The Experience Simplified
By virtue of its location, Greece sits at the point where the continents of Europe, Africa and Asia converge. With hundreds of top class hotels and facilities, catering for anything from a handful of delegates to thousands, the country has a breathtaking range of options to choose from.
Of course, the venue you choose depends very much on the event you are planning to stage. For larger conferences where delegate numbers run into hundreds or thousands, accessibility and convenience are key words, especially if attendees are coming from different countries.
Proximity to international airports, the efficiency of transportation networks and the availability of accommodation are all key considerations. Bigger events also require booking well in advance to ensure that delegates have no problems with the arrangement of accommodation or flights.
It is also essential to check necessary visa requirements if conferences are going to be attended by non-European delegates.
Greece’s popularity as a holiday destination means that larger events are best planned to avoid periods that comprise ‘high’ tourist season. As a general rule, April – June and September – November are the best times of the year for planning events, as these months see fewer crowds while good weather can generally be relied upon.
Most conference venues offer excellent facilities, including conference rooms, private suites, audio visual equipment, internet/fax/phone accessibility, on-hand IT expertise for set-up and compatibility issues, whiteboards and flipcharts, coffee tea and dining provisions.
Although these facilities come as standard in the majority of venues, it’s always recommended to forward an advance checklist to ensure your event goes as planned. It goes without saying that provisions for specialised equipment and facilities need to be arranged with the venue well in advance.
For conferences and meetings involving a handful of delegates it may be worth considering venues that offer more intimate surroundings. Depending on your requirements you could choose from many alternative venues that offer a more relaxed ‘get away from the office’ type environment such as country clubs or villas
Most companies specialising in conference organisation also offer a range of excursions and activities that provide delegates with the opportunity to mix business with pleasure.
Such leisure and active pursuits include walking, golf, sea sports, sightseeing tours and helicopter and yacht charter trips. Some companies also offer the option to combine meetings with a range of team building activity sessions.
If you’re looking to organise a conference or meeting in the country it’s recommended that you use one of the many companies in Greece that specialise in event management. Their specialised local knowledge, venue and facility contacts, and extensive experience are the best guarantee for ensuring that your event runs smoothly.
In addition to the individual companies offering tailor made services detailed here, a good starting point when looking to organise an event is the Hellenic Association of Professional Congress Organisers.
Venues and Conference Organisers
The capital city’s many attributes include its central location, accessibility by air and sea, great transportation network, thriving culture and wealth of historical sites,
Here you can find a whole range of venues to stage events catering for any number of delegates, from hotels and restaurants to the 4000 seat Lykavittos open air amphitheatre and the 18000 capacity Olympic Athletic Centre.
Greece’s second city is one of the oldest in Europe. It benefits from an extensive transportation network, with good air, road, rail and sea links and its central Balkan location places it at the gateway to Eastern Europe.
As well as the HELEXPO International Congress Centre (2400 seats) and the Maegaron concert hall (1464 capacity), Thessaloniki has a host of mid-size venues (catering for conferences up to 1000 delegates) as well as numerous restaurants, hotels and gala venues for smaller events.
As the largest of the Dodecanese islands, the combination of culture, scenic beauty and modern day facilities makes Rhodes an excellent conference destination.
The island’s various facilities offer great locations and different venue capacities. In addition to hotels and restaurants with experience of catering for conference events, there are garden venues, and many hotels’ conference centers.
With two international airports and many places of interest, Greece’s largest island also has an infrastructure that delivers state of the art facilities and services to cater for all conference demands.
If you’re planning a smaller conference, or perhaps looking to stage a meeting ‘away from it all’, then Greece offers many alternative venues.
While these destinations may not be so convenient accessibility-wise, their locations are better suited for a more personalised style of meeting in an intimate environment. Such locations also offer the opportunity to combine business with social activities that take advantage of the natural surroundings.
Options for meeting venues include yacht charters, luxury villa rental and rural retreats.