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BRUSSELS Full of GOOD ideas for events in the heart of Europe

A Meetings & Incentive Travel special supplement

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© Christophe Licoppe ® Olivier van de Kerchove

Welcome

Bienvenue à Bruxelles – Welcome to Brussels!

ce

Grand’Pla

© M. Zunini

Dear event planner, The capital of Europe extends a warm invitation to you! Come and experience the hospitality and international openness of the metropolis at the heart of Europe. You and your guests will find everything here that you need for a pleasant stay: contemporary convention centres with state-of-the-art meeting technology, a range of hotels to suit all pockets and event locations offering individual flair and style. All this and culture galore, excellent gastronomy and lively nightlife in the very heart of the city. There are good reasons why Brussels is the most popular city in Europe for conferences and, indeed, ranked number two in the world. With 60,000 events per year, the capital of the European Union really is a first-class events venue. Its quaint historic old town, many High quality of living in a cultural sights – including the Grand’Place, the the Royal Museums of Fine Arts and, multicultural environment Atomium, of course, the European district – help the city to attract more than three million visitors to Small but perfectly formed events every year. Enjoy all that this diverse city has to offer and ensure your event is an unforgettable experience for your attendees. The city is so compact that venues, hotels and meeting locations are likely to be within walking distance. And an inspiring array of unusual locations – both traditional and contemporary – help turn every occasion into something truly special. When planning, organising and running your event, you will enjoy every possible support. The industry suppliers found in this supplement all have the experience and know-how to help you every step of the way.

Brussels Quick and easy to reach

© Marcel Vanhulst

© OPT – Alessandra Petrosino

Stylish event locations

Cover images: © iStock Photography; J.P.Remy 2010; O. Van de Kerchove; Eric Danhier; Hakuna Matata; MRBC / MBHG Marcel Vanhulst

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At the heart of Europe

Contact Philippe Maree Meeting & incentive manager Belgian Tourist Office Convention Bureau Brussels & Wallonia 217 Marsh Wall, London E14 9FJ Tel : 020 7531 0391 Email: trade@belgiumtheplaceto.be www.meetingpointbelgium.be

Getting here

quickly

T

he city at the heart of Europe enjoys an outstanding location. More than 500 million Europeans live within three hours’ flying time of Brussels. More than 70 international airlines serve Brussels International Airport, one of the most active and extensive airports in Europe. Brussels Airlines alone operates to more than 60 destinations in Europe and Africa and has just added a daily service from Brussels to New York. From the UK, Brussels Airlines operates more than 112 weekly flights to Brussels from London Heathrow, Manchester, Newcastle, Bristol and Birmingham. Brussels Airlines is a Star Alliance member airline and offers the incentive and meetings market the Star Alliance Conference Plus programme and the Brussels Airlines Official Carrier Programme. The Media on Board programme offers assistance and discounts for groups or travellers carrying excess luggage such as orchestras, sports groups and exhibition organisers. See

more information at www.miles-and-more.com and www.brussels airlines.com. Once you land at Brussels airport, the 14 km journey to the city centre takes just 25 minutes by train or taxi. The Airport City Express runs four times an hour between the airport and Brussels Nord, Central and Midi train stations. Brussels is also the main hub for European high-speed trains. Eurostar offers fast and frequent services Many roads lead to Brussels from the UK The European metropolis straight into is accessible from 66 countries the city centre. ICE, Thalys and the TGV will also whisk you straight into the city centre from Germany, France and the Netherlands. The public transport network (www.stib.be) is extensive and offers good value for money.

