IUMI, the international union of maritime insurers
IUMI was looking for a special location for its annual international congress.
D’M&S Live exploited Bruge’s conference facilities and tourist treasures, and put together a complete working-plan for the three-day event.
D’M&S broadens horizons with successful IUMI congress
IUMI, de International Union of Marine Insurance, every year holds an extensive international congress at a unique location. Following in the footsteps of Vancouver, Copenhagen and Amsterdam among others, Bruges hosted this impressive three-day symposium, with over 750 participants from 45 countries attending.
“The main theme of the congress was water, with the highpoint being the gala dinner in ‘seven miles under the sea’ decor.”
IUMI was organised from A to Z by D’M&S Live. Our PCO department sought out and found a special location, coordinated hotel reservations, the various activities and social programmes that were set up around the congress, and closely involved its colleagues from D’M&S Office and Online in elaborating the project. This led among other things to an extensive website for the congress attendees, as well as a whole range of congress tools – a textbook example of a 360o project.
Tight shuttle plan
Getting 750 attendees to their destination without a hitch is no mean feat. This is why a watertight and well-timed shuttle plan was devised, into which unexpected changes could be worked automatically. That allowed congress managers to make adjustments quickly. Those arriving by air were collected at the airport and taken to their hotel. What’s more, thanks to the online hotel reservations, everyone arrived at one of the 17 hotels in the centre of Bruges without a hitch. During the congress itself most of the activities took place within Bruges – with walks being popular – while buses to Damme, Knokke-Heist, Ghent and Sint-Martens-Latem were used for the social programmes. Following the closing gala dinner, the shuttle plan provided its first shuttle at 3 am to take participants back to the airport. That mean that no-one missed their flight.
As well as the active side of things, attendees and their partners were also offered the chance for relaxation. The social programmes offered something for everyone: a trip to picturesque Damme, a stroll (or shopping) by the sea in sophisticated Knokke-Heist or discovering the culture and history of Sint-Martens-Latem and Ghent. Moreover, a spot of entertainment was of course provided for participants in the evenings. The opening dinner in Oud Sint-Jan welcomed the guests on the first evening with a Belgian-style feast. Delicious Event Catering offered attendees and broad range of Belgian specialities – from traditional Ghent-style stews to fine Trappist beer and the inevitable fries. Everything was presented in the form of a buffet and with refined culinary style, with actors brought in to provide entertainment. With absurd, hilarious and astonishing acts, they ensured a relaxed and pleasant atmosphere. The same theatrical act was scheduled in for the closing party: the classical, internationally renowned De Frivole Framboos ensemble. This extremely visual and musical show was ideal for the diverse, multi-lingual audience, with the performance in the concert hall receiving a standing ovation. Meanwhile, preparation for the dinner was in full swing in the exhibition halls located nearby. This was held with an appropriate “seven miles under the sea” theme, including water curtains and other flowing effects. After all, water was the main theme of the entire congress... Following the usual speeches, the DJ managed to coax the guests onto the dance floor, which was quite an accomplishment – there had been no dancing at an IUMI congress for eight years! It goes without saying that the participants thoroughly enjoyed themselves.