Multifaceted Dresden

// Johanna Müdicken

Easy to walk around, Baroque buildings and modern meeting formats: Two bloggers tell us what makes MICE in Saxony’s capital so special.

Im Residenzschloss bietet unter anderem der Kleine Schlosshof Raum für Veranstaltungen. In the Royal Palace the Small Courtyard is one of several spaces for events. Photo: Jürgen Lösel/MSU Museen erleben

Screenshot des CIMscoutDresden-Blogs auf Photo: CIM

Exploring Dresden. Saxony’s capital welcomes us with fabulous sunshine as we kick off our tour. On our four-day trip, we – that is Laura Ewe, Senior Event Manager at Paffrath Events in Düsseldorf, and CIM Editor Johanna Müdicken – are off to explore the “Beauty of the Elbe”. The team of Dresden Marketing want to accompany us to what insiders consider the hottest meeting venues. In the blog and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram we share our experiences virtually in real time.

Our first impression: Dresden more than lives up to its name as a European culture metropolis. Its historical centre is lined with imposing Renaissance and Baroque buildings. The Dresden Zwinger is the city’s landmark: Once a royal festival arena, it is now home to the Dresden Porcelain Collection, among other things. Across the road, the hotel “Felix im Lebendigen Haus” offers spectacular views of the famous building. Its function rooms have capacities for almost 100 people. You can rent the spacious roof terrace and restaurant exclusively.

Only 200 metres from there, we visit the Royal Palace, home to Dresden‘s state art collections. There you can stage meetings surrounded by works of art. The long Princes’ Gallery with its historical ambience is suitable for receptions or exclusive dinners with 180 people. A guided tour of one of the museum‘s many exhibitions is a perfect finishing touch for any event.

The 10th Dance Congress at Hellerau festival hall has a much more contemporary feel. 500 delegates from all over the world have come to the conference, sponsored by the German Federal Cultural Foundation. Artists get together to network both in the building and its adjoining garden.

In addition to expressionist dance, we get to see panel discussions and meditation exercises. – The programme is created by the guests themselves. “We tried to give the congress a structure that allows people to share experiences,” says Curator Dr. Eike Wittrock. “Instead of setting a programme, we wanted to offer spaces where visitors could share their knowledge and create their own formats.”

Electrifying presentations are also to be seen at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Dresden’s Technical University (TU). In the High Voltage Hall we watch them generate a flash of lightning right before our eyes. When it is not being used as a test lab you can rent it for events among the AC and DC test facilities. Other parts of Dresden Technical University, which is one of eleven German elite universities, also offer event capacities. The Institute of Wood Technology has a lecture hall full of impressive wooden structures for 120 people.

Laura and I concluded: Small wonder that Dresden is one of Germany‘s top 10 meeting destinations. The city already offers the planner an abundance of options. And with Ostra Dome and Ostra Studios it will boast a new 20,000-sqm event arena, which is now being built on Schlachthofinsel next to the trade fair.

Finally, Laura gives us a recap of her favourites in her Instagram account named @shecallsitwork: From meetings at a castle on the Elbe to events in the former power plant – everything is possible. Her verdict is clear: “Dresden, you were so beautiful – thank you so much for letting us be here. Rest assured that we will be back!”