Biennale Réseau Entreprendre - A case study with Lorraine de Fierlant

Biennale Réseau Entreprendre - A case study with Lorraine de Fierlant

A cosmopolitan, entrepreneurial, and cultural hub, Brussels has the key requisites to attract event sponsors, stakeholders and delegates from the world over

A key reason for holding a major event in Brussels is its thriving entrepreneurial community that nourishes the business and cultural landscape. Its startups, incentives and innovations are a powerful attraction for event delegates, sponsors, and stakeholders. The visit.brussels team, and other established organisations promoting entrepreneurship, play a crucial role in supporting and helping event organisers to connect with their target audiences.

Home to an increasing number of entrepreneurs, Brussels was proud to welcome the Biennale Réseau Entreprendre 2018. We caught up with Lorraine de Fierlant, Director of the Réseau Entreprendre Bruxelles for her views.

The Réseau Entreprendre is the first mentoring association for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs. Tell us more about it

This is a federation made up of 120 associations from ten different countries, and represents a community of 14,000 entrepreneurs. Our mission is to encourage SME growth and to promote job creation. Concretely, this group of business leaders helps business managers and project owners by providing free mentoring schemes customised to meet the needs of older businesses or startups.

The 2018 Bieniale Réseau Entreprendre took place in October 2018 in Brussels and attracted 1,200 entrepreneurs. That is a large number! Why do think attendance was so high?

Learning from best practices and cases studies – bridge building and connecting, how to inspire and be inspired, and interaction and networking – are what the participants were looking for. Talented and successful entrepreneurs, who are invited to share their experiences and business stories, are a strong pull, and offer powerful incentives for other entrepreneurs to succeed.

Wearing your organizer's cap, what were the decisive and practical criteria that made you choose Brussels?

Simply and in three words: accessibility, proximity, and conviviality

Your 2018 conference theme was “Architects of the Future”. From what we heard, it was a very convivial occasion. With architecture and appreciation of the Brussels atmosphere in mind, what venues would you highlight?

The main conference venue was at BOZAR, ideally located in the Horta Centre for Fine Arts in downtown Brussels. Workshops sessions took place immediately opposite, in the SQUARE-BRUSSELS CONVENTION CENTRE. Our two special evening events were held respectively at Autoworld for a buffet dinner and at Tour&Taxis for the gala and dancing.

We also shared some great informal moments at the ‘What's Up Brussels? Festival’ (an urban multicultural event of art, music, dance, fashion, sports, and food), and on special customised tours of the Art Nouveau and Art Déco collection  in the Horta Museum,  and  a surrealist exhibition of Magritte, Delvaux and others ‘Ceci n’est pas un itinéraire réaliste ...’.  We also found time to browse the antique dealers in the Sablon area and to bargain hunt in the Marolles ‘flea market’.