Let’s meet! and 200 European and international locations

When planning and preparing events in Brussels, the following annually updated publications offer a useful source of suggestions, ideas and handy information: Let’s meet in Brussels 2012 The handbook for all planners and organisers

Pro Book 2012 Stylish living, culture, events and other helpful tips for short breaks and events in Brussels Brussels – Your Incentives Ideas for programmes in Europe’s capital city Simply order free of charge or look up further tips and information at: www. meetingpointbelgium.be or www.visitbrussels.be

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The St Hubert Gallery © Marcel Vanhulst

Quality of life

Europe’s metropolis Brussels is an exciting city to visit. It is the capital of Europe, where people love to get together for meetings and to party

is the Brussels Capital

Chips and chocolates Think of Brussels and it’s not long before you conjure up images of freshly cooked chips. Belgium is the home of the chip or ‘pommes frites’. A bag of tasty, steaming chips can be bought on every street corner and is a difficult snack to beat! Combine them with freshly caught mussels – the national

showing off on a

gastronomy tour

Southern flair Brussels has a southern European feel. The people speak French and Dutch and understand what makes for a good quality of life. Countless cosy Art Nouveau cafés, like the Falstaff near the Bourse, are the perfect places

that ranges from café

to cool trend-setting locations to haute cuisine.

Sheraton © Starwood

www.brusselicious.be

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Comics, art and Art Nouveau From Art Nouveau to Magritte to Tintin and Snowy, this cultural metropolis offers insights into the eras of art and style from past to present. The Mont des Arts contains many museums, which also cater for events for up to 200 people. The biggest tourist magnet is the Magritte Museum (www.musee-magrittemuseum.be). It has 200 astonishing works by

Starwood Hotels Brussels

With five hotels offering an ideal combination in the city centre, Starwood Hotels of Brussels are stylistically and technically diverse enough to offer lots of different options for events of all types and sizes. Just a few steps away from the Grand’Place and The Square stands Le Méridien Brussels, with 224 rooms and suites and 18 conference rooms accommodating up to 200 guests. The Aloft Brussels Schuman in the European district offers 147 rooms and 145 sqm of meeting space, while the Sheraton Brussels Hotel in the Rogier district has 511 rooms and 19 conference rooms. The Four Points by Sheraton Brussels, with 128 rooms and 100 sqm of event space arranged across threee meeting rooms, lies in the Louise district, close to the luxury shopping mile. The Sheraton Brussels Airport offers 294 bedrooms and 23 conference rooms only 39 steps from the airport entrance. Whether for meetings, seminars, conferences or conventions, banquets or other special events, this wide choice means that whatever your event requirements, you can be sure of finding the ideal venue, with the guarantee of quality, comfort, service, professionalism and hospitality you know you can rely on with Starwood. www.starwoodbrussels.com

the world-famous Brussels surrealist on display. The Royal Museums of Fine Arts (www. fine-arts-museum.be) are a further delight for art lovers. Here you can hold a cocktail reception for up to 700 people, or a conference for up to 650 delegates, in the magical atmosphere created by being surrounded by works of art dating from the 14th century up to the present day. The BELvue Museum (www.belvue.be), a former residence of the nobility, offers visitors intriguing insights into Belgium’s history. It has small elegant salons for up to 50 people available for events. Nearby, the remains of a 12th-century palace lend themselves perfectly to staging events for up to 200 guests in a medieval atmosphere. The Belgian Comic Centre (www.cbbd.be) welcomes almost 200,000 visitors a year. It is housed in an Art Nouveau masterpiece, designed by Victor Horta in 1906, and its gallery spaces of more than 4,000 sqm display everything to do with comics. It is also an ideal and memorable setting for events. The ‘Tintin and Snowy’ and ‘Walks through Brussels’ exhibitions are particularly well worth including in a programme.

© Brussels Gewest

Brusselicious 2012

Discover Belgium’s beers Another of Belgium’s great products is of course beer. Justly famous for its vast array of different beers, pay a visit to the Cantillon Museum Brewery and enjoy a Gueuze, a special beer which can only be brewed using a unique process found in Brussels and the surrounding area. And of course you can visit one of the many intimate beer houses or cafés to sample cask and bottled beers across the whole spectrum from pale to dark.

