Highlights MICE FAM Trip

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Romotur recently carried out the organization of a MICE FAM trip for agents to discover some of the MICE resources in the Bilbao area. The MICE FAM trip was sponsored by the Bilbao Convention Bureau and Turespaña.

New 5* Hotel

One of the newest additions to the Bilbao area accommodation and MICE venue options is a renovated palace. It was built in the early 20th century in the Bilbao bay area for one of the country’s most prominent families. This palace-villa recently opened as a 5* hotel. It is just 20 minutes from Bilbao and the Bilbao airport. Among its facilities: English bar and cocktail lounge, champagne chapel, croquet club, gym, outdoor pool, restaurant and terrace with sea views, spa, and wine cellar.

It has a few rooms for small meetings; events of maximum 250 people can be accommodated using outdoor spaces. The restaurant is led by a successful Basque chef. It is very successful among hotel guests but also locals.

LARGE MICE VENUES

The MICE FAM Trip group visited a number of MICE venues for large events.

Private Club in the Bilbao Bay Area

This prestigious private club has a variety of event spaces, from large rooms overlooking the bay area, to a roof-top terrace, lounges and a night-club area. The venue is appropriate for celebratory events and dinners, business meetings, or a combination.

Congress Center

In the heart of Bilbao, there is an ultra-flexible MICE venue that offers many different spaces, from small to enormous. It is also the home of the Bilbao symphony orchestra and opera. Its stage is the second largest in Europe.

Cultural Center

An integral part of Bilbao’s cultural landscape, this former warehouse was reformed by Philippe Starck. It is one of Bilbao’s most iconic buildings. It’s MICE spaces range from large modular areas, a smaller meeting room and a theater. It is the home of a cultural exhibition space, artistic workshops, a cinema, various restaurants, a Basque design shop and Bilbao’s most peculiar swimming pool. Intrigued? I guess you’ll have to come for a visit, then 😉

EXPERIENCES

Show-cooking workshop

Show-cooking workshop

After a full day of venue-visiting, our agents still had energy to roll up their sleeves and prepare their dinner entrees. Some local, top-notch chefs pointed out some particularities of the ingredients and shared some tips and tricks with us. This took place in another one of Bilbao’s major MICE venues: the San Mames Stadium.

Blindfolded paired tasting with local products

blindfolded tasting of local wines and beers

On day two, we put the MICE agents to the test in a blindfolded tasting of local wines and beers paired with local products. This game of the senses, led by an expert sommelier involved a lot of pondering, reflecting but also lots of laughs. The venue, a small “liquid room” in the center of Bilbao, also offers cocktail workshops and specialized tastings.

More sustainable MICE

Bilbao is a destination committed to sustainability, so this was an important factor in organizing this MICE FAM trip.

  • Less driving, more walking: Bilbao has a mild climate, an excellent public transportation system and is quite compact. Thanks to these favorable factors, we were able to keep bus transportation to a minimum, without over-exerting our guests.
  • MICE, plastic-free: Besides one item (there is always room for improvement!), we nearly reached our goal of a completely plastic-free FAM.
  • Zero food waste: Eating out at almost every meal can be overwhelming and eventually lead to food waste. We worked closely with the restaurants to adapt menus and portion sizes to avoid this…but still provide satisfying, varied meals and respect dietary particularities. 
  • Support local projects: Gifts were bought from local stores. In particular, from a space for artistic creation that offers a personal and professional development program for people with mental and/or intellectual disabilities.
  • CO2 compensation: The Bilbao Convention Bureau measured the CO2 of the air and land transport as well as accommodation of the 10 MICE agents over 3 days. This came out to just under 2 tons. To compensate, this, trees will be planted by a local NGO. This NGO also offers companies the possibility of holding corporate volunteer planting days.