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      In focus: European venues in demand for their history

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      Event planners are increasingly placing an emphasis on working with venues that offer guests that money-can’t-buy experience. Clients are looking at ways they can lean on a venue’s story to enhance their own event experience.

      This has also led to demand for historic and unique venues, as clients are very much looking for ways to add that wow factor into their events.

      Here, the organisers of Leipzig and the Lausanne Montreux Congress, two leading events for MICE professionals, pick out some of Europe’s quirkiest MICE venues…

      Celebrate Charlie Chaplin’s 130th birthday at Chaplin’s World

      This year marks the 130th birthday of world famous entertainer, Charlie Chaplin and to mark the momentous anniversary, special events and activities around the world will pay tribute to him throughout the course of the year.

      Formally the home of Chaplin himself, Chaplin’s World (pictured, above) By Grévin is now an entertaining museum designed to plunge visitors into the private and Hollywood life of the star, embarking on a discovery of both the man and the artist. Visitors can play among sets from his movies and make one of the most beautiful spots in the Riviera their own private paradise.

      Event organisers can benefit from the rental of the entire site or specific buildings and all events can be paired with museum visits. The site covers four hectares with three very unique event spaces: Le Manoir de Ban, Le Studio and The Tramp. The Manoir offers a striking space, “Les Combles”, measuring 250m² and ideal for VIP receptions, seminars, and meetings.

      Evening events would be well suited to the Studio, where its 150-seats cinema provides a Hollywood ambiance, steeped in the sets of mythic films. Enjoy a cocktail party with a unique atmosphere in Easy Street, The Circus or Hollywood Boulevard. The Tramp, the Chaplin’s World restaurant, can be rented out for the evening and is the perfect space for a relaxed cocktail party with a Chaplin twist.

      125 years of sporting history at the world’s only Olympic Museum

      Lausanne has a rich history in the sporting sector, and is home to the International Olympic Committee and The Olympic Museum – the only place in the world where you can exclusively hire a venue completely dedicated to spirit of the games.

      Enjoy cocktails for up to 1000 people in amongst the gold medals, Olympic torches and iconic costumes after a conference in their 200-seater purpose-built auditorium. Additional spaces and a restaurant can be used to host receptions for 1000 people maximum and gala dinners up to 500 guests. Not forgetting the exceptional natural setting with views of Lake Geneva and the Alps, as well as access to the vast sculpture garden. To make the most of the sporting theme, The Olympic Museum offers themed events and productions.

      With its modern facilities, customised themed activities and exceptional setting, guests will come away with a lasting memory. Next year will see the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and the Lausanne 2020 Youth Olympic Games, so now really is the best time to reconnect with sporting history and get ahead of the Games.

      Former power plant turned art gallery, Kunstkraftwerk Leipzig

      Located in a former power plant built in the 1860s, the Kunstkraftwerk Leipzig houses a collection of immersive digital and multimedia art installations. It also has several unique and engaging venue options for MICE planners to consider.

      With a combined 1,095mof usable indoor space, plus an outdoor area, this former power station makes for the ultimate MICE event venue that exudes both the history of Leipzig and the city’s modern artistic culture.

      The 400m2 Machine Hall has the capacity to project installations onto every surface in a mesmerizing display, certainly something different that would engage event attendees. This venue is able to host a range of events from round-tables to full conferences, where bespoke set-ups can be arranged with stages or without.

      A UNESO-listed venue steeped in history, Lavaux Vineyard Terraces

      Bridging the two leading MICE destinations of Lausanne and Montreux (Lausanne and Montrex Congress) are the UNESCO-Listed Lavaux Vinyard Terraces, where family run wineries offer the perfect venues for incentives and smaller events, with the offer of wine tastings and the chance to explore the vineyard wine cellars.

      The first terraces were created by monks in the 12th century and the area was inscribed as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site in 2007. Last year the region and their award winning wine saw the city of Lausanne become the newest and only 10th member of the prestigious Great Wines Capital network.

      Even now there is little is known about Swiss Wine and it remains a well-kept secret. This due to the fact that Switzerland only export 1% of their wine each year and with the steep incline making it impossible for machinery to work on the vineyards, all grapes are carefully handpicked, often leading to a demand for this much loved wine to stay close to home. Because of this, Lavaux remains one of the best places to sample Swiss wine.

      With hundreds of wineries lining these terraces, the majority with event spaces and scenic terraces overlooking Lake Geneva and the Alps, they make for great hires for smaller events or as an incentive destination getaway.

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      Stuart O'Brien

      All stories by: Stuart O'Brien