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How to promote a destination to the Meetings & Events industry by using gastronomy

We are going to tell you about an original way to promote a destination to the Meetings & Events industry that you can apply to any type of event you are organising, whether it be a team building activity, a fam trip or an incentive trip.

The Barceló Costa Vasca hotel (San Sebastián), Barceló Bilbao and Occidental Bilbao have joined forces to promote the Basque region as a MICE destination and introduce the three hotels, by organising some really original promotional days aimed at events organisers in Barcelona and Madrid.

The day began with a welcome cocktail where guests enjoyed music performed by an artist playing the Txalaparta, a percussion instrument typical of the Basque country.

Once the cocktail had finished, the guests moved to the function room where they were all given identification and the group was divided into three teams, one for each hotel. Here, the managers from each hotel gave a presentation to explain their product and the destination using videos with content that showed the visitor experience in Bilbao, San Sebastián and the Basque country. The videos concentrated more on the general experience rather than showing the well-known tourist attractions.

Once the presentations finished the teams were told that they were going to compete against each other to see which team could create the best tapa. To do this, they had to first pass a test to get to choose their ingredients for creating the dish. The first team to pass the test had first choice and this would give them a slight advantage over the other teams.

The test consisted in correctly answering all the questions in a quiz about the presentation and the video that they had just seen.

After passing the test, the teams got to work to create their tapas. A Chef supervised and guided each team, so that they could make the most of the ideas that emerged and of the ingredients that they had been able to collect.

After the teams had prepared their tapas, a jury examined and tasted each one in order to choose a winner and award them their prize. Following the promotional days, it was announced that the winning tapa would be added to the tapas menu at the three hotels.

At the end of the competition, the participants were able to enjoy a cocktail evening and taste different dishes created by the three Chefs using typical ingredients from the region and traditional Basque cuisine fused with modern recipes or ideas from other countries.

All those taking part were given a gift with Basque produce to take away with them, as well as the memories of a great day, to enjoy when they arrived home or to keep for a special occasion.

This format is ideal for smaller groups of between 10 and 50 people, although if there is sufficient planning and logistical organisation, it can be adapted to cater for larger groups.

Perfect as a Team Building activity, when introducing a destination or simply as an incentive day for groups or companies, gastronomy is a great way to make a conference day attractive to the attendees and also to emphasise a link to a certain destination.

We hope you have found this article interesting and that you can use this idea for your next business event.

If you have any other ideas or experiences to relate, please use the comments section to share with the rest of the MICERS community.

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