Educational FAM Review: Why Berlin is open and ready for your events.
A few weeks back (August 2021) we were invited out by Visit Berlin to be part of their first Educational FAM back after the pandemic.
Germany as a destination has always been of interest to our groups, but Berlin for some reason we tend to can go under the radar compared to other cities. So for that reason it was great to be invited out to learn and discover more...and it didn't take much to convince us in terms of being ready to welcome back international groups. But also that it should be put firmly on your radar as a destination for German based events!
Some anxiety met our excitement on arriving to Heathrow T5. But once seeing those doors to departures, it was like welcoming back an old friend. Any thoughts or worries you may have regards airports and flying again..let them go. At no stage were we worried or anxious in the airport or on the flight (see our flight blog review).
One thing to consider for groups on arrival from the UK is a longer time getting through passport control. Remember us Brits are now "All Passports" rather than EU. You should definitely advise any groups to expect some added time here. Logistically when planning transfers you will need to factor in more time to account for this.
The Visit Berlin team were there to meet me at the new Berlin Brandenberg airport for transfer to the ideally situated Hilton Berlin, who welcomed us as out host for the next couple of days.
An Educational FAM, set across the 3 days served as a perfect introduction to Berlin as city that can not only offer much in terms of events. But that it was ready for them too! Historical walking tours, amazing event space such as Axica (Check out our VBlog) Grand Hyatt (amazing restaurant..!) Estrel Congress Centre and attending Berlin Questions which was so informative and great just to be back at a live conference seminar again! Our particular standout was at Andels by Vienna House. An fantastic skybar perfect for a welcome reception watching the sunset over the city.
Another thing to consider for groups or those attending FAMs moving forward. Within 72 hours of arriving in destination, I had to have a PCR test. This itself is not too much of a problem, pretty easy to get this set up. But it does add to your itinerary for the trip. I must admit it was all we could, and those of the group we were with could think about for the next couple of hours - the result - thankfully negative (huge sigh of relief). The point here is don't book too much in on the your test morning. Until you get that all important result you'll likely have your focus elsewhere.
Overall it was great to be back and great to see Berlin are fully ready for MICE groups again. Thank you to the Visit Berlin team and suppliers for putting together a great FAM. Also having the confidence to be one of the first destinations to invite international MICE buyers back. It has proven not only that the city is ready for business again, but that it has such a range of offering for MICE events, groups of all sizes and needs. I can't wait for our corporate groups to experience some Berlin hospitality!