Conference & Meetings World Issue 91 - Page 54

City Report 48 hours in Copenhagen... anding in Copenhagen airport and transferring quickly by shuttle train to the centre of the city in under 15 minutes was a great start to experiencing the official destination network model ‘Meetingplace’ and its new strategy ‘Copenhagen Means Business’ first hand. Meetingplace was created as a professional one-point of entry to Copenhagen for meeting planners when it was set up over 20 years ago. A trailblazing concept at the time, it has since grown to include 200 members from the hotel, venue, agency, airport and travel sectors. The new updated strategy closely aligns to Wonderful Copenhagen’s Localhood strategy and sets out to revitalise Copenhagen’s destination brand, create stronger community engagement and turn today’s delegates into tomorrow’s leisure visitors. An iconic Danish drawcard is brewing and the mighty Carlsberg, of course. But, if it’s craft beers you prefer to sample with your delegates after hours, then the Nørrebro Bryghus sustainable microbrewery, housed in a Classicist brick building from 1857, claims to be the first brewery to go Co2 neutral. Taster beer menus offer 4 small sample glasses accompanied with healthy new Nordic food designed to complement each beer style. No time for too much beer, because our group then headed straight for the ‘Copenhagen This Way’ walking tour. Our expert guide explained how the sightseeing walk could he specially tailored for specific delegate groups, such as medical congress delegates. Then it was a chance to draw breath and see where food meets commercial 54 / Conference & Meetings World / tradition in the guise of the Axelborg Hall, Copenhagen’s oldest office building, now turned into a conference venue by renowned Danish chef Rasmus Bo Bojesen. The former banking hall and vaults have been carefully restored to produce a truly unique meeting place for up to 400 guests. Bojesen also invited us to his eponymous restaurant in the Tower of Christiansborg, seat of the Danish Parliament. A great setting to sample the best of Danish produce given a modern twist. There we met Meetingplace chairman Charlotte Mark (MD of Microsoft Development Center ISS U E 9 1 Meet in style at the inimitable Radisson Blu Royal Copenhagen) who enthused about the importance of independent ambassadors taking a lead in promoting the city’s attractions and strong suits for events. After a full day’s conference on Day 2, it was off to the old rustic custom house Toldboden, with its waterfront vista. Toldboden grows its own vegetables at its Juliangaard farm and caters for a range of meetings and events. The space is ideal for Christmas parties and features typical Danish fare. As I checked out of Copenhagen’s boutique Kong Arthur hotel, which features a three-storey conference centre and 11 meeting rooms, I carried away a warm feeling from this home from home where guests are invited to mingle each evening over a free drink. Other city conference hotels include the Radisson Blu Royal, which is part-way through a major restoration and tribute to its Danish designer Arne Jacobsen. Show rounds feel more like museum tours packed with fascinating insights into the history of Arneson’s philosophy of design. Room 606 is kept in its original style as a tribute to Jacobsen and is well worth a visit. No trip, however, is complete in Copenhagen without a visit to Tivoli Gardens, where the events team is introducing new events products based in the world famous theme park. A quick lunch at Tivoli’s Gemyse, reportedly one of Queen Margrethe II’s favourite haunts, was a real treat.Nearby Tivoli Congress Center also showed off its strategic partnership between Arp-Hansen Hotel Group and the park. Its meetings offer includes 55 meeting rooms, which all makes the venue the second largest conference venue in the city after the Bella Center.