Event planning is an extremely competitive market, where staying behind means becoming quickly irrelevant. This goes for planners and agencies as well as clients – a category which includes pretty much any company wishing to commission any kind of corporate event. The industry has evolved enormously and several trends have come and gone, in a relentless challenge to impress guests that are growing increasingly harder to impress. Technology, of course, plays a major part in the attempts of venues and planners to create richer and more engaging event experiences. In this scenario, it may seem counterintuitive to choose a historic residence as a corporate event venue: why should anyone, within an industry that is straining to catch a glimpse of the future, want to associate themselves with tradition, with a “classical” look and feel, whose main strength is its glorious past? There are several reasons to consider this perspective, particularly if you are planning your next corporate event in Italy.
4 reasons to choose a historic venue for your next corporate event
1. Added value
There’s no denying that budget is a major concern when picking the venue for a corporate event. While other aspects can be managed with greater flexibility, size and cost generally need to fall within precise values. This is one of the reasons that lead many clients to think they simply can’t afford a prestigious building. What many fail to take into account, however, is that choosing a historic venue – which often comes with its own original furnishings – will allow you to save on set-up and decor (in most cases you won’t need to budget for it at all), while at the same time providing a visual impact that no professional decorators in a meeting room can match. One such venue is Palazzo Clerici, in Milan. Welcoming your guests inside this masterpiece of baroque architecture, with its stunning frescoes by Giambattista Tiepolo in the main gallery and the original furnishings commissioned by the Imperial family, will be enough to turn any event into a memorable occasion. This mansion boasts a unique style, a mix of different influences providing a perfect example of the transition from baroque to neoclassicism.
2. The thrill of history, with state-of-the-art technology
There’s an element of profound emotional connection that characterises all events hosted in historic venues, that modern venues simply can’t recreate. The vast majority of these buildings have witnessed local- and world-history unfold behind their very walls and there’s a spark to them, a unique undercurrent of awe that every visitor feels in their own way. And yet, most of these buildings have been used as event venues for years and are equipped with state-of-the-art event technology, powerful sound-systems, perfect lighting, projectors, screens and anything else you might need to manage your event. This will allow you to get the best of both worlds: the joy and thrill of being surrounded by history and beauty, and the practical and logistic perks of modern event technology. A perfect example of this ideal combination can be seen in the beautiful Residenza Vignale, a mansion dating back to the early 1900s. It was built by an Austrian prince, who was desperate to live in Milan. Nowadays, it is a prestigious event venue equipped with the absolute best in event technology and even sporting its own catering for your corporate events.
3. Surprising versatility
Meeting rooms and conference halls rarely stand out for their personality. In fact, one looks much like the other. The exact opposite is true of historic residences: no two historic buildings are alike, even when you consider buildings that date back to the same age or belong to the same architectural style. This is, of course, every event planner’s dream, as it allows for greater creative freedom when it comes to managing the various spaces within the venue. Historic buildings are surprisingly versatile, as most of them were built by the kind of elites that, back in the day, used to dwell in mansions that had dozens of rooms for the most diverse uses, from vast halls to small private studies. In modern-day-planner terms, this means having multiple rooms, in multiple sizes, that can be combined to meet the client’s needs. Take the Palazzina Appiani, for instance. This neoclassical gem located within the perimeter of Milan’s Arena Civica is currently used as an event venue on two levels and three main spaces, offering over 600sqm of usable surface. The three rooms vary significantly in size and they can be hired together or separately, depending on each event’s specific requirements.
4. A privileged position
Convenience is no secondary requirement when it comes to picking a venue for your event. You will need to think about accessibility, transport, and parking space, but you will also deliver a message, by the very location you select for your event. Choosing a venue in the city centre, close to the heart of business, fashion, finance and the media industry, means reassuring your guests of the relevance of the event, of your brand and their own place within your professional environment. And more often than not, in Italy, historic residences are the best venues in any city’s centre. In Milan, for instance, the majestic Palazzo Visconti is located right next to the famous Piazza San Babila, at the very heart of the fashion district, which is also a hub of finance, showbiz and culture. If style, elegance and prestige are your event’s operative words, this is the venue you have been looking for.