Those who have weathered economic downturns before know that during lean times expenditures for lavish events, business trips or exhibitions are the first thing to be cut from budgets. But the need to ensure the company continues to exist means you still have to keep them in the calendar. How to balance out productive corporate activities with reduced costs and have satisfying overall experience? Some possible solutions lie in Bulgaria's advantages for conference and business tourism.
Like it or not, it is the EU member with the lowest standard of living. The average Bulgarian is not happy about it, but it does give you low prices for service packages. Even five-star chain hotels can offer significantly better deals at the same quality you are used to seeing in other countries. This goes for everything from accommodation and meals to rent fees for conference venues and organising entertainment. You can have access to almost every location in a matter of hours thanks to the international airports that service Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna and Burgas, and transport is quick to organise through agencies or rent-a-car service.
You will hardly be the first to utilise the advantages of Bulgaria – out of more than eight million foreign visitors in 2011, close to one million came on business. The calendar of big events held in the country is growing steadily each year with conferences, lectures, trades fairs and exhibitions on the list. While in the past the events were mostly confined to Sofia, now organisers spread them around to other major cities. Plovdiv, which has much to offer to the casual and business visitors alike, holds a staple of the business travel with the International Fair Plovdiv and its Congress Centre – the first of its kind in Bulgaria. Housing more than 500 international, national or regional events yearly, the centre has well-established fame and contacts with businesses and organisations. Its 14 technologically modern halls have capacity ranging from 20 to 650 seats and allow for combined use. The exhibition rooms are specially designed for manifold purpose – international forums, sports competitions, celebrations and cultural events.
Another point in favour of Bulgaria is the versatility of scenery that it offers. You can easily hold your event in the mountains, at the seaside, or in the capital thanks to the variety of large hotels and tourist spots. This provides perfect routes for the getaways that usually accompany conference events. Take your pick of locations according to the event you plan. If you want a small workshop, or a session of hard work in a secluded place, a hotel in the mountains may be just the thing – remote enough to give you privacy yet not devoid of landmarks and sightseeing features. The Kiparis Alpha hotel in Smolyan can accommodate you perfectly, with its location in the heart of the Rhodope town, prime facilities and small SPA centre. Nearby traditional villages and natural attractions present trip opportunities, while the good service carries out any requests you may have.
Whenever coming to Bulgaria in the May – October period, you can hardly pass up the chance to do a seaside event. Even in the off-season, the coast is pleasant for its mild climate and hospitable hotels. Steer away from the resort crowds and go for the fresh experience of Atlantis Apart hotel, minutes away from Burgas Airport. The quiet surroundings make it perfect for company trainings, conferences and presentations. The conference hall can fit 150 people, but the real hit is the sunlit terrace overlooking the sea for coffee breaks and the catering that the hotel can supply to all sorts of events. In addition the Wi-Fi coverage and two elegant restaurants set an easy and relaxed pace of work.
If you want to have a break from the routine at a quiet and exclusive place, then Silistra hotel and business centre is exactly right for you. Situated in the town of the same name, the hotel is small and elegant with six apartments and three double rooms. All have modern amenities, including LCD sets and free Wi-Fi, so you can stay in permanent contact with the world. The modern hotel is very suitable for conference and business tourism, and after a day of hard work you can enjoy culinary delicacies in the authentic 18th Century setting in the traditional restaurant Humbata.
More than 10 years Congress Engineering is a leader in offering complete conference solutions in Bulgaria. The company specialises in renting and selling high-quality conference equipment and holding conference events at the highest level. It offers professional interpreters for consecutive and simultaneous translation, designing and equipping conference halls, stage design, special stage construction, impressive conference décor and furniture. Congress Engineering is an official representative and distributor for Bulgaria of many European companies, offering professional conference and presentation technology and conference equipment at prices without competition and at the highest quality.