Lausanne, the business and convention city
Ideally situated 45 minutes from Geneva International Airport, the Olympic Capital benefits from an ultra-modern infrastructure – in terms of mobility, convention halls, hospitality and accommodation centres – that places it among the top ranks of sought-after destinations for the organisation of conventions and events. What is more, one tourist in three comes to Lausanne on business, whether individually or within the scope of an organised event.
Thanks to its strategic geographical location and its traditional role as an economic and technological crossroads, the Lausanne region has been chosen to be the international or European headquarters of numerous major corporations, such as Philip Morris, Tetra Laval, Nespresso, Kudelski, Logitech, Ferring Pharmaceuticals, Medtronic and the Bobst Group. Interwoven into this economic fabric are the banks, trusts and service enterprises that make the region a cutting-edge commercial and financial centre. The vocational schools, the centres of research, the clinics, the Olympic institutions and the international sports federations also make a significant contribution to the boom in urban tourism – not forgetting the numerous start-ups, most of which are based on the site of the Science Park of the Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL).
A vast flow of business tourism is thus engendered through these industrial enterprises, a multitude of tertiary activities and the high-tech congress infrastructure. A member of the Switzerland Convention and Incentive Bureau (SCIB), Lausanne is in a position to host major meetings of this kind. The MCH Beaulieu Lausanne currently constitutes the biggest convention centre in the region. This site provides 50’500 m2 of exhibition space, a 30-room convention centre and conference facilities capable of holding up to 5000 people, a theatre with seating for over 1800 people, huge gardens and an underground car park.
Inaugurated in April 2014, the futuristic Swiss Tech Convention Centre can seat up to 3000 people for international scientific conferences. This conference centre, one of a kind worldwide, is equipped with the very latest technology: fully adjustable rooms, collapsible tiered seating that can be converted into an enormous floor area, as well as a façade comprising coloured solar cells that produce electricity.
The University, the Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) and the Vaud University Hospital Centre (CHUV) offer rooms and reception facilities, including some in tandem with scientific and medical conferences; these are events in which the city specialises. The EPFL houses the Rolex Learning Center, a place of learning, information and life. Opposite this building, whose architecture constitutes an amazing technological feat, the 4-star Starling Hotel Lausanne has 154 rooms.
Other establishments that provide hospitality areas include the World Trade Center Lausanne, the Olympic Museum, a few big hotels, the Centre Général Guisan, the Salle Métropole (under renovation), the Casino de Montbenon and the Cinéma Pathé Flon. The Compagnie générale de navigation has Belle Époque ships available for private cruises. As for international sporting events, (such as the World Gymnaestrada held in 2011 and the annual Athletissima meeting), they can take place either in the Espace Malley (up to 10,000 people) or at La Pontaise Olympic Stadium (nearly 16,000 seats). A new sports complex near the lake is in the pipeline.
A diverse range of hotels with over 7000 beds, together with an efficient public transport network, free with the Lausanne Transport Card, that puts all these places within easy reach, will do the rest to convince organisers of conventions, events and incentives of the advantages of Lausanne as the destination of choice in this domain.
Lausanne Tourisme has a Congress & Events Service that is able to make full or partial arrangements for a national or international meeting, a congress, a conference, a seminar, an incentive or an event. These may be complemented by a programme of relaxation and recreational activities according to requirements. The quality of the setting, the ideal situation of the city as a point of departure for numerous excursions, its range of high-quality restaurants, attractions and cultural programmes are further arguments in favour of hosting a business clientele.
Editor: Newcom Partners Lausanne - Aurélie Moeri