As Brussels prepares to welcome thousands of tourists this summer, the capital of Europe is confirming its attractiveness as the city for congresses, conferences and events in Europe. This is because associations are choosing to organise their events in Brussels. The European capital has kept its place far ahead of Vienna, Paris, Madrid, London and Barcelona, according to the latest report from the Union of International Associations (UIA).
For the eighth year running, Brussels is first in Europe, according to the UIA’s annual ranking. Its ideal geographical location, the presence of an important network of associations and European institutions, a vast network of speakers nearby, places for special events, hotel infrastructure, multilingualism… the associations’ leaders are right: Brussels adds up its strengths and benefits. This choice has been reflected in its gaining first place again, according to the UIA’s European ranking.
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The fact that Brussels has confirmed its place as leading destination for associations for eight years is also because the associations benefit from the support of the Brussels-Capital region. In fact, the visit.brussels’ Convention Bureau has developed several programmes aimed at ensuring the capital’s long-term attractiveness. Organisation, marketing support, a network of ambassadors from Brussels, involvement of experts… associations are firmly supported throughout the development of their event.
The visit.brussels’ Association Bureau supports all international associations who wish to get set up in Brussels and join the 2,250 associations who are already in the capital. These associations represent a very diversified sector. Brussels offers them a special ecosystem, creating jobs with a wide international influence.
“visit.brussels has invested greatly in supporting international associations and in organising their events. They are truly part of the capital’s DNA. In this respect, in 2018 the 15 partners from the visit.brussels Convention and Association Bureau have contributed significantly to the 733 meetings of international associations held in Brussels. A big part of our 2025 strategy’s commitments is based on a deeper development of our congress and conference offer, as well as strengthening personalised services supported by international associations. They will be able to reap the benefits of the numerous connections that our experts will help with, as well as the economic developments of our region”, says Patrick Bontinck, CEO of visit.brussels.
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