Copenhagen – Beyond Lego and Lager

January 16, 2009 : General Team Building

Finding new and exciting conference and incentive destinations for our customers is always a challenge.

At Maximillion, we’re always keen to explore new options, offer new ideas. Tricky when more and more organisations are becoming “incentive spoiled”, having been treated to trips in far flung places such as Asia, the Caribbean and even Australasia. Northern Europe can often be overlooked, its merits rejected in favour of long distance flights to guaranteed sunshine.

But times are changing. Environmental and economic considerations are higher up the agenda, and destinations closer to home are now more appealing than ever. With this in mind, I jumped at VisitDenmark’s invitation to join their “Fairy Tales & Tall Stories” familiarisation trip to Copenhagen and Malmö in December.

A challenge: could you pinpoint Copenhagen on a map? Few probably could, as the capital of Denmark has in the past been low profile, anonymous even – a provincial backwater with little appeal.  Try again, for now is the time to move Copenhagen to the top of your list of destinations for business travel.

Copenhagen has been confidently reinventing itself as the capital of cool. Long gone are the days of tumbleweed drifting along deserted streets after 8pm. The city now offers a huge number of trendy bars and world-class restaurants filled with some seriously stylish locals. Add to this cutting edge, award winning architecture; splendid palaces; impressive private venues; colourful row houses along charming canals and the vibrant Tivoli gardens to create an engaging and varied conference or incentive programme.

Logistically, Copenhagen is a dream. It’s an easy transfer from the airport to the centre, and methods of transfer include metro, horse and carriage, and boat. Many locals travel by bike, and the city boasts cleaner air and less congestion than most other capitals as a result. Furthermore, the 16km long Öresund Link, completed in 2000, connects Copenhagen with Malmö in Sweden. An awe-inspiring journey in itself, with the bonus of being able to incorporate two countries into even the shortest of programmes.

As well as the usual range of international chains with fantastic conference facilities, Copenhagen offers smaller, more individual hotels which show off the best of Danish design and are ideal for smaller meetings or incentive programmes.

The Copenhagers, most of whom speak near perfect English, look like they enjoy life, so it was no surprise to learn that Copenhagen has been voted the “World’s most liveable city”. It was also voted “Best Design City”, and evidence of carefully planned, sustainable development is everywhere, from the inspiring opera house to Europe’s longest pedestrianised shopping street in the mediaeval centre.

Did I really once claim that Denmark was dull? I take it back. Unreservedly.

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