Conference & Meetings World Issue 102 - Page 49

Monte Carlo One Monte-Carlo – MICE sea change SIMON GEORGE REPORTS FROM THE CÔTE D’AZUR ON HOW MONTE CARLO SBM’S NEW CONFERENCE CENTRE STRENGTHENS, BUNDLES AND MAXIMISES ITS MICE OFFERING here’s a new addition to Monte Carlo’s MICE landscape that promises to be a real game-changer. One Monte-Carlo, a stylish new conference and events centre with an equally stylish address, opened its doors on 4 June. Designed by Sir Richard Rogers and situated close to the famous Casino Square, One Monte-Carlo creates a new business tourism hub with the Hôtel Hermitage and the newly renovated Hôtel de Paris (which re-opened last December) in the heart of the destination for Monte Carlo Société des Bains de Mer (Monte Carlo SBM), Monaco’s investment vehicle. One Monte-Carlo triangulates MICE business in the vicinity of Casino Square and doubles business event capacity. It also complements Monte Carlo SBM’s existing MICE portfolio (which includes the 5-star Monte-Carlo Beach and the 4-star Monte-Carlo Bay, as well as the iconic casino and the Monte Carlo Country Club). Built on the site of the former Palais des Beaux-Arts and costing €320m (US$355m), One Monte-Carlo covers 1,445sqm, offers nine meeting rooms, including a 300sqm conference hall (Salles Des Arts). There is a 154sqm auditorium seating 80 people and a 178sqm multipurpose hall attached to the Salle des Arts. There are three 96sqm conference rooms (Maria Callas, Rossini and Arman) and a 2-ton lift to stage car launches. One Monte-Carlo has Green Globe certification. For the Hôtel Hermitage and the Monte Carlo MICE • MICE business makes up 25-35% of annual hotel accommodation revenues in Monte Carlo. • MICE groups account for 70,000 room nights per year, equating to €20m in revenues. • Seasonality: October-March makes up the biggest share of MICE business as Monte Carlo has fewer individual clients during this period, which means room rates are lower. • Main country markets: France (30%), US (20%), UK (10%), Local (10%) Main sectors: IT / Pharma-medical / Luxury goods / Auto / Finance / High-end jewellery. Hôtel de Paris, Monte Carlo’s new dedicated meetings centre brings two inter-related MICE benefits in terms of room capacity and synergy – a case of mix and match, if you like. First, by ‘combining’ the two hotels, it increases the total number of bedrooms to 486 (278 at Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo and 208 at Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo). As Alice Gentils, Monte Carlo SBM’s Director of Sales, explains: “It allows us to have the Hôtel de Hermitage and the Hôtel de Paris together – giving us a bigger number of bedrooms and suites – and (to) use the One Monte-Carlo as a meetings hub. People generally don’t like to go outside the hotel for a meeting, but here in Monaco it is very different given the good weather (300 days of sunshine) and One Monte-Carlo’s proximity to both €320m hotels.” It also maximises hotel occupancy, of course. the cost of One Monte-Carlo 1,445sqm Up and running One Monte-Carlo’s maiden event involved Ernst & Young hiring out its facilities shortly after it opened and, in October, InVOYAGE is organising a B2B tradeshow for incentive houses and organisers at the conference centre. In spring 2021 a North American corporate has booked out One Monte-Carlo and all of the meeting rooms at the Hôtel Hermitage for a large meetings and incentives event. In view of synergies to be exploited with the Hôtel Hermitage and the Hôtel de Paris, Monte Carlo’s new ‘kid on the block’ can transform the principality’s MICE offering. 300sqm conference hall 154sqm auditorium 178sqm multipurpose hall Source: Monte Carlo Société des Bains de Mer ISSUE 102 / CONFERENCE & MEETINGS WORLD / 49