Colombia is the ideal choice for event planners who want to impress their participants with bold, innovative and exciting events, on any scale. The country’s unparalleled biodiversity, warm and welcoming workforce and unique and immersive venues make for a memorable occasion, whether you’re organising a conference, launch, summit, expo, training course or once-in-a-lifetime team-building session.
Here are five reasons why you should hold an event in Colombia:
1. Colombia’s event spaces encourage creativity and innovation
Colombians are proud of their country and reflect its creativity and innovation in their venues. Medellin’s Orquideorama, for example, impresses with its bold architecture and unique décor, which showcases the dazzling colors of Colombian orchids. This unique space can host 3,000 people for concerts, 2,000 for cocktail parties and 1,500 for conferences, with salons and indoor and outdoor gardens.
Colombian event spaces such as Los Caballos are ideal for more intimate events. This cozy farm, near Medellin airport, can host up to 250 people for conferences and brand launches in a quaint and traditional atmosphere.
The spirit and vibrancy of Colombia’s Caribbean coast is similarly unmissable. The region’s adventure sports options, and the flexibility of its venues, means event planners can create unforgettable events. La Guajira’s deserts culminate in rugged beaches, teeming with wildlife, and the Hotel Waya Guajira, for example, offers stunning views from its high-tech meeting rooms. Participants can also lounge by its pools, or work up a sweat in its gym, and experience the region’s Wayuu indigenous culture through handicrafts, dance, dress and other traditions.
The charming Hotel Boutique Don Pepe, in Santa Marta, focuses on evoking Colombia’s colonial past. This 12-room hotel hosts small meetings in its historic dining room, as well as offering access to a luxury spa and helicopter rides.
2. Colombian venues are flexible and unique
Colombia has a vibrant and fascinating history and its historic venues are flexible to the needs of each event. San Felipe Castle, the imposing, 500-year-old fortress that dominates the backdrop to the walled city of Cartagena, is one of the ‘Seven Wonders of Colombia’ and can host events for up to 800 people.
Historic Casa 1537, is equally flexible. This boutique hotel can host cocktail parties for up to 800 people, conferences for up to 460, seminars up to 350 and board meetings up to 120, depending which of its charming spaces is used. The vast chandeliers that hang from the hotel’s vaulted ceilings reflect its exquisite architecture and décor.
Club de Equitación Equus, in Envigado, a suburb of Medellin, offers a similarly immersive experience in Colombian culture. This riding center can accommodate up to 2,000 participants in its 800m² of event spaces, with views across the San Nicolas valley. Guests can ride horses and watch expert riders perform, as well as try traditional dancing and taste some of the region’s finest coffee.
Hacienda La Extremadura, in Sabaneta, immerses participants in the culture of Colombia’s Coffee Cultural Landscape too. This restored colonial farm has seven meeting rooms and can welcome up to 1,200 people in its auditorium, as well as pampering them with its gym, spa, jacuzzi and swimming pool.
3. Guests at Colombian events can connect with nature
Venues in Colombia can offer attendees an encounter with nature they will never forget. Mamancana, in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountains, is a six hundred hectare private nature reserve, with views of both the Sierra Nevada and the Caribbean Sea. Mamancana hosts conferences and congresses with an emphasis on creative and innovative thinking, encouraging attendees to explore its ecological trails, go ‘glamping’ and, if they wish, consult with the region’s spiritual leaders, who provide spiritual cleansing, healings and consultations.
Cali’s Club Campestre is the ideal escape to the country for those who want to bring their creature comforts with them. This country club and hotel is surrounded by bird watching and horse riding paths, as well as a golf club, polo field, tennis court and swimming pool. Its presidential salon and tropical terrace can both accommodate up to 700, and it has some of the largest open-air event spaces in Colombia.
Planning your event in Colombia means you can provide a ‘back-to-nature’ experience without having to travel too far. La Portuguesa, in the Pueblo Viejo hills, combines a natural escape with panoramic views over Medellin’s twinkling lights and can host up to 300 people.
Offer your guests the chance to swim in the midst of lush Colombian landscapes at venues such as the West Point Convention Center, in Santa Fe de Antioquia. This venue accommodates up to 600 people on its terraces and open-air spaces and is surrounded by palm tree-lined swimming pools, complete with Turkish baths, which makes it ideal for rest, relaxation and inspiration.
4. Colombian events are the ideal setting for cutting-edge technology
State-of-the-art innovations are key to underscoring an event’s purpose and inspiring its participants. Event spaces in Colombia that showcase technical innovation include Barranquilla’s La Puerta de Oro, one of the most sought-after large-scale venues on the Caribbean coast. This striking urban development model, on the banks of the Magdalena River, can host up to 4,000 in its convention center. It has shops, restaurants, bars, an international business center and a heliport.
Chamorro Entertainment City Hall, in Medellin, can also accommodate up to 4,000 participants. It offers outstanding light shows and technical displays with the opportunity for tailor-made use of its screens and sound system, as well as a 360°
experience that personalizes each event with color, style and creativity.
Cartagena de Indias Convention Center is one of Colombia’s most diverse. Its 20,000m² of event spaces can host intimate gatherings of 12 or up to 2,000 delegates. It offers numerous technical solutions, including audio, digital microphones, simultaneous translation, interpreters, voting, video conferencing, projection, monitors, video and sound recording and sophisticated lighting. Its bespoke technical solutions focus on precision, innovation and safety.
Cali’s Pacific Valley Events Center has everything an event planner needs for successful conferences in Colombia, congresses, summits, shows, sporting events and more. It can host up for 500 stands in its exhibition space and planners can choose between its pavilions, plaza and meetings room with access to a food court, visitor information point, simultaneous translation rooms and more. Its stunning water fountain centrepiece symbolizes Colombia’s Pacific region culture.
5. Participants appreciate healthy food and world-beating coffee
Colombians are passionate about their cuisine and determined to provide visitors with a flavor of Colombia’s gastronomy and, of course, its specialty coffee.
Cartagena’s colonial Hotel Santa Clara is one example. Originally built as a convent in the heart of the walled city in 1621, this luxury hotel blends a French dedication to food with locally-sourced Colombian ingredients and serves tailor-made menus, whether events prefer indulgent or health-conscious Colombian cuisine.
Colombia can also intrigue participants with unique culinary experiences. Carmelina, a farm in Viboral El Carmen in Antioquia, produces an artisanal ‘coffee beer’ made from its coffee beans. Carmelina can accommodate up to 600 visitors at events held on its large terraces and sumptuous open-air spaces.