page 1
page 2
page 3
page 4
page 5
page 6
page 7
page 8
page 9
page 10
page 11
page 12
page 13
page 14
page 15
page 16
page 17
page 18
page 19
page 20
page 21
page 22
page 23
page 24
page 25
page 26
page 27
page 28
page 29
page 30
page 31
page 32
page 33
page 34
page 35
page 36

John Keenanreports that Milan means business and is ramping up its meetings offer, particularly at thetop end, ready for Expo 2015.Milan PlusFEATURE28Conference+Meetings WorldSeptember 2010Milan means business. Sure thestreets are filled with beautifulpeople wearing the latest designerlabels; the paparazzi are on constant alertfor the next A-lister to walk out of anightclub and the successful football teamssupply a stream of recognisable footballers,their wives, girlfriends and wannabes. Butmake no mistake, this is a hard-headed citywhere commerce rules and deals are thereto be done.Milan Convention Centre (MIC) is thelargest convention centre in Italy andmanaged by the giant Fiera Milano. TheMIC will expand into a new brand, MICPlus, in 2011, offering an 18,000-delegateseating capacity across 73 rooms.The MIC Plus project includes therestoration and renovation of the existingcomplex, to be followed by its extension andintegration with the new section, thuscreating a door for the World Fair, Expo2015, at the Fiera.MIC is right in the city centre with a Metroconnection five minutes away andconnected with the main Milan airportMalpensa by shuttle bus.The city has 30,000 hotel rooms with1,500 of them within walking distance ofthe congress centre.Such a prestigious location demand hotelsof equal standing and Milan does notdisappoint. Part of the Dorchester Collection, theHotel Principe di Savoia is one of the mostexclusive in Milan, and in Europe. Theproperty offers 13 function spaces which canbe combined according to the planner'sneeds, and it also features the largest five-star meeting space in Milan,accommodating up to 1,000 people. According to the hotel's AlessandraBaldeschi, "qualified staff are alwaysavailable to help event planners, both in theplanning stage and during the event". Thehotel's Acanto restaurant offers a diningexperience unrivalled in the city.The Four Seasons Hotel was convertedfrom a 15th-century convent and features118 rooms centred on a courtyard garden.The property has several meeting rooms,including a ballroom, which canaccommodate 220 people theatre-style.The Milan Marriott Hotel's conferencecentre has 22 rooms, including the 900sqmWashington Meeting Room, whichaccommodates up to 1,200. The Chedi Milan is a 250-room propertyoffering eight meeting rooms, the largestholding up to 30 delegates. It has a 283sqmcongress room which can accomodate 240delegates.Milan also offers a great shoppingexperience. In the city's fashion district - ViaSant'Andrea, Via della Spiga, Via Gesu andVia Montenapoleone - you will find theworld's best clothes designers, jewellers, anddesigners of furniture and householdinteriors. And if you don't mind parting withserious cash, the Brera district is awash withart galleries featuring eye-opening pieces ateye-watering prices.Opportunities to play include the AlfaRomeo Museum, which provides atestosterone-fuelled slice of car-makinghistory, while the Formula 1 circuit atMonza, about 10 miles north of the city, willsimilarly satisfy those who crave high-speedthrills. A fashion tour is, of course, afavourite incentive activity and has addedappeal when it is undertaken by vintageVespas or trams.John Lawson, director atBuckinghamshire-based creative agencyAYMTM, says that Milan offers all theelements for a great programme, whethermeeting or incentive."We took a mixed group of people rangingfrom their 30s to 60s and each foundsomething to enjoy in the city," he says."The group stayed at the Four Seasons andwere able to get about the city mainly onfoot. We also included cultural elementssuch as La Scala, the cathedral and thecastle. We had the opportunity to takeprivate boxes at the opera but when Idiscovered the opera was four hours long Idecided not to put the group through it!Instead we brought opera to them withperformances at the gala dinner in the FourSeasons. We also took in a football game atInter Milan as an incentive."Lawson also recommends stretching yourwings beyond the city walls to take in LakeComo and, in particular, Isola Comacina,the only island in Lake Como and its familyrun restaurant Locanda dell'Isola Comacina.Other city venues able to host meetings fora thousand include the Superstudio Piu,Palazsso del Ghiaccio, East End Studios andMilan has 30,000 hotel roomsthe Villa Erba.La Scala