Yesterday, C&IT revealed its top six event industry trends for 2016, starting with intelligent teambuilding and continuing today with the growing appeal of Eastern Europe as event and incentive destinations...
Move over Spain and France, it’s Eastern Europe’s time to shine. Though not traditionally renowned as a meetings and incentives destination, the combination of unique experiences, value-for-money deals and increased flight frequencies is making the region an attractive prospect for corporate groups. James Diment, head of operations and projects at Chillisauce, says the agency has witnessed a 50% increase in demand for incentives in Eastern Europe in 2016. Prague and Budapest are the most popular locations, with the majority of bookings coming from the IT, Oil and Gas and tech sectors.
"2015 was the first year an Eastern European destination reached our top five destinations across the business, with Prague & Budapest both seeing over 30% growth on 2014. As clients continue to be cost-conscious, stretching the budget is at the forefront of their mind, and Eastern European cities can usually deliver without compromise. Thanks to more frequent flights, competitive prices and new routes, the opportunity for businesses to explore these cities is easier and much more affordable than ever before."
According to the American Express Meeting & Events Global Meetings Forecast 2016, Riga has been voted as an up and coming destination, entering the top 10 European meetings cities list for the first time.
Aigars Smiltans, marketing and communications director at Meet Riga, says: "I think Riga offers good value for money and is still a relatively affordable destination. We also have a unique culture and there’s a huge amount of choice, in terms of both venues and incentive activities. We offer meeting planners something different."
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