Italy is a Country quite unlike any other. With its world-famous cultural heritage, its art capitals, its unparalleled natural treasures, fascinating traditions and internationally loved cuisine, you will be spoiled for choice when deciding where to travel next. This as true for tourists as it is for business travellers. And when it comes to organising corporate events in Italy, the possibilities are simply limitless. Would you like to host a formal dinner in a XVI Century mansion or a business meeting on the top floor of the highest building in Milan? Will you treat your guests to a luxury boat trip on Lake Como or a hip and informal poolside aperitivo on a rooftop? If the sheer amount of choice is paralysing, you don’t need to worry: we are here to help.
Narrowing it down
Before you start planning corporate events in Italy and looking at venues, you should narrow your options down by establishing a few key points. Budget, of course, is at the top of the list. How many events are you planning on hosting and what is your total and individual budget? Once you know how much you are willing to invest, you should set down a few guidelines: what is the purpose of your events and how many people will be attending each event? Where do your attendees come from? Will they need to travel? If the answer to that last question is “yes”, you might need to provide accommodation too, which might mean reconsidering your overall budget. Once you have clearly identified the basics requirements for your events, you can start looking at venues… and pro-tips.
Organising corporate events in Italy: what you need to know
Tourism is one of the driving industries of Italian economy, which means most cities are extremely well-equipped to welcome large number of visitors all-year round. There are, however, specific times of the year when it may be hard to find adequate accommodation in certain areas. This happens mostly around major sporting events or trade shows (such as the Milan Fashion Week). While it is extremely rare for accommodation to be entirely unavailable (unless you are looking at a very small area in which a very large event is taking place), it is not uncommon for the most desirable accommodation options to sell out quickly. For instance, if you are looking for luxury accommodation for a large number of attendees, the number of facilities in your area of interest may be limited. The bottom line of these considerations is: plan ahead and book in advance, the earlier, the better. The same applies to event venues. While the choice is vast in the Country’s main cities, it may be limited in other areas, particularly if you are not flexible when it comes to style. Whether you’re looking for historical villas, high-tech settings with an artistic twist, or versatile spaces to adapt to your own style, the choice is vast, but the competition is fierce. We recommend you start looking for a suitable venue at least six months out from the event, to secure your preferred dates.
Traveling to (and across) Italy
When organising corporate events in Italy for international attendees, it is essential to consider transport, as not all regions are equally easy to reach. Depending on where your attendees are travelling from, you might have to factor in transfer from the closest international airport and connecting flights. While it is generally possible to fly directly to Rome, Milan or Venice, some cities are not exceptionally well served by international flights. When planning transfers across Italy, you should take the time to investigate several options: depending on your route, it may be more practical to travel by train than by air. If you are travelling from Milan to Rome (or vice-versa), for instance, a high-speed train will eventually save you time by taking you directly to the city centre, saving you the extra hassle of having to travel from the airport to the city.
Make things easy for your attendees
As obvious as it may sound, the key to organising corporate events in Italy, as well as anywhere else, is making your attendees’ life easier. If your guests don’t speak Italian, for instance, you should provide assistance every step of the way, rather than count on English being the ubiquitous lingua franca of the western world. Make sure you have someone pick them up at the airport or train station and, if you are organising a conference or lecture, always have interpreters and bilingual personnel in attendance.
Entertainment: get creative
Corporate events in Italy have a definite advantage: when you are not working, you’ll get to visit some of the most beautiful cities in the world. If you want to make your attendees’ experience truly memorable, you should get creative when it comes to providing options for their leisure time. Guided tours are always a good idea, but it’s advisable to go the extra mile to keep your guests happy. You could offer them the services of a personal shopper, to navigate the local fashion district, or you could arrange a sophisticated experience for them, such as a wine or cheese tasting.