Petit Sablon Square © Olivier van de Kerchove

Restaurants and cafés There is something here to tickle everyone’s palate. Belgian cuisine is very similar to French, and Brussels’ almost 2,000 restaurants afford ample opportunities to explore it. Culinary tradition also underpins the modern dining style, which is infused with creativity and freshness.

dish – and they make a real treat. And then there’s the chocolate. Whether you simply want to taste and enjoy the exquisite creations or watch a chocolatier practising their craft to learn more about the art, chocolate-lovers will be in heaven! And there are lots of opportunities for group activities connected with chocolate – making, tasting or simply as very welcome pillow-gifts

Petit Sablon © Emmanuel Mathez

to enjoy a pleasant hour or so. The street signs are bilingual and the mind-set of the true Bruxellois is casual and relaxed. The city offers an atmosphere of wellbeing with its extensive parks acting as the city’s green lungs. Restaurants span the whole gamut from trendy to refined, offering endless opportunities to enjoy typical Belgian and international delicacies.

© OPT JP Remy

B

russels’ 19 municipalities are home to around a million people and form what is known as the ‘Brussels Capital Region’. This is where two linguistic and cultural communities meet and engage. Brussels really does have something for everyone: a broad programme of cultural events, festivals and celebrations, glorious squares to dream and linger in, high-end gastronomy and sophisticated shopping malls provide oodles of choice. Art and culture are highly prized in Europe’s capital city, while at the same time, bilingual Brussels, the capital and administrative centre of Belgium, captivates its visitors with its relaxed friendliness and openness to the world, with people from every nation feeling at home. Region’s way of

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© WBT – Eike Dubois

© Carrefour de l’Europe

© Brussels Marriott

Heart of the city

Marriott

In the city centre, just a five – minute walk from the Grand’Place, stands the Brussels Marriott Hotel on rue Auguste Orts. This majestic downtown hotel is built on a former island in the river and offers luxurious rooms in an atmosphere steeped in history. The splendidly appointed bedrooms feature the new, legendary Marriott comfort bed with designer bed linen, down comforters and super-soft pillows, so every guest can look forward to a heavenly night’s sleep. Business travellers can sit at their large work desk and keep in touch with the world thanks to superfast internet connections. The Midtown Bar & Grill specialises in juicy steaks, chops, fish dishes and seafood. The luxury hotel’s 630 sqm lobby is one of the most stylish in the city, and can be used for events. www.marriottbrussels.com

Convention districts accessible on foot Brussels is the city of the short stroll! Welcome to the heart of Europe – the world’s meeting place. Hosting more than 60,000 events every year, the capital of the European Union is a central meeting point in both international and national terms. More than 1,700 associations are based in the city. Where else could rival this city as the ideal spot for cultural exchanges and international understanding? The suppliers included here would like to extend a warm invitation to you to take a look around their lovable city. Starting at the heart of the city, the districts of Bourse-Dansaert, Rogier, Botanique, Mont des Arts, Sablon, Marolles and Midi radiate clockwise round the Grand’Place, Europe’s most beautiful square. The Mont des Arts, Rogier and Louise convention districts merge directly with the centre. One thing that event planners particularly value is that all the important locations and tourist sights are clustered within two kilometres and an easy walking distance vi June 2012 Brussels l Wallonia

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of each other. This means that participants can be downtown within a few minutes of leaving their meeting or conference, enjoying the hustle and bustle, shopping to their hearts’ content, strolling, gazing, sampling the city’s specialities and discovering the wide-ranging cultural opportunities at their leisure. Because of its compact size, coupled with its wealth of event locations, hotels and restaurants, plus the wide range of entertainment opportunities, it is truly the perfect convention city. The Brussels Booking Desk – negotiating rates on your behalf From internationally-renowned five-star luxury to small, charming family-run hotels and youth hostels, Brussels has 156 hotels with 20,000 rooms, meaning that the city at the heart of Europe can offer tailor-made programmes for every budget and size. The Brussels Booking Desk can negotiate rates on behalf of event organisers whether it’s at one of the 11 luxury five-star hotels,

