Successfully organising an international congress while working full-time is possible, and worthwhile!
In an interview following the 2018 EANS congress in October, Michaël Bruneau, Chair of the 18th European Congress of Neurosurgery,
M.B: clinical director at Hôpital Erasme in Brussels and visit.brussels ambassador, reveals the winning formula for a successful large-scale congress: a dedicated local committee, an attractive destination and the efficient support of the Convention Bureau’s team.
Why was Brussels chosen? What are its advantages over another destination?
M.B: A tender to host the 2018 international Congress in a country was launched by the EANS. The bid for Brussels was prepared by the BSN (Belgian Society of Neurosurgery), along with the support of visit.brussels. The bid contained many positive points and the BSN won the right to organise the Congress in Brussels for several reasons:
- Brussels can easily be reached from all over the world
- The SQUARE-BRUSSELS CONVENTION CENTRE is magnificent and perfectly located right in the city centre, within reach of all the city’s amenities
- Brussels can provide a huge range of accommodation
What was the main challenge for the 2018 edition of the Congress? How did you overcome it?
M.B: Like many committees, our concern was to attract as many neurosurgeons as possible to attend the congress. Thanks to the strong scientific content and the overall advantages of Brussels, we achieved our objective, with a satisfactorily high number of 1,700 people attending the congress.
What is your opinion on the help and support that you have received from visit.brussels?
M.B: The visit.brussels team supported us from the start and all the way through the bidding process. They not only helped us to prepare our bid, but two members of the visit.brussels team were also present during the selection meeting and actively participated in answering specific questions by members of the EANS international committee. There is no doubt that their professionalism helped the Belgian Society of Neurosurgery to win the right to organise the congress! It didn’t stop with the bidding process either! visit.brussels provided us with strong organisational, structural, promotional and financial support throughout the entire process, from preparations for the event to the end of the congress.
You are a renowned neurosurgeon and research scientist, and you have a full-time job. How easy (or difficult) was it to organise the congress?
M.B: It was indeed a huge task. The EANS team provided considerable support to the scientific committee, and AIM, the Professional Congress Organiser (PCO), provided invaluable help in terms of organisation.
Which three qualities most appeal to you about Brussels?
- Its friendliness,
- It cultural diversity
- And its very strong public transport network!