Cvent Blog recently profiled Zurich and St. Moritz. It was inspiring to spend some time at Switzerland's IMEX America booth last week and to discover more about this picturesque and diverse destination.
Today we'll continue our exploration of Switzerland with a focus on Lugano and Geneva. The geographical and cultural diversity of this nation will be evident.
Located on Lake Lugano and protected by the Alps, Lugano's mild climate creates a landscape with palm trees, figs, chestnut trees and a Mediterranean feel. Conference venues include World Trade Center Lugano and Palazzo dei Congressi Lugano with an amphitheater for 1,130 (as well as a stage with orchestra pit), a banquet hall for up to 900 guests, and a 100-seat theater.
Italian influences are reflected in cuisine and architecture including those surrounding Piazza Riforma and Universita della Svizzera Italiana. Lugano is ideal for windsurfing, skyskiing, fishing and cable-car rides in the summer.
While ice skating is available during the winter, visitors head for the mountains and ski resorts in Upper Ticino for winter activities.
Casino di Lugano offers year-round fun. The 10,000-square-meter Splash e SPA Tamaro Waterpark opens in 2013.
Lakes, mountains and medieval castles provide a charming backdrop for corporate events. Conference venues include World Trade Center Geneva and the Centre International de Conferences Geneve with a versatile main hall that can be configured for small meetings or conferences with up to 2,000 participants.
Winter activities include sledding, snowbiking, snowshoeing, and dog sledding. Gourmet delights such as cheese fondue and raclette are enjoyed in the winter.
In the summer, groups can enjoy white water rafting, canyoning, abseiling and rock climbing in the Alps, treetop walking at Signal de Bougy and caving at Vallorbe Caves. Chocolate-making workshops are available all year.
Much More to Explore
Other areas to explore include Bern, Fribourg and Valais, 3 bilingual cantons (Swiss-German and French). In Lucerne and Basel, a colorful pre-Lenten carnival is celebrated annually. Lucerne's perfectly preserved Old Town has a church dating back to 1178, bridges built in 1333 and 1407, and 16th- to 19th-century buildings. Glacier 3000 in Gstaad provides a unique setting for winter activities.
One thing is certain, corporate groups will need more than one trip to explore the rich experiences awaiting in Switzerland.