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Stakeholders in the greater Montpellier area are united in their support for business tourism

Information updated on 20/05/22

Montpellier Métropole, Montpellier Events, and the Convention Bureau are joining forces to support conference organization within the metropolitan territory. Here’s a look at the measures being implemented.

Congres berlioz 2019 Ⓒ Le Mas Média

Berlioz Conference Center (2019) Ⓒ Le Mas Média

Business tourism is an important sector in the Montpellier Métropole area. Since the health crisis began, support has been especially strong to encourage event organizers to make the leap and continue organizing events locally.
To achieve this objective, Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole, Montpellier Events (the mixed-economy company in charge of managing Le Corum and Zenith Sud) and the Convention Bureau have pooled their strengths and know-how to continue attracting conferences and conventions.
As part of this action, Montpellier Métropole set up a 400,000 € Convention Guarantee Fund during the health crisis. Unique in France, this program is designed to reassure organizers by encouraging them to choose Montpellier as the location for their events.

Almost thirty conventions already maintained thanks to the Convention Guarantee Fund

The measure’s goal was achieved. In 2021, out of the 74 MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, Exhibitions) events held at the Corum Conference Center, 11 were made possible thanks to the fund. In fact, the effectiveness of the convention guarantee fund continues to grow. In 2022, no fewer than 18 conventions are already benefiting from the fund. Those events all have positive economic impact on the metropolitan area.
Initially established for 2021 and 2022, the fund has been extended into 2023 so that Montpellier can continue attracting professional events of all kinds – seminars, conventions, congresses, conferences, and symposiums – for a duration of at least two days with more than 300 participants, or one day with more than 400 participants. To qualify for this convention guarantee fund, events must be scheduled at the Corum or Zenith Sud venues.

“Reducing risks and encouraging organizers to postpone rather than cancel is what helped us maintain activity in Montpellier. As a result of this measure, we welcomed the National Infectious Diseases Days conference, which attracted nearly 1,400 participants from August 30 to September 1,” explains Sandra Vernier, General Manager of Montpellier Events.

A fund to help organize conferences

This novel initiative complements the existing Convention Organization Support Fund, also created by Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole. With an annual budget of 230,000 €, its aim is to make it easier to welcome national and international events in the Montpellier Métropole area. Despite the health crisis, it supported some 20 conferences in 2021, welcoming a total of nearly 20,000 participants.
A third major asset: Montpellier Métropole’s Convention Bureau. As part of the Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole Tourist and Convention Office, the Convention Bureau advises event organizers and guides them towards the right professional contacts, notably accommodation providers, exceptional sites, food services, event agencies, service providers, and more.

The Convention Bureau, a logistics expert

The Convention Bureau provides many tourist services for organizers.

“The Convention Bureau is an expert in logistics,” says Marie-Charlotte Ortega, manager of the unit.

For major events, the Bureau offers a welcome package in partnership with the city’s professional and institutional players: a tourist reception desk at venues, involvement of local merchants, signage, and flags around the city, smooth public and private transportation, and communication partnerships. These specific measures showcase two of Montpellier’s most enduring qualities: a sense of hospitality and professionalism.

The Montpellier area’s appeal as a destination

These measures are clearly associated with Montpellier’s attractiveness as a destination, from its historic center located just a few steps away from the Corum, to its architectural treasures, Mediterranean lifestyle, cultural offerings, and more, all of which are served by an airport that is just 10 minutes away from downtown, along with two train stations and an extensive tramway network. Business tourists have a lot to look forward to as they discover all the features in and around the Montpellier Métropole area. In short: both professional and friendly.

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