Success stories

Why did these conferences choose Flanders?

William Drew

William Drew, The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards

“The historic but cutting-edge city of Antwerp, and the culturally rich region of Flanders, provide a perfect setting to come together once again to celebrate great food, hospitality and a spirit of collaboration and recovery. The city and region have a strong culinary heritage and a contemporary gastronomic scene.”

Alexandra Gerard

Alexandra Gerard, Stereopsia

“With 85% of our participants coming from abroad, it was essential that our event be easy to reach. Moreover, our close ties with XR4Europe highlighted the key importance of being located in the capital of Europe and close to the European Institutions.”

Annouck Vanrompay

Annouck Van Rompaey, Future Summits

“Antwerp is a city with a rich history, a bustling economy, cultural diversity, museums, shops, and architecture. Whatever’s on your checklist, Antwerp has it. KMDA is a multi-functional convention centre with characterful meeting rooms and halls, located in the heart of the city, right next to Antwerp Central Railway station.”

Annick Schramme, Professor of Culture Management and Culture Policy, University of Antwerp/Antwerp Management School

Annick Schramme, Professor of Culture Management and Culture Policy, University of Antwerp/Antwerp Management School

“The ICCPR conference chose Flanders because of its rich history, high concentration of culture and ideal geopolitical position within Europe, also in terms of culture and cultural policy. Most European institutions are located in our region. What’s more, Antwerp was specifically chosen because of the many opportunities that the city offers with respect to cultural and social programmes. And finally, because of the strong academic reputation of our study programme and the research into art and culture.”

Maria Soledad Gaido

Maria Soledad Gaido, UNWTO World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism

“UNWTO ensures that chosen destinations are poised to lead the way towards a sustainable future for the gastronomy tourism sector. And Flanders is a destination that is leading by example. It has one of the world’s highest concentrations of top-rated restaurants. Small-scale microbreweries are emerging, young chefs are innovating in zero-waste cooking and experimenting with local ingredients. Chocolatiers are redefining the classic “bonbon” and street food is shifting from the streets to the region’s restaurants. A young, creative generation is breathing life into Flemish traditions and keeping Flemish culinary heritage alive.”

Don Keleman

Don Keleman, Innova Flanders

“Ghent’s vision and ambition to become Europe’s technology and innovation capital fits perfectly with “Make Innovation Real”, the essence of Innova conferences. So, it didn’t take long to decide to hold this edition of Innova in Ghent. And voilà, Innova Flanders was born.”

Maartje Beekman, Director CODART

Maartje Beekman, Director CODART

"As a network for museum curators of Flemish and Dutch art, we naturally have a close relationship with Flanders. The location of our conferences changes every year, but we regularly hold them in Flanders. Of course, the reopening of the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp is an excellent reason to organize our conference in the city. It will bring together more than 100 curators from all over the world. We are very much looking forward to it!"

Sofia Widmann, Founder & SEO Future Museum

Sofia Widmann, Founder & CEO Future Museum

“The re-opening of the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp brings Flanders into focus on the international museum scene. The Future Museum community will address the case of the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp and analyse it from the angle of the visitor journey and engagement of different target audiences.”

Stijn Spaepen

Stijn Spaepen, Trends in Brewing

“What better place to have a conference on the latest research and newest trends in the malting and brewing industry than in a country whose beer culture is listed as UNESCO Cultural Heritage? The 14th International Trends in Brewing symposium will take place in the vibrant historical city of Leuven, a true beer city with more than 200 breweries in a 100-km radius.”

Chantal Bisschop

Chantal Bisschop, Centre for Agricultural History

UNESCO has recognized the entire beer culture in Belgium, not the product. According to Chantal Bisschop, staff member for Intangible Heritage at the Centre for Agricultural History, this offers an opportunity for associations.

“Delegates attending a conference on beer here are immersed in a culture rather than in a technical product. They get to know the richness of the whole culture that is woven around beer here. For example, it can be interesting for associations to see how beer brewing is done. How is it done in a microbrewery or in a university lab? How is traditional knowledge about beer passed on? How do hobbyists go about their business?

Beer culture is also about how enthusiasts enjoy the beer, about the tasting. How is beer related to other intangible heritage, such as parades, a fair, a procession? For every festive occasion, a new beer is brewed here. The beer culture is enormously rich, and includes, for example, beer museums and collectors of beer mats. This allows us to put together entire programs à la carte, tailored to an association’s specific field.”

Dries Moreels, General Chair iPRES

Dries Moreels, General Chair iPRES

“Digital Archives Flanders, University of Ghent, the VRT broadcasting organization and meemoo (the Flemish Institute for Archives) joined forces to create a strong prospectus. The iPRES Steering Group was convinced by its focus on the flexible hybrid concept as well as the choice for the Bijloke site, which has all the necessary technology and facilities. In this way, the four core organizations succeeded in bringing the conference to Flanders, supported by Gent Congres. They cooperate with more than 20 organizations from the world of media, government, culture and research, which only reinforces the commitment to make iPRES 2024 a success.”

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