Destinations

Alpine Appel Switzerland - The mountains are alive with mice

In our busy social media crazy world we often forget the importance of being in a live face-to-face setting with others from the business community. There is power in being connected to other people who are active in your line of work. Many falsely believe that since they can now access industry information via the Internet that the days of the live meeting are gone. A plethora of online meetings take place all over the world, however it has not disrupted the core desire of people to interact face to face. The truth is, meetings are more important than ever.  The value in meetings comes from the human-to-human connections that occur. Often people cite the conversations that they have with other attendees as the most valuable parts of attending an event. When two or more people begin to discuss topics on a deeper and personal level, the success of the event to those involved becomes irreplaceable. It is the people that bring the ROI to your time at a conference. Many experts expect the time for networking at meetings to increase, “content will become less information focused and more interaction focused, where people will get to know each other”.

Audiences have evolved from wanting passive experiences in which they were listeners, to wanting to be active participants; learning and applying what is being taught to them. The event experience itself is changing, with attendees desiring an immersive experience. Both industry experts and participants believe that the destination experience is extremely or very important for promoting a conference/business event, and will continue to be in the future. Industry experts also suggest that voluntourism will soon be incorporated into business events.This provides attendees an opportunity to experience the local culture and give back to the community as part of the meeting. Customisation and personalisation are a growing expectation among attendees. Technological changes have been integral to the evolution of the conference and will continue to be an essential tool for the future of the business events industry. It will be integrated into every aspect of the event, enabling customisation of the program for the delegate, facilitation of active participation, enhancing interactivity of presentations, and the opening of a whole new world of exhibition halls. To facilitate this interactive and technologically advanced meeting, venue architecture is required to adapt. Experts expect meeting spaces to become increasingly flexible, purpose-built for connection and networking, with break out spaces to encourage active participation and collaboration.

Location, Location, Location

Switzerland’s reputation and attractiveness as a go-to country for any number of reasons has been unwavering for decades. It is no wonder that in the Global Innovation Index, for example, Switzerland has topped the list of nearly 150 countries three years in a row. These rankings help international executives, investment strategists and other business leaders to make informed choices. For MICE organisers, the same indices also offer useful insights into the relative quality and value of different destinations. Renowned international fairs and conventions continue to be held in this country most of which need no introduction.

It cannot be stressed often enough how important a country’s geographical location is for organisers. Smack bang in the middle of central Europe, Switzerland is perfectly located and easily accessible from everywhere by virtually any means of transportation. Because of its compact size, distances between cities are short and thanks to an extensive public transportation system that works like the renowned Swiss watches, travel is easy and comfortable. Famous for its picturesque landscape that offers everything from a Mediterranean feel on its lakeshores, an Alpine climate in the mountains, to cosmopolitan comforts in its major cities, Switzerland has the added value of political stability coupled with a reputation for reliability, quality, accessibility, safety and security. The country is without doubt a tourism magnet par excellence, welcoming guests from every corner of the earth.

Customisation and Personalisation

In Switzerland, you are guaranteed to find both state-of-the-art infrastructure and an environment that will motivate and inspire – an infrastructure that provides a wide variety of high-profile conference and convention facilities that can cater to virtually every need and, as described above, the ideal environment. Most importantly, regardless of the needs, in Switzerland every effort is made to cater to the needs and wishes of organisers with a view to providing a bespoke event that is memorable.

Swiss Convention Centres is an umbrella label for the 10 congress destinations collaborating to optimally position themselves in the international showcase. The Swiss Convention Centres continue to invest in the future so as to ensure that they always remain a strong, leading player in the competitive market, especially in the international environment. It is therefore small wonder that Switzerland’s popularity and ranking in the world of convention destinations keeps improving. Exceeding the wishes and needs of convention organisers is the motto.

Incentives Galore

Well-known for its financial flexibility, in Switzerland currency is not an issue and given that it has relatively low taxes and a very reasonable reclaimable VAT the incentive is enormous. Not only is the applicable rate at 8% the lowest in Europe, but also almost 100% can be claimed back from the government.

In Switzerland, reclaiming VAT is a simple and straightforward process. It applies equally to conferences and corporate events, including incentive travel. In order to qualify for a refund of VAT, your company must first register online with the Swiss Federal Tax Administration (FTA). As a foreign organisation, you will need to appoint a fiscal representative in Switzerland to undertake the process on your behalf. This representative can be your Professional Conference Organizer (PCO), Destination Management Company (DMC) or a specialist tax adviser.

Uncomplicated Registration and Refunds

The registration process is not complicated, and the VAT number is usually generated within a month. Once the event is over and all financial transactions are completed, you must de-register and close the VAT number. A company has six months after the end of the calendar year in which the event has taken place to complete the necessary documentation and provide the invoices in order to reclaim VAT. The application for a refund can be submitted from January 1 to June 30 of the following calendar year.

Your Swiss representative will take care of everything in three simple steps: registration – declaration – de-registration. VAT is automatically refunded to residents of countries with a reciprocal agreement: in practice, this includes all European countries and many others, including the USA. For more information, consult the FTA  website (www.estv.admin.ch and then VAT-Refund) or talk to your PCO or DMC.

Grüezi. Bonjour. Buongiorno. Allegra. Hello and Welcome

As a country that has four official languages and can be regarded in many respects as multi-cultural, you are certain to feel welcomed. With a large proportion of its population being multinational, you will find every type of cuisine, virtually every language spoken and every wish catered to. Top all of that with spectacular landscapes, massive mountains and contemporary facilities no one feels out of place in Switzerland. By choosing a location in Switzerland, you are opting for world-class quality and reliability you can count on.

SWISS AIRPORTS

MEETING PARTNER

MEDIA PARTNER

SWISS International Air Lines