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Efficient service from the Swiss: Seamless business meetings

Efficient service from the Swiss: Seamless business meetings

Our World | On 25, Oct 2011

According to legend, the capital of Switzerland got its name when, in 1191, the city’s founder declared he would call it after the first animal he killed while out hunting. Lucky for the inhabitants then that it was a bear rather than a wild boar he came across, or that could have made for a rather more difficult legacy!

Some of us recently visited Bern for a business meeting and brief overnight stay, which gave us a chance to take in the city’s highlights. Probably the first thing that hits you about Bern, is that for the capital, it is surprisingly calm and relaxed, feeling far more like a small town than a big city. We took full advantage of the quiet, quaint cobbled streets and instead of a standard walking tour, took to the streets on push along scooters. It’s not hard to see why kids love these things, as within minutes we were all balancing on two wheels, coasting along in the sunshine with our guide pointing out the sites and giving us an in-depth history of this charming destination. Lucky for us it was mostly downhill, as we scooted around the compact city, taking in all the highlights during the morning.

Bern’s central location is easily accessible from around Europe by road, rail and air, with direct flights available from the UK. We, however, flew with Swiss Air into Zurich and used the excellent rail link from there into the heart of the city, which gave a chance to see something of the picturesque surrounding countryside on the way. The location, access and quiet city centre makes it one to consider not only for a business meeting, but also a weekend incentive, car launch or conference. It certainly has the infrastructure with good hotels and some great venues. While there we saw the Hotel Allegro which is currently renovating its business meeting space and creating a new function area that will be excellent for conferences, exhibitions or a product launch (when completed early next year).

Across the road from the central train station brings you to the door of the newly refurbished Schweizerhof hotel. Elegant 5 star luxury in an excellent location with stylish rooms, contemporary interior design and good meeting space with the latest technology. It has the feeling of a boutique type hotel and would definitely suit a high end group coming to the city.

Of course, being Switzerland, you can also rely on punctual, efficient service and quality all round, which are important considerations for anyone in the event business. Let’s not forget it is also a politically stable, safe and secure destination which has to have appeal in this day and age.

All this doesn’t come cheap, but if you have flexibility with dates and for the right type of business meeting, conference, incentive or product launch, you should definitely put it on your list to consider.

Sandra Collins

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