Event planners' guide to Athens

C&IT outlines the vital facts and figures about the Greek capital's C&I offering.

Athens' event offer
Athens' event offer

30 - Groups can choose from 30 five-star hotels in Athens offering some 6,500 rooms. First Event business development manager Nisha Mehta recommends the Grand Bretagne Hotel for its central location and rooftop breakfast room with sweeping city views. Advent Software held a conference at the Divani Apollon Palace & Spa, just outside the city last year, and marketing and communications manager Daphne Marciel says: "The location is fantastic and the property has its own private beach. It was also easy for delegates to transfer there from the airport."

64 - A total of 64 airlines fly into Athens. There are direct connections to more than 80 international destinations. Transfer time from the airport to the city centre, where most hotels are located, takes about 40 minutes.

4 - There are a number of Michelin-starred restaurants in Athens, including the renowned Spondi, which has earned two coveted stars. Other restaurants, which each hold one, include Vardis, Varoulko and Pil Poul et Jerome Serres. Michelin stars aside, Athens offers an array of top-notch eateries. Grass Roots project manager Gill Emmett recommends the Dionyssos restaurant. "As an area, Plaka is fabulous for its dine-arounds taking in traditional and modern Greek cuisine, plus interesting shops for a mini spree," she adds.

1,000 - Groups looking for an unusual venue should consider the Hellenic World Foundation, which can accommodate up to 1,000 delegates. The complex's newest addition is the Theatron, a dome-shaped virtual reality theatre that can hold up to 130 delegates. The stage technology, which was designed by top international consultants, can offer virtual scenery and high-definition digital sound.

5,000 - The largest event in Athens last year was the Oriflame Cosmetics Gold Conference that involved 5,000 delegates and cost a cool £6.4m. DMC Event Makers organised the event, which featured four-course gala and welcome dinners at the open-air Olympic Stadium, where guests at 500 tables were treated to entertainment and impressive AV presentations. The stadium of Taekwondo, set on the coast, was also used to host numerous meetings during the event. Other high-profile corporates to have held events in Athens include Motorola, Avon, Cisco, Wyeth, Deloitte and Microsoft.

50,000 - Located close to the airport, Athens' brand new exhibition centre, Metropolitan Expo, offers 50,000m2 of exhibition and conference space, and can seat up to 400 for conferences.

250 - The Acropolis Museum opened in June. Its conference space can seat 250 people, while 80 people can be seated outside for social events. Alexandros Konstantinou, a spokesman for the Greek National Tourism Organisation, says: "The second floor of the new Acropolis Museum is a wonderful venue that can be used for gala dinners, although they can only take place on Mondays when the museum is closed to the public."

DIRECTORY GREECE: Greek National Tourism Organisation
Contact:
Alexandros Zacharakis
Tel
: 020 7495 9300
Email
: mice@gnto.co.uk
Web
: www.gnto.gr

 

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