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Brussels stumps up 2m euro fund for international events

In a bid to relaunch international conferences and the events sector, Brussels is launching a fund of two million euros to entice planners to choose the European city as a future event destination.

Since March 2020, the cancellation and postponement of events has changed the face of the meetings and events industry. The industry has turned to digital events as the way forward, but as research shows, this does not replace the elements of live events such as networking and informal meetings with colleagues and suppliers.

“Brussels is ranked first in Europe and second in the world for congresses, according to the Union of International Associations (UIA ). Business tourism accounts for 52 per cent of overnight stays in the Brussels-Capital Region. It is clear that the congress and associations sector is crucial to Brussels’ economy and influence,” Rudi Vervoort, minister-president of the Brussels-Capital Region said.

“The coronavirus crisis has had a very negative impact on the latter with the cancellation of fairs and exhibitions. With visit.brussels’ relaunch plan and the creation of this support fund, we are doing everything in our power to boost the industry and support its actors. In preparation for the return of live events, Brussels is supporting new initiatives and supporting in-person meetings and conferences.”

Grants for event organisers are available until September 2020. The aim is to offer financial assistance to meeting planners with at least 200 participants and an overnight stay in Brussels. The funds needs to be funnelled into the rental payment of their event venue, whether now or in the future. A total of two million euros has been allocated, with up to 50,000 euros per event.

For more information on the grants, visit Support fund for conferences, meetings and B2B events

In numbers

  • 3 main universities, 7 university hospitals and 24 healthcare centres
  • Strong innovator: N°10 city worldwide with capacity for innovation
  • 210 venues for events with 10 to 10,000 persons; 1,237.400 sqm of convention centre space
  • 200 hotels with 20.000 bedrooms
  • 18.000 cultural events every year

(Source: Brussels Convention & Association Bureau)