50 four-star properties or the 6,000 rooms available in the 66 three-star hotels. For low-budget events there are a further 1,100 rooms in 42 two-star hotels available. Probably the most beautiful square in the world The small but exquisite historic city centre is where the action is concentrated. Starting from the Grand’Place, which has UNESCO World Heritage status, all of the major tourist attractions, traditional and contemporary pavement cafés, restaurants and hotels – there are 1,200 hotel rooms in this neighbourhood alone – are within easy reach. People meet in a relaxed café or chic restaurant, chatting in a multitude of languages and generally enjoying life in this friendly city. The main hotels and venues around the Grand’Place include the Royal Windsor, the Radisson Blu Royal, the Brussels Marriott, the Novotel Off Grand’Place, the Dominican and the Café du Vaudeville.

Hotel Bloom!

The ultra-modern Hotel Bloom! stands on rue Royale and offers 305 rooms in sizes L to XXL plus 12 meeting rooms, including a great hall covering 433 sqm, which can cater for events for up to 300 participants. This designer hotel is a perfect choice for delegates at meetings. Its airy, bright interior is ideally suited for holding meetings successfully and effectively. There is everything on tap including wake-up coffee and ‘Boost breaks’ to help guests to concentrate. The completely open meeting lounge in the hotel lobby offers room for networking during meal breaks, which are offered with original and creative themes. The dishes and drinks available are carefully selected to strengthen the body while delivering energy and all the vitamins required to aid creative thinking and hard work. www.hotelbloom.com

© Olivier Pirard

Restaurant La Roue d’Or

The Best Western hotel group has ten properties in Brussels. Just a short distance from the historic old town and Grand’Place, Best Western’s four-star flagship, the Best Western Premier Carrefour de l’Europe, offers 64 rooms and nine meeting rooms which can accommodate up to 180 people. On rue Royale, the group operates the 73-room Best Western Hotel Royal Centre. Here the Salle Royale can host meetings of up to 25 people. The Best Western City Centre Brussels provides a little haven of peace and quiet in a top-quality location and 49 rooms. The Lobby Bar Lounge is open 24 hours a day and serves prize-winning Belgian beers. To the east of the Parc du Cinquantenaire, the Best Western Premier Park Hotel Brussels offers 54 rooms within easy reach of the European Parliament. This four-star establishment dates back to 1903 and is ideal for meetings of up to 120 people. Other properties include the 101-room Best Western Country House Hotel on square des Héros, the Best Western Premier HNA Sodohotel La Woluwe on avenue Mounier with 126 rooms, the 41-room Best Western Hotel Brussels on the E40 and the Best Western Hotel Expo in Heysel, which has 49 rooms. www.bestwestern.be/business

© James Stokes

Best Western

The Dominican

At the intersection of rue du Fossé aux Loups and rue Léopold stands The Dominican, the first establishment of the Design Hotels Group in Brussels. Behind the Théâtre de la Monnaie, this luxury hotel and former Dominican monastery was also once the home of the great French painter Jacques-Louis David, who died here in 1825. Thanks to a group of famous architects, the original architecture has been preserved and married perfectly with the new building and incorporates many a modern twist. The Dominican offers 150 stylish bedrooms and three multi-purpose meeting rooms. Guests can dine in the hotel’s inner courtyard, the Grand Lounge restaurant and the Lounge Bar. www.thedominican.be

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The Royal Windsor Hotel Grand’Place enjoys an excellent reputation as a classic five-star hotel, successfully marrying business and pleasure. It offers 267 elegant rooms, including 16 impressive suites and the recently opened ‘Grand Place Suite’ penthouse. The rooms are spread over six floors. Portuguese marble bathrooms, fluffy bathrobes and luxury toiletries make for a stylish experience. For business meetings, there are 15 soundproof seminar rooms with natural daylight and seating capacity for up to 200. On the ground floor, a Business Centre as well as the Salon Warwick and nine meeting rooms offer ultra-modern technology for 10 to 30 people. www.royalwindsorbrussels.com

