Brussels announced as preferred destination for associations

For the eighth year running, Brussels is the preferred destination in Europe for association event organisers, according to the Union of International Associations’ annual ranking.

The capital of Europe has a network of more than 2,250 registered association, which represent diversified sectors.

The successful ranking is based on a number of factors, including its ideal geographical location, the presence of an important network of associations and European institutions, a network of speakers nearby, venues for special events, hotel infrastructure and a high level of multilingualism.

“ has invested greatly in supporting international associations and in organising their events. They are truly part of the capital’s DNA,” said Patrick Bontinck, CEO of

“In this respect, in 2018 the partners form the Convention and Association Bureau contributed significantly to the 733 meetings of international associations held in Brussels. A big part of our 2025 strategy’s commitments is based on a deeper development of our congress and conference offer, as well as strengthening personalised services supported by international associations,” he added.

“They will be able to reap the benefits of the numerous connections that our expert will help with as well as the economic development of our region.”

Helping to strengthen Brussels’ association meetings reputation is the ESAE’s (European Association of Association Executives) Strategic Plan for 2019-2021, which launched in June.

The plan implants the vision and sets the foundation for ESAE to uphold Brussels’ position as the leading pan-European network of association leaders and the referenced knowledge source on association management, leadership and governance.

ESAE connects European association leaders and executives, supports their professional development and establishes effectiveness and professionalisation of the sector.

ESAE’s program manager, Ioannis Pallas said: “We are glad to count on’ extensive know-how in helping understand better and connect with association leaders from different sectors.

“Working with their extremely knowledgeable staff is a valuable practice in ESAE’s way forward to extend our outreach and provide high-quality, bottom-up services to our members.”

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