In January 2018, Palexpo Geneva, had the pleasure of hosting the first ‘Leading Centres of Europe’ gathering of the year! During their two-day stay in beautiful Geneva, thirteen directors of European Associations and PCOs as well as the ten representatives of the European Leading Centres of Europe had the opportunity to get an inside glimpse of the city’s diverse and unique facets.
On Thursday, visitors were invited to dive into the town’s history, by taking part in a unique and festive lantern-lit parade through Geneva’s intriguing old town’s cobblestone streets. Over thirty members of ‘The Compagnie 1602’, halberdiers, musketeers, knights and many other historical characters accompanied the guests on their stroll, to the sound of fifes and drums. These costumed companions dress up usually only once a year for the “Escalade” event, the most popular festival in Geneva, which takes place in the city centre every December as a reminder of the proud Genevans’ defence against the attack of the Duke of Savoy’s army in 1602.
On Friday, guests were invited to re-live Swiss watchmaking history, with a visit to the prestigious ‘Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie’, a reference event among international fine watchmaking shows, which attracts over 16’000 visitors to Palexpo. Every January, this magnificent setting becomes a place to meet, share views and discover the latest creations in watchmaking.
A guided tour of the international district, along with a visit of the International Museum of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, also provided the visitors with an insight into the work of the many humanitarian organisations based in the city. Known as the ‘Capital of Peace’, Geneva is indeed home to the European headquarters of the United Nations Organisation as well as to more than 200 other international organisations, providing living evidence of the leading role played by Geneva on the world scene.
This event gave all the participants an opportunity to make new acquaintances, strengthen existing ties and share knowledge and experience, with the aim of building stronger relationships and collaboration between associations and venue representatives. All the guests left with great memories of an unforgettable event in Geneva!