Radisson Blu Royal Hotel

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© Mehmet Ozcan/iStockphoto.com

Hotel Le Plaza Brussels

© Le Plaza

Hotel Crowne Plaza Brussels – Le Palace is a wonderful four-star hotel with 354 rooms. It is ideally located on the Place Rogier in the heart of Brussels. The location is ideal for exploring the city and the main shopping area is adjacent to the hotel. When guests return from a busy day, they appreciate the cosy atmosphere, quality of service and legendary hospitality of the Hotel Crown Plaza Brussels. The hotel is just five minutes from North station, 12 minutes from Midi station (Thalys and Eurostar) and 12km from Brussels Airport. The European Commission and European Parliament are situated ten minutes away and NATO headquarters is 10km away. There is also an underground station just two minutes away so public transport is also easily accessible. Crowne Plaza Brussels – Le Palace – truly inspirational! www.crowneplazabrussels.be

The Radisson Blu Royal Hotel is located in the very heart of Brussels and offers 281 bedrooms in different styles. Concentrated mainly on the first floor around the impressive atrium with natural daylight, the 15 meeting rooms are newly equipped and offer free, unlimited wi-fi. The unique structure of the spectacular atrium is home to the Sea Grill Restaurant, which boasts two Michelin stars, and the Atrium restaurant, both ideal for a Belgian experience under the impressive glass roof. This was also the first hotel in the city to be Green Key certified for its environmental efforts. www.radissonblu.com/royalhotel-brussels

The Husa President Park has 297 inviting, freshly renovated rooms and suites. The 17 meeting rooms spread over three floors can accommodate events with up to 550 participants. The venue can also stage motor shows. The rooms on the ground floor have direct street access. The cheerful Spanish/ Belgian bar and the restaurant, ‘Le Jardin de St-Roch’, with its views on to the private garden, offer guests a place to kick back in the very heart of Brussels. With four different room types, this four-star hotel offers wooden floors, which provide a pleasantly relaxed ambience, perfectly complemented by the warm colours of the wooden furniture and textiles. Baths with high-pressure rain showers help guests to unwind, while the lucky visitor will enjoy the luxurious 150 sqm Presidential Suite, designed in an elegant English style with its own kitchen. The restaurant is open every day from 6.30 am, and can also handle events for up to 120 guests. www.husapresidentpark.com © Novotel Grand Place

© Pirard

Husa President Park

Hotel Crowne Plaza Brussels – Le Palace

Grand’Place

© Husa President Park

© Royal Windsor

Royal Windsor

© Radisson Blu Royal

Close to Grand’Place

Ideally located in the heart of the city centre, Hotel Le Plaza will make your stay an extraordinary experience. It boasts 190 rooms and suites on seven floors including a 340 sqm Presidential Suite, the biggest in the Benelux! The hotel’s theatre is the perfect place to organise receptions, gala dinners, conferences or concerts and can welcome up to 800 people. As an independent hotel, its nine conference rooms are very flexible, recently renovated and equipped with the most modern and efficient equipment. The largest room can accommodate 350 delegates and others can accommodate 300, 120, 40, 20 and 16 each. Stars, politicians and other famous people have graced Le Plaza since it opened in1930 and it’s the only hotel to be the Belgian Royal Warrant Holder. The restaurant l’Esterel offers dishes composed by Olivier Bontemps, ‘Maître cuisinier de Belgique’. On the ecological side, Hotel Le Plaza has been awarded a second star by the Belgian Institute for Environmental Management. The hotel’s philosophy and high levels of service have one aim in mind: to meet the guest’s expectations and go beyond. www.leplaza-brussels.be

Novotel

The four-star Novotel Brussels off Grand’Place is located in the heart of Brussels close to Le Square. The hotel has 138 rooms and the Foodsquare Bar & Brasserie, all in a chic, modern design. The Novotel Brussels Centre Tour Noire, refurbished in September 2011, has 217 rooms and a conference centre with 16 meeting rooms, including one with 215 sqm of space. Guests can relax in the Aqua Health Centre, with its fitness room, jet stream pool, hammam and Jacuzzi. The hotel is located in the lively Place Sainte Catherine district, just 800m from the Grand’Place. The trendy Foodsquare Bar & Brasserie with terrace is a delightful place to enjoy a beer. Free wi-fi is available in both hotels. www.accorhotels.com www.novotel.com

