Conference Design

A Complete, Holistic Meeting Experience

7th December 2021

In the canton of Bern, right in the heart of Switzerland, the Interlaken region is a tradition-rich congress destination beautifully nestled between Lakes Brienz and Thun. With an impressive mountain scenery including the world-famous Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau triumvirate as a backdrop, it’s got quite a few assets up its sleeves Here – indeed - you can experience the whole of Switzerland in one place.

Words Remi Deve

Let’s start with the meeting infrastructure. With the centrally located Congress Centre Kursaal Interlaken as well as numerous event locations and hotels – 6,000 beds in 70 establishments in total, many of which underwent a renovation or a modernization during the pandemic – Interlaken is an excellent venue for national and international congresses.

In Interlaken everything is centrally located, so everything is literally at walking distance. From the train station to the congress or event, from there to the hotel or the social program, you can even get everywhere on foot – and not waste valuable time communting from one place to another.

Steeped in history

The Congress Centre Kursaal Interlaken impresses with its combination of rooms steeped in history, ultra-modern auditorium and beautiful parkland offering a view of the Jungfrau mountain.

The 19 different rooms – all with daylight – can be used both for the conference programme and for an exhibition/fair. A total of over 5,000 sqm of event space is available.

The strengths of the Kursaal Interlaken also include in-house catering, its own event technology, which also allows for virtual or hybrid events easily and professionally, and a restaurant, which can be rented exclusively.

All in all, the teams working at the Kursaal are greatly appreciated by meeting planners, who have praised the support and advice they bring to the table, their know-how at all stages of event design and organization and, above all, their great flexibility, which is key to success.

Medical congresses at their best

With all these aspects in mind, no wonder medical congresses regularly choose Interlaken as their host destination. Case in point: the annual congress of the Swiss Society of Gastroenterology (SGG/SGVC/SASL&SVEP), the largest national event in the field of gastroenterology, hepatology and abdominal surgery which gathers under one roof hospital doctors, doctors in private practice, specialist registrars in training, and hospital and non-hospital endoscopy nursing staff.

Gabriela Kaufmann, who has been in charge of the event for some years, explains: “We have been coming to Interlaken for years. Even though the journey to get there is a bit longer, everyone likes it. The location, the accommodation, the beautiful surroundings, the possibilities… everything is just right from A-Z.” 

For me as an organizer, the cooperation couldn’t be better! The onsite team is always very reactive and prepared to organize a lot at the last minute. At the same time, they never give us the feeling that we are completely out of the loop. We appreciated this flexibility and great cooperation once again this year, when we had to make last-minute decisions due to the measures around the Corona pandemic. Any congress venue would be lucky to have such a team. We are always completely satisfied!” she says.

In addition to the conference, the large industry exhibition is an important part of the congress. Here the Kursaal Interlaken seems to be the ideal venue with its rooms suitable for both the scientific program and the exhibition of industry partners. 

Kaufmann emphasizes: “I really appreciate the support, especially with the organization of the exhibition, but also with the technology. I don’t have to worry about it, it just runs very smoothly.

A particularly important point at any event are the networking opportunities. This must be given enough “space”. Here, too, Kaufmann appreciates the different possibilities. “The implementation of our get-together party is super. It creates a real club atmosphere in the venerable rooms of the Kursaal.” she says, adding that she’s very happy with “the know-how of the team [she] could fall back on at any time, given their knowledge of event organization, whether virtual or hybrid.”  

Damaris Nyffeler, Director of Operation & Stv. Managing Director, adds: “I am sure that the Congress Centre Kursaal Interlaken, with its long tradition and great experience, will continue to play a more important role in the field of medical congresses.”

On an adventure

But it’s not all. When it comes to pre- or post-event possibilities, the Interlaken region boasts a wide range of options, being Europe’s #1 adventure destination. Such a wealth of professionally organized adventure activities in such a small area, framed by perfect landscapes, glaciers and lakes, is actually quite unique. 

For example, Interlaken’s local mountain, the Harder Kulm, is a stone’s throw from the Congress Centre Kursaal Interlaken. The cogwheel railway takes you up to the Top of Interlaken in 10 minutes at an altitude of over 1,300 metres. From the viewing platform you have an unbelievably impressive view of the lakes of Brienz and Thun and the Bernese Alps. The Panorama Restaurant with its large sun terrace is the perfect place to round off an event.

One-stop shop

And if you need help, the Convention Bureau Interlaken Congress & Events will look after you, from helping you put together a great program to organizing a transfer, from finding hotel rooms to suit every taste and budget to running your convention secretariat.

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