Montpellier is a middle-sized city in southern France, very close to the Mediterranean sea (10 km). The University of Montpellier was established in the XIIIth century.

The scientific centre has an important research activity, in particular in life sciences, agronomy and chemistry. Thanks to this scientific context, to the mild Mediterranean climate, and to its tourist facilities, Montpellier is a traditional place for important conferences. The city has a modern Congress Center, ideally situated in the town center, which can host up to 2000 persons. Montpellier-Méditerranée airport (10 km from the city centre) receives flights from Paris (15 per day), and Nice (2 per day), from which all international connections are possible. There is also one flight per day from London, and from several French cities. By train, seven daily fast trains "TGV" link Montpellier to Paris (3h30 trip).

One of the city's main objectives has been to provide a high standard of culture and first class tourist facilities; the CORUM's Opera Berlioz/Conference Hall was built as part of this policy. The CORUM is, in fact, the first purpose-built complex in Europe specifically designed to serve both as opera house and conference centre. Its size and remarkable acoustics make it a superb setting for both. Due to its sophisticated design, it can welcome over 4000 people in relaxed and comfortable conditions. On a single site, the CORUM is, in fact, a combination of three auditoriums (Berlioz seating 2010, Pasteur seating 745, and Einstein seating 318), extensive reception and exhibition areas, committee rooms, etc. It is thus the ideal centre in which to exchange new ideas, or participate in exceptional cultural events. Designed by architect Claude VASCONI, and situated in the centre of Montpellier, the CORUM is an extension to Montpellier's historic centre and its pedestrian and commercial areas.