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© Eric Danhier

© Filip Dujardin

Le Boeuf is ranked as one of the world’s five best concert halls. The Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) (www.mim.be) is another gem on the Mont des Arts. It is housed in the glorious Art Nouveau-style Old England store, and holds one of the largest collections of musical instruments in the world. Its four floors of exhibition space display almost 7,000 old and contemporary instruments. On the fifth floor is a concert hall, with 200 seats arranged in a half-circle round the stage. This amphitheatre style fosters a feeling of community, making it the ideal setting for kick-off events and award ceremonies. The convention district The Convention District Rogier, known as Brussels’ ‘New Manhattan’, offers opportunities to hold high-concentration meetings between skyscrapers and venerable old buildings. Place Rogier offers 2,300 hotel rooms and two conference centres, each offering more than 1,000 sqm of event space. This is the location of the Crowne Plaza Le Palace, the Thon City Hotel and, quite close by, the Hotel Le Plaza, as well as designer hotels like the Hotel BlOOM! and the modern Husa President Park. Not far from Place Rogier stands Tour & Taxis (www.tour-taxis.com), the old freight and customs centre alongside the Brussels Canal which has been converted into a venue for fairs and events. With its original ‘saw-blade roofs’ and some astonishing architecture, it positively oozes industrial chic. The warehouses extend to 17,410 sqm and are split into four large multi-purpose areas. The catacombs offer a further 7,000 sqm.

Square – Brussels Meeting Centre SQUARE – Brussels meeting centre is the EU capital’s new convention centre, operated by GL events. Its architecture is both alluring and amazing. With 13,000 sqm of space available, its infrastructure is perfectly suited for all kinds of events, whether international conferences, European summits, product launches or business meetings, company parties, gala dinners, fashion shows or film screenings. It boasts four auditoria (Gold: 1,200; Copper Hall: 500; Silver: 300 and Arc: 140 seats), 23 conference rooms with seating for up to 252 and a modular area of 3,650 sqm for receptions, shows, dinners and trade fairs. Together with the adjoining Bozar, the convention centre in the Henry Le Boeuf hall provides space for 2,100 guests. www.square-brussels.com

© Eric Danhier

© Tour & Taxis

Artists and conferences welcome On the Mont des Arts or Arts Mountain, just a ten-minute walk from the Grand’Place, event planners and art lovers alike will find themselves in the ideal spot. Integrated into the city centre and within easy reach of countless palaces as well as the Royal Museums stands the SQUARE – Brussels meeting centre (www.square-brussels.com). The building stands close to the main railway station at Bruxelles-Central, and the interior of the complex displays authentic wall paintings by famous Belgian artists including Magritte, Delvaux and Van Lint. Special attention has been lavished on the multimedia equipment, environmental sustainability and security. Its auditoria, seating 1,200, 500 and 300 people, a multi-purpose hall of 4,000 sqm and a large number of meeting rooms with natural daylight make this an attractive meeting location for your clients. An exclusive event room on the top floor offers a breathtaking panorama over the city of Brussels. Not very far from here, meeting planners will find the Bozar (www.bozar.be), which is linked to the SQUARE via a walkway. A masterpiece of Art Deco design by Victor Horta, the Palais des Beaux Arts is a jewel in the city’s crown. It houses exhibition spaces, theatres and the Henry Le Boeuf concert hall, which has been expanded to accommodate modern multimedia rooms. Particularly appealing to lovers of the fine arts, the Palace is renowned as a centre for international cultural and artistic events. More than 250 chamber and symphony concerts are held here, along with exhibitions and contemporary theatre and dance, plus talks by writers and film-makers. The Henry

