A record breaking number of members gathered for the IACC-Europe Knowledge Festival last week in Milan, Italy and took part in two days of learning, networking and sharing ideas with industry colleagues.
This year's multi-venue conference took place at Chateauform' La Cascina Erbatici south of Milan and Chateauform' La Villa Gallarati Scotti north of Milan. Delegates from all three chapters were treated to a number of new meetings experiences and educational campfire workshops that delivered insightful learning. Delegates experienced the unique all inclusive package concept offered by Chateauform' and their unique approach to providing a home-from-home experience. Conference emcee Padraic Gilligan followed up with an insightful blog, sharing his personal experiences of the venues and event.
An insightful panel discussion addressing trends in the meetings industry saw industry experts Alex Cabañas (Benchmark Hospitality), Tim Chudley (Sundial Group), Tessa Horovitz (Chateauform'), Peter Schelde (Comwell Hotels) and Alastair Stewart (etc venues) debating the challenges and opportunities that IACC members are faced with currently. Delegates interacted with the panel throughout the discussion, with polls and a Q&A's submitted via Sli.Do.
Central to the theme of sharing ideas, the campfire workshops in Sunday afternoon included sessions on meeting room design, neuro marketing in hospitality and delivering celebrity service. A pasta-making demonstration and wine-tasting presentation provided a learning opportunity for delegates in operational roles.
The conference started with an incredible display of Italian culinary delights, including outdoor fresh pizza making to order for delegates. Regional culinary fare served outside in the Italian autumn sunshine served a great start to the festival.
Keynote speaker, Geoff Ramm, gave delegates insights into some of the most impactful service deliverables he has seen, majoring on the significance of delivering Celebrity Service every day to clients.
For the first time at a European conference, the chapter Copper Skillet final took place, with finalist chefs from the UK, Swedish, Danish and French country cook-offs.
Congratulations to Yohan Yries from Château Saint Just, France who was awarded Junior Champion and to Daniel Martinsen, Comwell Borupgaard, Denmark who was awarded Senior Champion. Yohan and Daniel will go on to compete in the global final in New York in April 2016.
In line with IACC's continuing efforts to reduce waste and deliver sustainable meetings and events, delegates kept track of the sessions, viewed delegate and speaker info and gave feedback through the IACC Event App.
This year the Annual Conference Planning Committee put in many of hours of volunteer time in an effort to make the IACC-Europe Knowledge Festival a success. This year was no different in the enormous dedication of our conference champions to their assignments, which conscientiously applied a new slant on everything from content, programming to scheduling. IACC Europe Chapter President, Rachael Bartlett commented, “Many hands make light work and it is clear that the Europe chapter has the energy and passion to deliver creative and innovative learning and events. Watch out continued development of our annual conference for 2016!”.