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BENELUX COUNTRIES

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Meet where the Council of the European Union convenes: in Luxembourg. At the same time, it's at the heart of Europe and easy to reach. And because this is a center of international politics, Luxembourg City and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg of course also boast top-ranking meeting locations.

E
verything seems to be just perfect here at the Mélia Luxemburg, and it appears as if members of the German national government, who have enjoyed staying here, would second that motion. It's for good reason that the establishment has top grades in Trip-Advisor ranking. 83 percent of the guests rate the hotel as excellent or very good. The Mélia is frequented by influential personalities; in the months of April, June and October, the Council of the European Union convenes regularly at the European Convention Center Luxembourg (ECCL) or the Kirchberg Conference Center, both within walking distance. Even politicians have to live someplace.

Patrick Hoffnung is General Manager of from 2012 as well as the Hemicycle built in 1980 to interested businesses whenever the politician community has left town. Up to 800 persons can convene at either of the two buildings. Global corporations are particularly keen on convening here, because they appreciate the unique atmosphere as well as the perfect conference technology with interpreter booths. A total of 30 break-out rooms is something not many conference centers have to offer.

The Hotel Le Royal is without any doubt the most exquisite hotel in Luxembourg – right at the center of the city. Visitors will appreciate the hotel staffs' friendly but discrete demeanor; the hotel has as many employees as it has rooms. There are nine meeting rooms, the kitchen can accommodate gala dinners for up to 400 guests. 50% of the hotel Luxembourg Congrès, the managing company of the ECCL. He can rent out the new complex dating guests are regulars. The Royal is associated to The Leading Hotels of the World alliance, which also deploys mystery shoppers to verify quality against 800 criteria.


    
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The European Convention Center Luxembourg (ECCL) is one of the most elegant congress centers in Europe.
PHOTO: LFT, ALFONSO SALGUEIRO

Morgan Gromy is been operating in the black with Luxexpo The Box, and that's something German expo operators ought to take as an example. Luxexpo offers its customers six halls and a multifunctional hall; other amenities include everything a congress center needs: conference room, banquet hall, meeting rooms, a forum and a restaurant. Exhibition area capacity is at 34,000 square meters of roofed-over space and another 45,000 sqms under the open sky.

When it comes to organizing conferences, André Vasanne in 
Luxemburg
is probably the first and foremost address. The Professional Congress Organizer (PCO) and his „Meetincs agency“ according to own statements have prospered so well because he insisted on obtaining cutting-edge technology. For quite some time, he had been the only PCO with 30 interpreter booths on stock. This kind of equipment is absolutely essential for staging the numerous international events in Luxembourg, a country so strongly characterized by multilingualism. He also has 350 table-top microphones in his arsenal; something absolutely needed at conferences with lots of interpreting work being required.

BRUSSELS: HUB FOR ASSOCIATIONS

PHOTO: VISIT BRUSSELS
PHOTO: VISIT BRUSSELS
An alliance between Singapore, Washington DC, Dubai and Brussels is designed to meet concerns arising from the internationalization of associations. Belgium‘s capital is Europe's hub for international associations and the perfect place to stage large-sized congress. The North Sea coast of Flanders has exciting venues for grand events.

When it comes to associations, the city of Brussels is second to none in Europe. For the sixth time in a row, the ranking publicized by the Union of International Associations (UIA) shows that Brussels is the first and foremost European city for association congresses. Moreover, the topical best-of list released by the International Organization for Migration identified Brussels as the world's most cosmopolitan city. Every year, some 870 scientific conferences are staged in Belgium, and Brussels lives up to its reputation as one of Europe's capitals: 255 of these associations are seated here. The European Associations Summit has been staged here already since 2013. According to statements by the organizer Visit Brussels, this summit has been established as one of the meeting industry's best get-togethers. The event's target group are senior executives in international associations.

With support by Visit Brussels and diverse professional associations, the Solvay Brussels School has instituted two degree courses: the executive master in international association management and the executive master in hotel management.

It's better to grow with competitors than against them: this insight prompted Brussels to join forces with other leading global association venues Dubai Association Center, Destination DC, and the Singapore Exhibition and Convention Bureau to found the 'Global Association Hubs Partnership'. The alliance helps international organizations to develop and to better serve their foreign members. This initiative come in response to increasing decentralization of international associations, which rotate around the world with their congresses. This 'Global Association Hubs Partnership' wants to help members grow their global membership. Visit Brussels pointed out that the city with 208 venues and 149 hotels can also host all and any kind of event by itself.

All those planners seeking unique venues will also find what they're looking for in the city's surrounding areas – for example Flanders. This region is home to most of the Dutch-speaking Belgians usually referred to as Flemings. Festive occasions with up to 600 persons might, for instance, be staged in a stilt house over the waters of the North Sea. The city of Ostend is still somewhat of an insider's tip. Leopold II., Belgian king from 1865 through 1909, had the hotel Thermae erected directly on the beach. Today, the hotel features nine function rooms, some of these with a grand view on the sea.

The city of Knokke is also worth a close look. The Hotel La Reserve with 106 rooms, five meeting rooms and a 500-sqm ballroom in former times had accommodated Marlene Dietrich and Frank Sinatra. THOMAS GRETHER
 

https://visit.brusselshttps://www.meetinflanders.com/en


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Morgan Gromy, CEO of Luxexpo The Box.
PHOTO: LUXEXPO THE BOX

"I consistently invested into new technology, selling off outdated equipment," said Vasanne. Today he's in business with conferences he organizes himself. There are 15 of these, and he stages these annual events with six employees. Most of these functions are in some way focused on finances and have an average of approximately 100 attendees. "With the exception of catering, we endeavor to provide all services ourselves," said Vasanne. This allows him to closely monitor quality and the net output is higher as well.

Another one of the Big Players in Luxembourg's meetings industry is Sales Lentz. The carrier firm with its altogether 500 vehicles operates Luxembourg's largest motor pool, most of these busses. Founded in 1948, the familyowned business is run by the two brothers Marc and Jos Sales as managing partners. Sales Lentz has a headcount of 1,300 employees; 700 of these drivers.

It isn't exactly what you would call a bargain – but it's delicious! Visitors to Luxembourg must absolutely taste the local wines – preferably of the type produced by Mathis Bastian: fresh, fruity, lively. Mathis Bastian and his daughter Anouk come from a family of Moselle-river winegrowers, and they emphasize that their wines are 'naturally produced'. He isn't fond of the word 'ecological', even though his wines would certainly be applauded by connoisseurs as elegant organic wines.  THOMAS GRETHER
 

www.eccl.lu/en

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