Fairytale At The Lake. Interview With The CEO Of Montreux Christmas Market

Montreux Marche de Noel is one of the biggest Christmas fairs in Switzerland. For 24 years participants at their cozy chalets, have been exposing the best products from different corners of the world at the shores of Geneva Lake. How to get involved into this colorful fairytale and what is on the agenda for the future?

SUISSEPIC had a talk with CEO of Montreux Marche de Noel, Mr. Yves Cornaro.

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SUISSEPIC: Mr. Cornaro, tell about the idea of Montreux Marche de Noёl.
Yves Cornaro: 24 years ago, some businesspersons came together and decided to create the atmosphere of Christmas here in Montreux. We began with some chalets and placed them at Grand Rue in front of the boutiques. We wanted people to pass chalets and enter the shops. That village grew becoming more and more professional. Today it is an annual attraction for more than 550,000 visitors.

SUISSEPIC: And how many chalets do you have at the market?
Yves Cornaro: This year we have 175 chalets, what makes us one of the biggest Christmas fairs in Switzerland.

SUISSEPIC: The market has been held for 24 years already. Do you have the veterans among its participants?
Yves Cornaro: We have some veterans. It is true. However, every year we change 20 chalets to let new people participate in the fair. Hence, our audience can choose new products.

“Everybody can have a chance to be at the market with a stall. The most important thing is your product. It should be the best as the competition between possible participants is big”.

Yves Cornaro

CEO of Montreux de Noёl

SUISSEPIC: How much time does it take to arrange the fair?
Yves Cornaro: 1.5 months to make the fair concrete and 1 year to develop its concept.

SUISSEPIC: How do you interact with participants from abroad?
Yves Cornaro: Usually participants come to the fair and we speak together about their products. There is also an option to claim your participation online. At the website of the market, we have a special formularie, where you may write about your offer. As we change 20 chalets every year, everybody can have a chance to be here with a stall. The most important thing is your product. It should be the best as the competition between possible participants is big. For this 20 chalets-change, we normally have 250 offers.

SUISSEPIC: Is there any Jury to take a decision?
Yves Cornaro: Yes, we have a committee to look through different proposals and say “OK”. It is a hard work to select the best among these 250 offers. However, there are five people in our Committee so we take the decision with the majority of votes.

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SUISSEPIC: Do you cooperate with other markets in Switzerland?
Yves Cornaro: We cooperate with Zurich and Basel (more with Zurich) on the matter of marketing.

SUISSEPIC: Do you recommend them any participants?
Yves Cornaro: It does not happen now but it is on agenda.

SUISSEPIC: What is your favorite place of the market?
Yves Cornaro: As I am responsible for the organization of the whole market, I would give my 100% to every corner. All places have their special atmosphere. However, the wheel is good. It is present here for 15 years.

SUISSEPIC: Concerning digitalization of the world. Are you going to create a mobile application?
Yves Cornaro: We have a very good website. We also have Wi-Fi spots at the market and we are thinking about an application concept. It should be interactive.

Of course, we work with new technologies but Christmas market is more about the things that you may touch. It is not about looking at your iPhone. It is great when you can place your iPhone into the pocket and have a glass of hot wine with your friend or enjoy a Christmas fondue.

SUISSEPIC: What is your personal wish to the visitors?
Yves Cornaro: We wish you the best for Christmas. Come here, enjoy atmosphere and we will do everything for you to become our friends.

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