For event planners considering Norway, the capital city of Oslo is a standout option for groups, with numerous meeting facilities and beautiful views across Oslo's fjord. "Oslo is full of new restaurants, exciting hotels and fabulous venues and the nightlife also has a lot to offer," says Randi Bjorhusdal, managing director of Norway-based The Event Company. "If you want to get back to nature, Oslo will surprise you with easy access to the wilderness and the sea."
Norway's main airport is Oslo Airport Gardermoen, with British Airways, Lufthansa and Ryanair among the airlines operating flights.
Where to stay
Scheduled to open in September in Rolfsbukta Bay, the Scandic Fornebu hotel will be one of south Norway's largest conference hotels. The 334-room venue will have views of the fjord and 14 meeting rooms. For a more established venue, try the 155-room Hotel Continental, says Vicky Pratt, proposals manager at Universal World Events. The hotel's main conference room can fit up to 300 theatre-style.
The Holmenkollen Ski Jump towers over Oslo. Opened last year, it is one of the world's most modern ski jumps. The Ski Museum, housed inside, can hold up to 300 for a private party. For culture, try the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, scheduled to move into a new building at Tjuvholmen in September. Tours will be available for groups of up to 35.
The main congress centre is the Oslo Congress Centre. "The listed building of the Nobel Peace Center is suitable for a wide range of meetings and can hold up to 350," says Universal World Events' Pratt. For larger groups, the Ekebergrestauranten offers an alternative to the standard congress centres and boasts panoramic views over the fjord. The venue's Great Hall can accommodate 170 for dinner.
Places to party
The Grilleriet steak and seafood restaurant opened next to the Folketeatret theatre in October. It can serve up to 200 for a private dinner. The Event Company's Bjorhusdal also suggests the V restaurant in the new Scandic Vulkan Hotel. The hotel can cater for 100 people for dinner and 50 people in the bar. Bjorhusdal also recommends the Emil & Samuel nightclub, in the business district, which has a rooftop terrace that is ideal for events in the summer.
"Oslo isn't the cheapest city to host an event, but the quality and passion for detail is incredible. We find that organising events there can actually save money as it takes so little effort to work with suppliers."
Jonathan Harrold, events consultant, Clearwater Events
"Holmenkollen Park Hotel Rica is a venue I would definitely recommend. It has lovely views over Oslo and is the ideal setting for a congress.
Louise Gascoigne, events organiser, Zenith International
Norway Convention Bureau
Contact: Bente Bratland Holm
Tel: +47 21 06 32 12