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CMW’s Prince visits Berlin’s Sleeping Beauties

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CMW (Conference News' sister title) roving Berliner Mark Felstead has moved out of his elegant AXICA venue settings where we last met him here, to find out how some other key Berlin business events and MICE players are coping and preparing to bounce back.

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In his Berlin’s Sleeping Beauties podcast (see link below) he discovers a strong spirit in the destination and MICE community and some fresh ideas and plans for operating in the ‘new normal’ future.

Times are not easy of course, but Berlin is no ordinary city and creativity is in its DNA as this special podcast illustrates.

Mein Host talks to the head of the Berlin Convention Bureau and representatives from the hotel and venue community, and also a leading DMC and agency.

First up is Marco Oelschlegel, new head of the Berlin Convention Bureau, who explains the new #fromberlinwithlove campaign, which aims to show what you can do today virtually to explore the city’s food, typical places and squares.

He also explains how the government and banks are backing small businesses in the city and have set up a hotline to expedite this.

Martina Goettler from the AXICA near the Brandenburg Gate then invites us to her beautiful Frank Gehry designed venue. Apparently Angela Merkel can’t get enough of the place we hear!

Diane Pantaleri Otto from Europe’s largest hotel congress and events complex, the Estrel Hotel Berlin, paints a picture of a very different world now, but says the venue is not losing time and has big plans for the end of the year, including collaborating on the fifth annual German Christmas bakery event in London.

Valentina Azzoni from CAMONSITE DMC cycles in to talk about Berlin’s ability to reinvent itself. Her agency specialises in green and sustainable activities and she talks about how some of the smaller suppliers have been supporting each other in these difficult times.

Nikolas Blischke,is head of meetings and incentives at the Time Change Agency in Berlin, and says he hopes the spirit of standing and working together will continue also in the new normal. Some positive energy has definitely come out of this diversity, he says. His company has been adapting its registration tools for delegating personnel in the new digital reality. Listen out for some amusing chat about the local delicacy, white asparagus.

The finale of Mark’s entertaining podcast brings back onto the virtual stage all these new ‘Friends’ – but we’ll leave it up to you to decide if they have a career in music. I suspect Simon Cowell may think otherwise!