Esbjerg, Denmark’s new and unique meeting destination

Photo: Torben Meyer, Esbjerg Kommune

Pia de Place is Project Manager at Business Esbjerg in charge of Meet & More – meetings and conferences by the Wadden Sea National Park. Here is her take on the inspiring meeting destination by the Danish west coast – and why she loves the city of Esbjerg, the area and its people.

What gets you going on a working day?

Being able to give our guests a magnificent and memorable experience that they had not expected. They can, for instance, conclude a long day of meetings with a visit to the unique wetlands of the Wadden Sea. Here they can slip into waders and collect their own wild oysters from the oyster banks and then enjoy eating them with a glass of bubbles.

And I also love working with my great colleagues and partners at Meet & More – we’re able to design almost any programme and experience.

How has Esbjerg changed over the past years?

Esbjerg has evolved from being a fishing town to a hub for oil and gas exploration, wind-energy production and the IT industry – it’s Denmark’s energy metropolis.

We offer an amazing diversity in the area. Within just 30 minutes from dynamic Esbjerg – which is a young city by Danish standards – you find its opposite, the charming and historic Ribe, which is actually Scandinavia’s oldest town.

 

Or if you need a change of pace, then you must visit Fanø, an island rich in culture and nature, where you, among other things, can go on seal safari, amber safari and blocart driving.


We are also experiencing a greater focus on sustainability, since we are located by the Wadden Sea National Park, which enjoys UNESCO World Natural Heritage patronage. We’re becoming even better at preserving the amazing nature that surrounds us.

What is the greatest thing you’ve experienced in your career?

Having created a fantastic Meet & More network in such a short time. Partnership agreements in general often don’t meet their ambitious intentions – but here our agreements work perfectly, and all partners gain something from their involvement.

The really great thing is also that I’m not alone in promoting this partnership, the partners are doing so, too – and when they’re doing it, you know for sure that they are 100% behind it!

Which emerging trends will influence your work in the future?

It’s very clearly sustainability. People around Esbjerg know how important the Wadden Sea is for the food chain, so we take very good care of the area. And fortunately, we can also see sustainability gaining ground in the business culture. We want to see more and more people focusing on sustainability and the UN’s 17 Global Goals.

At the same time, tranquillity and mindfulness are increasingly important in this busy digital age. Being able to go offline and connect with real people is becoming ever-more important for creativity and collaboration, and our area offers it all!

What is your favourite spot in Denmark?

My favourite place is definitely the area around the Wadden Sea – to watch the magical sky dance of migrating starlings (called murmuration). Wandering across the flatlands and marshes after a busy day lets you empty your mind and find inspiration in the wonders of nature.

Pia’s top 5 experiences in Esbjerg

The Wadden Sea National Park

A UNESCO World Natural Heritage site, the Wadden Sea National Park offers a world of natural experiences. You can go on ranger-guided seal watching tours, on oyster safaris, experience the murmuration of migrating starlings, and learn more at the magnificent new Wadden Sea Center.

Ribe

The oldest town in Scandinavia, Ribe is home to medieval cobbled streets and an almost 900-year-old magnificent cathedral. There are picturesque riverside restaurants and several heritage museums. Ribe is located right next to the open wetlands of the Wadden Sea National Park.

Meet the Vikings

The open-air Viking centre lets you discover recreated Viking Age settlement. Costumed interpretive staff will introduce you to ancient crafts – and challenge your inner Viking with role plays, battle shows and family activities.

Island visits

The Wadden Sea offers a chance to visit a unique archipelago. Fanø, has an age-old history and characteristic thatched seamen’s cottages and offers wide, open sandy flatlands, and Mandø is home to a unique community surrounded by sea defense.

Oil rig and wind power visits

Esbjerg is Denmark’s largest energy hub, and Esbjerg Harbour is always buzzing with activity. Experience the only place in Denmark where you can visit facilities supporting offshore gas and oil exploration as well as offshore wind farms. You can even visit an oil rig when docked for...