention Bureau, which despite a limited budget has been maintaining a stable position on the ICCA scale, with 18 international congresses annually. Last year they hit a record number of 28 congresses, a perfect example of how Thessaloniki is gaining new momentum.

The number of 4* and 5* hotel rooms3,966
The number of 4* and 5* hotels42
Destination population1,104,690
Banquet hall maximum capacity4,000
The largest hall in the city6,000 m2
Theatre style hall maximum capacity5,000
Number of studios for digital and hybrid events10
Average internet speed when organising an event24 Mbps
Loader Loading...
EAD Logo Taking too long?
Reload Reload document
| Open Open in new tab

Download here

thessaloniki_greece
Photo Credit: Thessaloniki Convention Bureau

9. KRAKOW, POLAND 4.38/5


Of all Polish cities, Krakow is the one with the greatest soul and is the most fraught with history. In Poland, Krakow will be the destination of the new generation, which will soon be recognized as a high quality, compact and most versatile meetings destination in Poland due to the cultural heritage, the hospitality of the locals, new meetings capacities and its huge scientific potentials. Krakow has a variety of hotels services and an exceptional number of tourist attractions. Being the main tourist city it has excellent conditions in place for the development of congress tourism. With the construction of the new convention centre ICE, it has also received a real affirmation. Krakow’s recipe is successful and a case of good practice for other more traditional central European destinations.

The number of 4* and 5* hotel rooms5,999
The number of 4* and 5* hotels74
Destination population780,981
Banquet hall maximum capacity2,700
The largest hall in the city5,000 m2
Theatre style hall maximum capacity4,000
Number of studios for digital and hybrid events13
Average internet speed when organising an event33 Mbps
Loader Loading...
EAD Logo Taking too long?
Reload Reload document
| Open Open in new tab

Download here

kongres-magazine-krakow-poland
Krakow, Poland (Photo: Pixabay, Canva Pro)

10. ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA  4.36/5


Founded by Tsar Peter the Great in 1703 as Russia’s “Window on Europe”, St. Petersburg is Russia’s second-largest city and bears the unofficial status of the country’s cultural capital and the most European city. The city is a hub of cultural, historical and architectural landmarks, famous for its harmonious mix of western European and Russian architecture and its many waterways, which are inseparable from St. Petersburg’s panorama. Many of the city’s most famed architectural sites stretch along Neva’s historic embankments. Moreover, the bridges and natural canals of the river have earned St. Petersburg the nickname “Venice of the North”. Architecturally it ranks as one of the most splendid and congenial cities of Europe.

The number of 4* and 5* hotel rooms16,500
The number of 4* and 5* hotels173
Destination population4,991,000
Banquet hall maximum capacity4,452
The largest hall in the city13,114 m2
Theatre style hall maximum capacity6,360
Number of studios for digital and hybrid eventsNA
Average internet speed when organising an event21 Mbps
Loader Loading...
EAD Logo Taking too long?
Reload Reload document
| Open Open in new tab

Download here

st_petersburg
Photo Credit: Visit Petersburg

You can find every Meeting Destination with the help of our SEARCH ENGINE. It is tailored to the needs of meeting planners and their thought processes. Find the destinations at the following link: https://kongres-magazine.eu/search-destinations/.

kongres-magazine-search-engine-special-venues-iskalnik