For the fourth consecutive year, the UIA ranks Brussels, Belgium, as the No. 1 conference destination in Europe. As the international center for political activity, Brussels experienced an 11.3 percent increase in overnight stays for business travel last year. Thanks to high-speed trains, Brussels is less than two hours from Paris, London, Amsterdam and Cologne, and three hours from Frankfurt.
“Brussels will continue to invest in ideas and infrastructure to ensure that it stays ahead of the field. A shining example is the European Association Summit (EAS) in May 2014, organized by VisitBrussels in collaboration with its partners. Held jointly with the European Business Summit in Brussels, the EAS provides association decision-makers and operatives with an innovative opportunity to enhance the value of their organization. Outside the conferences and corridors of EU power, Brussels has maintained its local traditions and rich heritage.” —Patrick Bontinck, VisitBrussels
Brussels Expo has more than 1.2 million sq. ft. of exhibition space, two auditoriums that seat 400 and 1,860, respectively, and 13 conference rooms for up to 180 people. Square-Brussels Meeting Centre offers 139,100 sq. ft. of event space and occupies the former site of the Palais des Congres. With 38,500 sq. ft. of exhibition space, a 2,100-seat auditorium and a prime location next to the Centre for Fine Arts, the Square is a popular convention site. The Hotel provides 421 guest rooms and more than 16,000 sq. ft. of meeting space.
The capital of Belgium, Brussels remains a hot bed of meeting activity, having hosted 91 international meetings in 2016, good for a No. 23 ranking in the ICCA report. To better accommodate planners and tourists, in 2015 VisitBrussels put its popular catalog, Let’s Meet in Brussels, online in desktop, iPad and Android formats. It previously was available only in print.