Things happen in Brussels! There’s always a buzz. Not just because it’s the capital of 500 million Europeans and political decisions are made here, but also because Brussels offers you an exciting cultural, artistic and social scene... at sensible prices. All in a city with historical beauty and a multicultural soul. No wonder Brussels is the n°1 destination for congresses in Europe...
1) Brussels: Capital of 500 million Europeans for meetings & conventions
For the third consecutive year, Brussels was ranked Europe’s n°1 destination for congresses and meetings in 2012*. While many meeting organizers choose Europe’s capital city for its outstanding infrastructure, facilities and services, there is another defining reason for Brussels’ popularity: the help and services provided to organizers and delegates by visit.brussels, the convention bureau.
* Union of International Associations
2) EXPECT You are in Europe’s decision-making capital
Brussels is no ordinary convention city. We host the European Commission, the European Parliament and all the other important EU institutions, representing more than 500 million Europeans from all the member states. More than 1,000 press correspondents and the world’s largest lobbying industry have also made their home here. This makes Brussels a unique environment for your meeting – close to decision makers and their staff, in the heart of Europe. It is no exaggeration to claim: “If you want to be heard…say it in Brussels”!
3) CREATE In a city of research and science
Brussels is home to hundreds of international headquarters of scientific organisations and corporations, from healthcare multinationals and research centres to chemical associations and energy producers. The city region also boasts four research parks and six technological incubators. Three innovative areas of excellence stand out: information & communication technologies (ICT); healthcare, including biotechnologies and medical equipment; and environmental technologies.
With four universities, seven university hospitals and numerous post-graduate institutions, the city maintains a close partnership between universities and industry. More than 13,000 people are involved in scientific R&D, including 9,000 researchers. To help maintain this innovative profile, Brussels offers a full support programme for scientific congresses in the city, including generous pre-financing and subsidies.
4) COME Brussels has such easy access
Brussels has superb air, road and rail connections, right in the heart of Europe. More than 60 million people live within 300 km of the city: Paris is less than one and a half hour away by high-speed rail; London, Cologne and Amsterdam just two. If you fly in, it will take you only 20 minutes by train from the airport to the city centre.
When you have arrived, it’s easy to move around our compact city by tram, bus, metro, or on foot. Most places are within walking distance or a short ride away. Step out of your hotel and the chances are you’ll find shops, restaurants, places of interest and nightlife, all within a short stroll.
5) DISCOVER Creativity, arts and culture in the heart of Europe
Theatre and shows, music and dance, art and exhibitions, ... Brussels is a non-stop creative experience with abundance and choice. Enjoy world-class opera and music in the splendid La Monnaie/De Munt theatre that goes back 300 years ... and see the arts in a new light at the BOZAR fine arts centre. The Brussels agenda is also packed with festivals, events and surprises, whatever time of year you come. Indoors, the city offers you dozens of fine museums and exhibitions; outdoors, you can join a folklore festival, browse a street market or take in a garden concert. And later, perhaps you’ll fancy dinner on a tram while you tour the city? In Brussels you can.
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6) FEEL AT HOME Enjoy our multicultural understanding
Everybody is welcome in Brussels. It’s a truly cosmopolitan city with place for all languages and cultures. Unsurprisingly Brussels ranks top in Europe for number of languages spoken. The growth of EU institutions and international organisations has enriched this multi-culture, creating a melting pot of nationalities, ideas and ways of life where everyone feels at home. It has also created an easy-to-access body of professional translators and interpreters (in all 24 official EU languages) that no other city can match.
7) IMAGINE An unlimited selection of venues
From Europe’s most centrally-located meeting complex, SQUARE- Brussels Meeting Centre, to the huge Brussels Expo complex to the north of the city, Brussels offers you an amazing variety of meeting and event venues of all types for groups from 10 to 10,000. Historical, quirky, Art Nouveau, post-industrial, design, academic, ultra-modern, ... there’s no end of choice. Why not try the world’s most surprising meeting place high up in the Atomium? Or a meeting room bisected by a river, for extra inspiration? Or maybe rent your own chateau?
Most of our venues are within walking distance of hotels. All of them offer easy access to transport, leisure and the city centre.
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8) CARE Working for a sustainable meeting industry
As an international city with more than 60,000 registered meetings a year, Brussels is playing a leading role in the organisation of sustainable meetings and events:
- voted Europe’s n°1 city for its environmental policy
- has its own city eco-label, encouraging all players in the meeting industry to adopt sustainable practices;
- particular attention is paid to participatory tourism;
- promotes social legacy programmes;
- creates sustainable districts (including Tour & Taxis project, exhibition area and European district);
- a new mobility centre promotes sustainable mobility;
- and as Europe’s leading terminal for international high-speed trains, Brussels is a greener destination to travel to.
…In nature’s eyes, Brussels is already the greenest capital in Europe, with more than 27 m² of green space per resident.
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9) SAVOUR Brussels art de vivre
The taste of Brussels! With its fine food and eclectic choice of restaurants, Brussels has long been a favourite destination for food lovers. Congress delegates can also enjoy this high quality in their on-site catering and, after the meeting, in a local speciality or one of the hundreds of beers brewed in the area. And of course there’s those famous chocolates that we all love to take back home. The inviting shops and charming historical city centre add to this experience, giving visitors a memorable taste of Brussels’ quality of life.
Outside the institutions of modern Brussels, the city has maintained its local traditions and rich heritage - like the comic strip art, Surrealism, folklore and Art Nouveau that colour the city. People enjoy living here, and it shows. That’s why there is a layback ambience of good humour and tolerance flowing through the city.
10) OPTIMIZE With our free advisory service
visit.brussels is the official Convention and Visitors Bureau of the Brussels-Capital Region. Our approach is to listen carefully to you, understand your objectives, and then give you the services you need to achieve your goals. From your first request for information through to your event’s closing speech, the visit.brussels team will accompany you with professional and proactive help. Because our mission is always to make your event as successful as it can possibly be.
Upfront we can help you select your accommodation and then pre-book with advantageous rates and conditions through the Brussels Booking Desk, an accommodation booking service attached to visit.brussels. And good news for large congresses: block allocations of up to 4,000 rooms are now available.
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