What makes the Algarve an excellent conference and corporate event destination

Editorial Hot List Inspiration Lifestyle
We all know the Algarve is a favourite destination for fun and relaxation. Those beaches, the sun, the gorgeous scenery, the golf, the food and the wine - all factors that make the Algarve such a spectacular spot to visit. And some of what makes the region so popular as a tourist destination is what is helping make it a top choice for corporate events and conferences.

Any brand that is hosting an event wants to ensure that their delegates’ experience is as positive as possible. If the delegates love a conference, that reflects well on the brand and its products, as they can bask in the reflected glory of an outstanding event. In recent years, the Algarve and Portugal has shown that it ticks all the boxes for hosting superb events.

XPTO Events & DMC is a well established events management company offering bespoke events to their varied portfolio of clients. They have a decade of experience in organizing and designing unique events in the Algarve and across Portugal. Check out the superb Mindvalley event they organized in 2019.



Given their expertise,  we asked Isabel and Anabela from XPTO for their insights into what it is about the Algarve that makes it an outstanding location for events. Here are some of the factors they highlighted:

Safe and Secure
Feeling safe while travelling is more important now than ever. Portugal is considered one of the safest countries in the world, ranking 3rd on the Global Peace Index. There is relatively low crime and little instability.
Travel in the time of Covid 19 has been hugely impacted and around the world gatherings of people have been restricted and must ensure social distancing. The Algarve has reported relatively few cases and Portugal has done a huge amount of testing among the population. Portugal was the first European country to be receive the Safe Travels certification from the World Travel & Tourism Council. Within the country, many hotel and hospitality businesses display the Clean & Safe seal, issued by Portugal Tourism to companies adhering to health, safety and hygiene protocols, ready for a new normal in the travel and tourism industry. While it may be some time before corporate events and conferences are back on the agenda, local businesses and hotels have been proactive in implementing strict hygiene and health protocols. For example, hotels in the Portimão region have agreed a programme of twice monthly coronavirus tests on all staff, as part of their continuous control efforts.


 
Easy access and logistics
Smooth logistics are a vital ingredient in any event. That starts with ease of access to the event or conference location. Faro airport offers multiple regular routes from many European cities and further afield too which facilitates attendees from many different locations all flying into Faro, generally on direct flights.
And once landed at Faro airport, travel time to the event venue is likely to be short – probably under an hour. Popular destinations such as Vilamoura, home to the Algarve Congress Centre is just 25 minutes by car from the airport. Quinta do Lago and Vale do Lobo are even closer. That means that it is easy to arrange individual private transfers to the venue with companies such as Yellowfish or AlgarSerra, rather than all delegates having to wait for each other’s flight to arrive so they can travel onwards together.

This ease of access saves event organizers and delegates a very valuable commodity – time. Less time spent getting there, means more time at the actual event and more time to enjoy the destination. Saving time on travel means there is more time for talks and activities without increasing the duration of the event.

Excellent facilities
The Algarve is home to many top class four and five star hotels and resorts that can host small, large and very large events as well as custom built conference facilities. Accommodation is generally of a high standard and there are spa, sports and technology facilities to cater for all.

VILA VITA Parc, which covers 54 acres of beautiful seafront grounds, has more than 1000sq metres of conference space available, plus gorgeous landscaped gardens and multiple terraces. With several pools, direct access to the beach, a top-class Sisley Spa (the only one in Portugal) and outstanding food options (which include 2 Michelin star Ocean restaurant), VILA VITA Parc offers everything required for both the work and play parts of an event. The resort has a country estate and winery, Herdade dos Grous,  just over an hours drive away, which is perfect for team-building activities.

VILA VITA Parc

Quinta do Lago, the award winning lifestyle and golf resort is another excellent venue. With pristine golf courses, superb sports facilities at The Campus and the natural beauty of the Ria Formosa as scenery, it is a special location for active corporate events with a dedicated team for event design.

The region also has custom-built conference facilities such as the Algarve Congress Centre which offers adjustable size rooms, with the Fenix room offering capacity for 3000 people. Overlooking Vilamoura marina, the Congress Centre is very centrally located with a huge selection of accommodation and restaurants on the doorstep, not to mention the beach and all those yachts waiting to take people to explore the beautiful coastline.

Outside activities at The Campus

Quality Leisure Time
The networking done, contacts made and relationships built at a corporate events can play a huge role in future business. And they most often evolve best during the leisure time on the programme. This is where the Algarve shines. Attendees can enjoy a huge range of activities such as hiking and biking or off-road adventures. The golf courses are many and excellent. Boat trips along the coast are not only relaxing, they give people time to connect in a low-pressure environment. There are boats to cater for all group sizes from private yachts with a capacity for 10 people to large modern catamarans that can take well over 100 passengers each. There are wineries and art galleries to discover and of course, amazing food to savour.
 
Added Value Quality
Is the Algarve the cheapest destination? No. Does it offer greater quality for the money spent? Arguably yes. Any conference or corporate event will want its budget to stretch as far as possible without impacting the quality of the event. In the Algarve you get added value without additions to the bill. For example, the year-round sunshine means that even during the winter months, it is possible to enjoy al fresco lunches, something that attendees from colder climes love, boosting their enjoyment. The standard of accommodation in the Algarve is high and Portuguese hospitality is famous. Most hotel and resort staff speak excellent English, with German, Spanish and French also fairly widely spoken. All these are factors that help attendees relax and fully enjoy their experience in Portugal.

Ocean Quest Boat Trips

XPTO Events & DMC - tel:+351 289 417 092 / xpto@xptoevents.com

VILA VITA Parc - tel:+351 282 310 100  / groups@vilavitaparc.com

Quinta do Lago - tel:+ 351 289 289 390 700 / mice@quintadolago.com