Reykjavik CVB attends ICCA for the first time

Association Event Planner caught up with Thorsteinn Örn Gudmundsson, managing director of Reykjavik's new convention bureau, at the ICCA World Congress

Thorsteinn Örn Gudmundsson, managing director of Meet Reykjavik/ Reykjavik Convention Bureau
Thorsteinn Örn Gudmundsson, managing director of Meet Reykjavik/ Reykjavik Convention Bureau

Meet in Reykjavík was founded in January 2012 to raise greater awareness of Iceland’s capital city as a convention, meeting and incentive opportunity, as well as to promote Reykjavik as one of Europe´s leading conference cities.

What can Reykjavik offer associations? 

Reykjavík is the perfect place to meet in the middle, strategically located midway between Europe and North America with short flight times and very frequent flights to and from both continents.

Good infrastructure, top of the line equipment, security and a favourable currency exchange rate are all elements that contribute to a successful event.

The distinctive ways of creating a different agenda and venue setup makes Reykjavík one of the top destinations for international conferences. Not to mention the unique Icelandic nature that makes up the perfect background for an event to remember.

What associations have chosen Reykjavik?

There is a broad range of events that Reykjavík has hosted in the last few years, including the World Road Association conference, the European Management Assistants (EUMA) annual conference and The Scandinavian Transplantation Society Congress.

In 2013, we will host the European Orthodontic Society Congress, the Nordic Society of Nephrology 32nd Biennal Congress, the 79th PEN International Congress and the 65th Annual Meeting of the Scandinavian Neurosurgical Society.

What’s new?

In May 2011, Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre opened, which is an ideal venue for various international conferences with accompanying trade shows and/or meetings. You don’t need to take just my word for it as Harpa just won the Best Conference Venue in Northern Europe award for the Annual MICE Report Awards 2012. 

Harpa offers a good value proposition for organisers wishing to run a truly green conference too. It is one of the most eco-friendly conference centres in the world. The building was designed to use mostly natural light through the glass facade, which covers three of the four sides resulting in significant reduction in power consumption, which is derived from geothermal energy in the first place. 

Constructions have begun on more venues. For example, Marriott is planning to open a five-star hotel with 270 rooms next to Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre in 2015.

This spring saw the opening of Icelandair Hotel Reykjavik Marina – a new four-star boutique hotel. Another well-established hotel that has been in service for half a century has recently been re-modelled in the style of the 60s when it was first opened.

Partner programme ideas?

Another exciting project just recently launched is the Thríhnúkagígur Volcano project. Now for the first time ever it is made possible to explore the enormus magma chamber inside an empty volcano where the height alone is more than double the height of Hallgrimskirkja, the tallest church in Iceland.

Also, the Icelandic Meteorological Office has just announced that from now on, as a brand new service, they will be predicting the best location to view the Northern Lights at any given point in time.

 

Thorsteinn Örn Gudmundsson is managing director of Meet Reykjavik/ Reykjavik Convention Bureau

 

 

 

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