Meet Véronique Cerda, Grimaldi Forum’s Sales Manager in charge of business development and relations with Monégasque customers.
The Grimaldi Forum Monaco, the Principality’s convention and cultural center, is cruising fast as Monégasque events became the priority markets for the Grimaldi Forum Monaco.
Being in charge of business development, Véronique Cerda, does an amazing job to build long-lasting relationships with Monégasque customers.
She was born and raised in Lyon, a city that is particularly dear to Véronique both culturally and gastronomically. Her academic background led her to obtain a specialised graduate degree in commerce.
“As for my professional career, it has proven to be most rewarding, allowing me to flourish in various fields. I had the opportunity to get involved in humanitarian projects in collaboration with the Red Cross, to explore the intricacies of the world of finance by working in banking, and finally to integrate the dynamic field of events,” – says Véronique.
Furthermore, she has had the privilege of gaining valuable experience in renowned companies, including General Electric and Marubeni, a leading Japanese group.
Why did you move back to Monaco?
“For the Grimaldi Forum! A great offer like this, supported by a personal desire to return to the Principality; I could not miss such an opportunity.”
What do you like the most in Monaco?
“For me, the Principality has so much to offer! Monaco is a true haven of serenity, it is distinguished in particular by its foolproof security.
Walking through its streets, you will inevitably be imbued with the indelible mark left by the couple formed by Prince Rainier III and Princess Grace of Monaco. Their aura persists, having forged the emblematic image of this city-state.
Today this heritage is carried forward with unwavering energy by Prince Albert II of Monaco, instilling unparalleled dynamism in the Principality.
Monaco thus embodies an exceptional place where history meets modernity, and offers visitors a unique experience.”
Assuming responsibility for the Monégasque market means above all evolving at the heart of a local environment, extremely diversified, and where the art of tailor-made takes on its full meaning with each client.
What do you like most in your work?
“For more than five years in this position, I immerse myself every day in enriching encounters, ranging from experienced business leaders to Ministers and Ambassadors, while exchanging with young entrepreneurs driven by emerging trends.
The Grimaldi Forum represents for me a fantastic work tool, offering an ideal backdrop to create unique events that captivate my interlocutors, even local ones. I strive to ensure that each Monégasque event becomes a story in its own right, to be built with care and passion alongside my clients.
Monaco offers fertile ground for creative minds, and exercising this role is a source of both professional and personal fulfillment for me, as it allows me to explore the many facets of this market, while forging lasting ties with Monégasque actors.”
How has Monaco changed events and business wise during the past 10 years?
“In just over 20 years, the Grimaldi Forum has established itself as a major event venue in Europe, enjoying undeniable prestige.
Today, we can be proud of a solid customer portfolio, 35% of which are loyal to our establishment.
Our occupancy rate testifies to the enthusiasm generated by our facilities, attracting 250,000 international visitors a year to events such as AMWC, Luxe Pack, Les Assises or Top Marques Monaco.”
What is the tendency you notice in the current events at the Grimaldi?
“A major trend is currently emerging, characterised by growing spontaneity among organisers.
More and more of them are making last-minute decisions, which leads us to receive an increasing number of requests for events planned for the next six months.
The Monégasque market is no exception to this development, and together with the dedicated sales team, we strive to consistently meet the needs of our customers.”
Is there any event you are waiting for that will take place at the Grimaldi?
“All the latest born and those who have successfully passed a first edition such as the Duel Reality (16-17 September 2023), ELEVATE Space & Sustainability Conference (17-19 October 2023), or the Monaco International Book Fair.”
What is your hidden passion?
“My loved ones know it well, my office has always been my “other home”, and today being Sales Manager at the Grimaldi Forum goes far beyond a simple profession for me, it is a real passion that drives me, every single day.
Among my personal activities I think of several passions, Pilates is one of them and occupies a central place in my life because it embodies for me an essential balance between body and mind. This practice allows me to find the serenity necessary to carry out my professional responsibilities.
The vital elements are invaluable and indispensable sources that allow me to regain all my energies.
Working in the heart of the Principality, and spending most of my little free time between Monaco, Ramatuelle (Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, France), and Tenerife (Spain). I particularly like Tenerife because my friends live there.
Finally, my family is an invaluable support in my personal and professional life. It is thanks to their presence and love that I consider myself a woman, a mother and recently an accomplished “young” grandmother.”
Before joining the prestigious institution of Grimaldi Forum, Véronique had the opportunity to run a business by herself for many years. Moreover, she was able to fulfill her childhood dream to go to French Polynesia.
“Throughout my life, I have taken up challenges with enthusiasm.
In 2004, I finally realised it with my two daughters by my side. And even if it meant putting my career on hold as the head of a data outsourcing company that I managed at that time with my brother, I felt perfectly fulfilled.”
In French Polynesia, Véronique realised an incredible project by opening a Kaïten Sushi restaurant.
In order to fully immerse herself in this new adventure, she took many hours of Japanese cooking lessons to excel in this unfamiliar territory.
“My journey then led me to organise an event for the presidency of the territory, a magnificent human experience which enriched me with unforgettable encounters.
With this experience, I invest myself fully in each project to make it a collective success. I am committed to seeing each event organised at the Grimaldi Forum reach its full potential.
I like to believe that my involvement contributes to creating an atmosphere of collaboration and commitment, where everyone brings their stone to the building so that events are memorable and appreciated by all!”
What is the biggest challenge in your work?
“My biggest challenge at work is to optimise the filling of the Grimaldi Forum Monaco in close collaboration with the other members of the sales team who have important markets to deal with.”
What was the best advice you ever received in life?
“I would rather quote Sir Winston Churchill: “Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.” – as he mentioned in his commencement speech at the University of Miami in 1946.”
What does Monaco miss? How would you make Monaco more attractive?
“Today, what is missing in Monaco is an additional hotel – or even two – to meet the growing needs of our customers.
This hotel expansion is of paramount importance in order to optimise occupancy, particularly in anticipation of the upcoming extension of the Grimaldi Forum, scheduled for January 2025.
The availability of new rooms would not only allow us to host more events simultaneously, but also to give major events the opportunity to grow and prosper.”
Is there anything that still impresses you in Monaco?
“What continues to impress me in Monaco is the remarkable ability of this small state to adapt, invent and constantly renew itself. Despite its size, the Principality demonstrates exceptional agility in its ability to remain dynamic and evolve according to the challenges that arise.
Another source of admiration lies in the Sovereign’s involvement in various fields and his consideration for crucial issues of our century such as sustainable development, particularly with regard to the preservation of the oceans.
HSH Prince Albert II’s personal commitment to noble causes contributes to making Monaco a model in terms of environmental responsibility.”
Since you have a deep passion towards food, Monégasque Barbaguian or Sushi?
“Sushi is undeniable! It occupies a privileged place in my culinary preferences and I particularly appreciate the quality of the products offered by MY! Monaco Sushi Bar.
Moreover, as a lover of Mediterranean cuisine, I am also a fervent admirer of the creations of Chef Marcel Ravin in his Blue Bay restaurant at Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel.”