© Jerôme Latteur

© Marcel Vanhulst

Tour & Taxis, old freight and customs centre

Bozar, Palais des Beaux-Arts

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Musical Instrument Museum

Mont des Arts

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© iStockphoto.com

© Oliver Knight

famous landmarkS

Around the Atomium Another major meeting point is the Brussels Expo (www.brusselsexpo.com) complex in the north-west of the city. This is easily accessible by Metro from the Convention District Rogier, and brings together impressive Art Deco architecture and excellent facilities. This is also the location of the King Baudouin Stadium, Mini-Europe (www.mini-europe.eu) and Belgium’s national monument, the Atomium (www.atomium.be). Some 120,000 sqm of exhibition space is divided into 12 halls for conventions, product launches, corporate meetings, incentives, exhibitions and fairs. The largest auditorium can seat 1,860 people, with another providing space for 400. There are 13 conference rooms seating from 50 to 180. Meeting in Brussels Brussels is Europe’s top convention destination for the second year running and number two in the world. In fact, the latest figures from The Union of International Associations for 2010 show that Brussels has experienced the largest increase in number of meetings since 2009 of any destination, up to 474, narrowing the gap with Singapore. For event planners, Europe’s capital city offers openness, international understanding, pleasure, culture, modernity and innovation. With its attractive combination of local traditions and forwardlooking innovation, Brussels as the heart of the EU has managed to retain its typical Belgian charm while at the same time being refreshingly cosmopolitan. This exciting mix provides the perfect backdrop to help make your event truly memorable. The introduction of the ‘Brussels Booking Desk’ has been a big success. The events sector generates at least 20,000 jobs and Musical Instrument Museum

© OPT - Alessandra Petrosino

Delirium Cafe

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© J.P. Remy

© Jean-Pol Lejeune

Atomium

approximately more than four billion euros per year so its economic importance cannot be underestimated. New venues, such as the excellent SQUARE – Brussels meeting centre, and continued easy access to the city are helping to ensure Brussels continues on its path to becoming the world’s favourite meeting place.

The Brussels MICE calendar offers a preview

of the conventions and major events coming up in Brussels this year

and in future years www.micecalendar.be

Green meetings and character Brussels is one of the greenest cities in the world. This is thanks to its parks and gardens, as well as the green belt formed by the Forêt de Soignes. There are also 14 meeting locations that have made a commitment to sustainability; at these venues events are planned and conducted with an eye to environmental protection. They conform to environmental standards and have qualified to carry the Eco-Dynamic Companies label. Isn’t it time you took a closer look at Brussels for your events? Fascinating locations Brussels is waiting to be explored. Dive into the city’s history. Soak up its medieval, neo-classical, Art Nouveau and Art Deco architecture. Wander the imperial city of Charles V, marvel at the visionary pomp and

splendour of King Leopold II and find yourself transported back to the 17th century when you walk on to the Grand’Place. With more than 90 museums devoted to everything from medieval Flemish paintings to the Surrealists around Magritte and Delvaux, Brussels has some real treasures to reveal. Many of the historic and modern buildings have a long-standing policy of throwing open their doors for glamorous and unforgettable events. Why not mark your special occasion surrounded by works of art and comics, or in the world’s most astonishing building: the Atomium (www.atomium.be). Or perhaps the trendy Brussels Event Brewery (www. eventbrewery.com), the old bottling plant at the former Bellevue Brewery in the west of the city can host banquets for up to 1,200 people. Brussels l Wallonia June 2012 xiii

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European District © Visitbrussels.be

© VIAGE

Casino Viage

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BRUSSELS SPECIAL VENUES

Brussels Special Venues is a non-profit organisation acting as an umbrella for 25 unusual event venues in Brussels, whose aim is to offer the very best of the capital’s extensive menu of event locations. Each one offers a professional service with a single objective: to guarantee the quality of your event. All Brussels Special Venues abide by the quality directives of the Visit Brussels Convention Bureau. The combined turnover of all the members amounts to 20 billion euros. This is a mark of quality and reflects the extremely high level of customer satisfaction. www.venues.be

