Name : URSULA JONE GANDINI
Market : Italy
A total of 12 representatives of visit.brussels are present in more than 10 different countries. Every day, from their respective headquarters, our local représentative support event organisers who need tips on Brussels. In the local language(s) of course!
They are here to guide you with the organisation of your event, to let you benefit from their address book, their knowledge of Brussels, its event venues, its ambassadors and a whole host of tips and tricks…
Contact the representative who’s closest to you
Read the italian version HERE
The purpose of your role at visit.brussels:
My role is to promote and strengthen the image of the Brussels-Capital Region in Italy by involving all the players of the tourism sector: travel agencies, tour operators, networks of agencies, business agencies, incentive providers, associations and final consumers; highlighting the strengths of the city in collaboration with our Brussels partners.
In relation to the MICE sector and event planners, you are a local representative of visit.brussels for the Italian market. Could you give us a general overview of your market such as the types of events organised in your area and abroad, and the requirements that are particular to your market. What are their priorities?
In the MICE tourism sector there is a growing desire by event organisers to create unique, special and unforgettable meetings and experiences for participants. The search for non-traditional locations in which to host one's own event has therefore grown considerably.
Meeting planners, professional event organisers, associations and businesses intervene in business tourism.
In the business category, however, professional congress organisers (PCO), Destination Management companies (DMC), owners and managers of events spaces, tour operators specialised in the MICE sector, and travel agents act in order to focus on the target of companies and the Convention Bureau.
In the past, the two categories of Business tourism and Leisure tourism have always been considered as distinct from each other, but now a category of tourism is increasingly emerging: "Bleisure" tourism: The term originates from combining the words "Business" and "Leisure", and is evidence of the growing fusion of these two different types of tourism. In fact, more and more business travellers tend to want to include elements of personal leisure and knowledge of the destination in their travels, as well as leisure travellers are often looking for news, trends and information in the new destination to be used or to draw inspiration for businesses.
When an organiser comes to you about organising an event in Brussels, what are they looking for in terms of place, programme, or experience, etc.?
The professional organisers are always looking for an original location and their requests could be summarised as needing to be: unusual and overwhelming, centralisation of the event in order to avoid mass displacements, placing the hotel at the centre of their movements, full schedules but without forgetting some free time to be use as pleasure.
In your market, what image do event organisers have of Brussels?
Sadly, Brussels is often portrayed as merely a political city, ignoring the things that make it a progressive European capital. It has a problem with large entourage groups, as the larger hotels are located far from the city centre, and those within it are too small. It is also, wrongfully, known to be one of the most expensive cities. Often outside agencies ask for ways to speed up the time response for cost estimate requests, working directly with agencies in order to reduce the large number of intermediaries.
In what way do you give concrete help to organisations interested in Brussels (such as an offer, advice, or setting up a meeting)? What made them contact you?
In Italy, travel and business agencies still have a lot of importance, with both end customers and companies refering to them. My role is to organise events in order to create networking moments by inviting the various actors of leisure, business and press. In addition, I focus the event around advertising the destination by highlighting peculiarities and finally, offering the opportunity to taste the products of Brussels...
- Ursula Jone Gandini
- Based in Milano
- +32 (0)490 52 21 82
- M: +39 347 50 97 739
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