Several weeks ago, we discussed the cost savings that corporate groups could realize by leveraging foreign currency fluctuations. While autumn is typically a shoulder season in Europe, other trends are also converging to make foreign destinations, specifically Europe and the UK, even more affordable this year.
The lower value of the Euro and economic turbulence in the Eurozone are making destinations in the Europe and the UK more accessible.
In the fall, there are also a number of special events, exhibitions and festivals that can help corporate groups round out their itineraries without blowing their event budgets.
It is important for executives and corporate event planners to be aware of these trends so that they can seize opportunities for cost savings by traveling this year or locking in low rates for next year.
A recent Los Angeles Times headline, Autumn Price Plunge Seen in Europe, heralded good news for corporate clients considering Europe for incentive travel and team building retreats. Best bets include Prague with a 37% decline and Geneva, 31%. Hotels in Paris, Rome, Berlin and Barcelona are posting their lowest rates in 5 years.
In Europe on Sale, the Toronto Star recently reported that the healthy Canadian dollar is making London, Paris, Germany and Italy attractive for Canadian companies.
The Sydney Herald also did a feature called Europe's Great Cities on the Cheap to highlight the fact that the strong Australian dollar is making Europe affordable to Australian leisure and business travelers.
Here are some of the experiences and events that corporate groups can take in while they are in Europe.
In addition to opera, ballet and concerts, special holidays and events in Prague include:
- Independent Czechoslovak State Proclamation Day 1918 (October 28, 2012)
- Christmas Markets (December 1, 2012 - January 6, 2013)
- Mikulas (December 5, 2012)
Autumn is a great season to enjoy culinary workshops and game dishes (as it's hunting season). Special events include:
- International Film & Television Festival (November 2 - 8, 2012)
- International Chocolatiers and Chocolate Exhibition (October 27 & 28, 2012)
- Les Automnales (November 9 - 18, 2012)
- Montreux Noël (November 23 - December 24, 2012)
- Grape Harvest Festival (September - Plan for next year)
- Budapest International Fair (October 3 - 7, 2012)
- Oldtimer Show Theme: Classic vehicles (October 20 - 23, 2012)
- Flavors and Wine Festival (November 22 - 25, 2012)
- Hungarian Harvest and Cheese Festival (November 24 - 25, 2012)
- Budapest Christmas Fair (November 1 - December 24, 2012)
Autumn is the perfect season to take in a number of regattas in Venice. Special holidays and event include:
- St. Martin's Day (November 11th)
- Festa della Salute (November 21)
- Christmas Market (December)
- Oktoberfest ( September 22 - October 7, 2012)
- 775 years of Berlin: City of Diversity Exhibition (October 1 - 28, 2012)
- Festival of Lights (October 10 - 21, 2012)
- German Christmas Market (November 26 – December 31, 2012 )
- Venice Biennale (June 4 - 27, 2013)
- Helsinki 200 Years as Capital Exhibition (Until December 31, 2012)
- Helsinki Oktoberfest (October 11 - 21, 2012)
- Carnival of Light (October 13 - 21, 2012)
The "cool down effect" that is typical in regions that have hosted The Olympics is resulting in the opportunity to stretch budgets for incentive travel and team building retreats in the UK.
- Buckingham Palace Diamonds: A Jubilee Celebration exhibition. (Ends October 7, 2012)
- Chocolate Week (October 8-14, 2012)
- Black History Month (October)
- The Lord Mayor's Show (November 10th)
- Bonfire Night Fireworks (November 5th)
- James Bond 50th Anniversary Gala Concert (November 23, 2012)
- Festival d'Automne à Paris (September 13 - December 31, 2012)
- Nuit Blanche (October 6, 2012)
- Le Salon du Chocolat (October 31 - November 4, 2012)
Champs-Élysées Christmas Market (November 19 - December 24, 2012)
Paris becomes the City of Light with its exquisite pre-Christmas illuminations.
Cvent's Europe Destinations Comparison Chart will help you identify the best places in Europe to get more bang for your buck.
Photo Credit: environmentblog
For more ideas for things for corporate groups to do in Europe, also consult Corporate Events: Team Events in Iceland, Greenland and Finland, Corporate Events in Denmark, Norway and Sweden and Team Building all Around the Eurozone. And to send RFPs to European venues, go to the Cvent Supllier Network.