Convention Bureau Basel
Basel combines great accessibility and rich cultural offerings with excellent meeting infrastructure – and all this at the heart of Europe.
Basel – strong life science industries
In Basel you will find a unique concentration of innovative companies, research institutes and academic institutions, a cosmopolitan culture, an international environment and business-friendly conditions. The region gives employment to around 300,000 people from both Switzerland and abroad. The city on the Rhine is a centre for life sciences as well as the chemical and pharmaceutical industries such as Roche and Novartis. It is also home to many important companies in the logistics, transport and financial services industries.
Thanks to the EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg, Basel is easily accessible from all major European cities and all European airport hubs. 7.3 million passengers used this airport in the year 2016. Furthermore, the city is integrated in the European high speed train network and served by the French TGV and the German ICE. The Zurich Airport with its many international connections can be reached in approx. 75 minutes via a direct railway connection.
Our upgrade for you: The free BaselCard
Since January 2018 every guest staying in Basel recieves a personal guestcard, that will be handed out upon check-in. The attractive features of the BaselCard include free use of public transport, free surfing on the guest WiFi plus a 50% discount on admission to Basel’s museums, Basel Zoo, Theater Basel and much more.
Congress Center Basel and conference hotels
An advantage for meeting planners and conference delegates is that everything in Basel is right on their doorstep. The city centre is reached in only 20 minutes from the EuroAirport and all major meeting hotels are within walking distance from the Old Town. Even the Congress Center Basel, Switzerland’s biggest congress centre by surface area, which offers 25 conference rooms for up to 5,000 delegates, is located in the city centre with 1,000 hotel rooms in different categories nearby. Meeting planners who prefer to hold their meetings in a hotel can choose among renowned chains, such as Swissôtel, Courtyard by Marriott, Pullman, Radisson Blu, Hyperion Hotel, Novotel and Dorint, or private hotels with individual charm like the Grand Hotel Les Trois Rois, the Hotel Basel, the Hotel Euler or the Hotel Der Teufelhof. The new 5-star Mövenpick Basel with 264 rooms and 20 meeting rooms will open in 2020. In total Basel and its surroundings consist of approx. 14,000 rooms (AirBnB homes include). Nearly 7,000 rooms are located 15 minutes from the city centre. An additional 7,000 rooms are located with-in a range of 30 minutes from Basel including hotels in nearby Germany and France.
Special venues for dinners and meetings
The variety of locations in Basel for conference dinners ranges from the traditional Schützenhaus Basel, Safran Zunft or the Volkshaus Basel to modern venues, such as the new vessel «Rhystärn» of the Basler Personenschifffahrt, Brasilea, Alte Markthalle Basel or the in fall 2018 re-opened St. Jakobshalle Basel.
Other thrilling dinner venues are the Pantheon Basel, a vintage car museum, the football stadium St. Jakob-Park Basel, the neo-Gothic Elisabeth Church, the Zoo Basel, or the Rhypark Basel overlooking the Rhine River. Projects to come are extensive renovations of the Hotel Radisson Blu and new meeting and restaurant facilities at Hotel Bildungszentrum 21.
Basel – a record year ahead
An interview with Ramona Debus and Daniel Egloff on the status of MICE in Basel
CEO Basel Tourismus & Convention Bureau
Head of Convention Bureau Basel
How did 2019 begin for Basel?
Ramona Debus: The year started with a particularly important congress. The 50th edition of the International Association of Professional Congress Organizers (IAPCO) was held from 14-17 February 2019 at the Congress Center Basel. In terms of the number of participants – 130 – this is quite a small event but it is still one of the most important ones of the year as the participants are the world’s best professional congress organizers who usually have significant influence regarding the choice of venues and are therefore key multipliers.
What is the further outlook for the 2019 congress year?
Daniel Egloff: Basel is looking at a record year. Beginning in May there will be one congress after the other: starting with the German and Austrian Societies of Epileptology and the Swiss League Against Epilepsy. These are followed by the 43rd ICCM World Congress on Military Medicine which will require the entire infrastructure of the Congress Center. In summer – when traditionally not many international congresses take place – we are particularly looking forward to staging several high-calibre events. One example is the Regional Congress of the ISBT, which will be held at the end of June with around 3,500 participants. Another key congress for Basel will be the European Aids Conference in November.
What’s the secret of this success?
Ramona Debus: Several factors are involved. Years ago, the Convention Bureau Basel decided to focus on international association meetings. We are still pursuing this strategy and are deploying our resources and funds specifically in this area. Our partners do an outstanding job of acquiring corporate meetings so that we as a convention bureau no longer need to handle this segment proactively
Daniel Egloff: In addition, a congress promotion strategy was established by the Canton of Basel-Stadt in 2013. The Canton of Basel- Stadt promotes the development and staging of congresses directly in Basel, meaning that congress organizers can request financial support for the development or staging of congresses for events to be held until 2023. The Congress Board Basel, which comprises stakeholders from the fields of science, infrastructure, tourism and politics, takes decisions based on clear criteria such as the topic of the congress or the touristic added value on the amount of the financial support.
Which are the main congress topics that are supported?
Daniel Egloff: It is mainly the city’s target cluster that is supported. This includes life sciences, the chemical industry, logistics, finance and creative industries as well as precision technologies, ICT, medical technology and nanotechnology. In addition to these, congresses in the development phase and which require start-up funding are also considered.
Won’t this congress year be a hard act to follow?
Ramona Debus: It will certainly be a challenge. However, we have already introduced some measures in order to continue being successful in the acquisition of large-scale events. In addition to the aforementioned clusters which we specifically handle we will support Basel-Stadt’s Location Marketing in contending for international sports events. We have already chalked up some successes such as the awarding of the tender for the Badminton World Championships 2019 and the Artistic Gymnastics European Championships, which will take place in April 2021 in the St. Jakobshalle.
Daniel Egloff: Moreover, we have extended our research activities for this year and have expanded our Convention Bureau team in order to continue being very active in the field of congress acquisition.