Look East For Events
Our World | On 25, Oct 2012
Apart from being a TV programme, Look East is also a suggestion of where to think about for events – specifically, in this case, Budapest.
For a start, it’s a beautiful place – where Buda and Pest are separated by the majestic Danube and with, as one half of the Austro-Hungarian empire, some amazing and imposing classical architecture.
Why should Budapest be towards the top of your considerations list for corporate events?
Well, access is pretty good from much of Europe (Western and Eastern) – for example, a BA flight from Heathrow only takes 2½ hours, about the same as Madrid or Lisbon, and there are multiple daily flights. Low-cost flight access is excellent too with easyJet, Jet 2 and Wizzair being the main players in the market ex UK, all of which offer excellent value.
The value theme extends to hotel accommodation, a wide range of which is available, from more than acceptable local-chain properties right up to the stunning Four Seasons Gresham Palace, so named because of the London-based Gresham Life Assurance Company which bought the building in the 19th century for its rental income before deciding to make it its headquarters in the early years of the 20th.
The hotel is an art nouveau masterpiece, with a prime location directly overlooking the famous Chain Bridge across the Danube, with rooms and suites at the front enjoying magnificent views of the Buda side of the city. And, as you would expect of Four Seasons, the service, comfort levels and quality of food and beverage are all exemplary.
On both sides of the river, you can find outstanding restaurants, ranging from the ultra contemporary to the totally classical, offering all types of cuisine. Hungary might be home to goulash and dumplings but its culinary offering has moved on enormously over recent years.
The city’s nightlife is a major draw too, from humble bars to mega-clubs, many of which go all night and are often open-air during the long hot summer months.
For conferences, the value for money is also a major draw. Venues themselves, as well as equipment hire and local production crew/staffing, for example, are all amazing value when compared against Western European capitals and the quality is there, if you know the right suppliers, which we do!
All in all, I guess all of the above helps to explain why Budapest has been a regular haunt for P&MM and many of its clients in the recent past – and deserves to continue being so.