Five forward-looking sectors to attract new events in Brussels

Surprises you would never have guessed at are coming soon! 

Evolving industries from life sciences to media are emerging from the shadows. They are creating new demands and making Brussels the go-to place for exciting new meetings and events in these sectors.

Focus on nurturing perspectives …

We recently exchanged views with Elisabeth Van Ingelgem, the Director of the Convention and Association Bureau at Naturally the conversation veered towards the future of the MICE industry in our city.

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“Our mission is to attract conventions to Brussels. A very good way to do so is to foster and promote entrepreneurship in innovative Belgium’s fast-growing industry sectors. They contribute exponentially to the development of Brussels as a MICE destination on the international scene” says Elisabeth.

 BSV: We have heard that the science industry, and you as the authority representing the city, will cooperate more closely than ever before. Correct?

 Elisabeth: Yes, indeed. Whether they’re start-up developers and aspiring entrepreneurs, scientists and researchers in hospitals, academics, mid-size and larger companies, or international associations, keeping up with today’s rapidly changing professional world is a must. With our specific task force, we help these curated sectors in Belgium move into the spotlight on the international scene by attracting existing congresses and conferences in their fields here, in our capital city. 

 BSV:  Concretely, how do you do that?

 Elisabeth: Well, we work upstream. Preliminary research, analysis and benchmarking are all important and systematic methodologies for identifying possible activity sectors, their potential “ambassadors”, and existing international events in these fields. 

After that, we knock on the doors in Brussels and around: we initiate contact with decision-makers and influencers in (our future ambassadors), and we propose our help to boost the visibility of their sector and work on the international scene by attracting existing events in their area of expertise. 

 BSV:  What if no event exists yet?

  Elisabeth: If no international event yet exists in their branch, and when there is room and opportunity, we sometimes go even further. We support them in the co-creation of new international business events in their field.

  BSV: So this means that you have to adapt to their needs and understand their fields and innovations?  

 Elisabeth: They aim at contributing to broader scientific research in their field. But they lack time and funding. So we provide exactly what they need by grouping policy stakeholders, offering best practices in destination management, and putting them in touch with the Brussels’ MICE industry venues and suppliers. We show them how the different parties fit together, so that they can focus on their event’s theme and content selection.

  BSV: Can you tell us what sectors are in our DNA? What are the fields that represent these current and future conferences and congresses in our capital?

 Elisabeth: Sure. Events see the light of day in Brussels in different main sectors: life sciences and bio-pharmaceuticals, ICT and technology, green and clean technologies, creative industries, and media and business services. We’ve got some incredible talents in these fields and we are fortunate to make our city shine on the international scene through these sectors.

  BSV: We love examples. Can you give us recent examples? 

 Elisabeth:  Concretely, our team has facilitated the organisation of the following events in Brussels:

  • Technology & ICT: IAPP Europe Data Protection Congress 2016
  • Life sciences & biopharma: ESOT(European Society for Organ Transplantation) Congress 2015
  • Technology & ICT: IAPP Europe Data Protection Congress 2016
  • Creative Industry & Media: The annual Art Brussels contemporary art fair
  • Green & Clean tech: The Annual Green Week
  • Capital & Business services: Congrès de l’Ordre des experts-comptables 2016

But these are just a few examples, and we won’t stop here. If you want to know more about our “ambassadors” and partners who, over the past three years, have contributed exponentially to propagating and supporting Brussels as an international MICE destination, read this press article

You too? Looking for event support in Brussels or venue guidance to help make meaningful and successful decisions?

We are offering you experience and free, objective services:

Contact Elisabeth Van Ingelgem, Director of the Convention and Association Bureau at  

Contact Heidi Martens, Office & PR Manager at Brussels Special Venues