Théâtre du Vaudeville

In the Galerie de la Reine, above the catacombs of Bruxelles en Scène, the elegant Vaudeville is run by the organisation Les Choux de Bruxelles. This historic monument, inaugurated in 1884, is a legendary landmark in the city. Close to the Grand’Place and the biggest hotels in the city, the splendid, completely renovated Italian-style theatre offers 265 seats, 157 of them close to the stage. It also boasts a generous terrace in the Galerie de la Reine. Thanks to its great flexibility and its perfect lighting and audio facilities, the Théâtre du Vaudeville can be used for events and presentations of all kinds: from conferences to workshops to spectacular dinner events. www.theatreduvaudeville.be

© Chou de Bruxelles

© Olivier Pirard

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© Thon Hotels

The Hotel

A stay at The Hotel is a memorable experience. Towering high above Brussels’ fashionable Boulevard de Waterloo, its rooms and meeting spaces offer fantastic skyline views. Care is taken of the smallest details: from premium bed linen to relaxing breakout moments. Ideal to fortify any busy mind. But just as easily, you can slide into the city’s bustling energy. Brussels’ chicest fashion shops and restaurants are only an elevator ride away. With its central location, sky-high glamour and business tailored services; The Hotel will become your new, favourite Brussels beacon. www.thehotel.be

Thon Hotels

Thon Hotels operates four hotels and two ‘aparthotels’ in Brussels. The group’s flagship is the elegant Stanhope on rue du Commerce in the European district, which has 125 freshly renovated rooms, nine conference rooms covering 880 sqm and six boardrooms for smaller meetings. One of the city’s largest four-star hotels is the Thon Hotel Brussels City Center, which has 454 rooms and 15 meeting rooms for seminars and other events. One special feature is the wellness area, with fitness studio and sauna on the top floor offering a glorious panoramic view over Brussels. Another four-star property is the Thon Hotel Bristol Stephanie, located on the sophisticated avenue Louise. It offers 142 rooms with a perfect blend of elegance and spacious comfort. There are five meeting rooms available, the 365 sqm Bristol Boardroom and five breakout areas. This year will see the addition of a further four-star hotel, the Thon Hotel EU, with 405 rooms and extensive meeting facilities. The largest of the 15 meeting rooms can seat 300 delegates. All the EU institutions are situated within walking distance. www.thonhotels.com

Claridge © Venues.be

And, for a very special atmosphere, the Cureghem cellars (www.cureghemcellars. be) might be the ideal venue. These rustic vaulted cellars underneath the huge 19th-century market halls offer 10,000 sqm of event space, which can accommodate up to 6,000 people. This attractive event location also offers 1,500 parking spaces and good public transport links. If unadulterated industrial culture is what you are looking for, then look no further than the Galician cultural centre La Tentation (www.latentation.be), a former factory shop over two floors that can be hired for banquets for up to 700 people. In the stylish Event Lounge (www. eventlounge.be), the former 2FC Studio and the SAP Lounge bring together modern and baroque architecture to form this trendy chill-out venue. The multifunctional AA Dock’s industrial hall (www.aadocks.be), with its sleek design and ultra-modern media technology combined with a chic VIP roof terrace, is perfect for innovative events. The new Casino Viage (www.viage. be) is the ideal destination for delegates seeking a more relaxed groove. At 14,500 sqm, it offers ultra-modern playrooms, a 1,000-seat theatre, themed bars and a stylish rooftop restaurant.

European district

Europe within reach! Twenty seven nations under one roof – the European district buzzes with 23 official languages and there are 100,000 people working in Brussels for and about Europe. Brussels is the capital of the European Union and the political heart of Europe. The European Council and the European Commission are based here. The European district organises the interests of 501 million Europeans. It nestles within beautiful greenery including

the parc du Cinquantenaire. Modern office blocks, the venerable Art Nouveau district on square Ambiorix, the Jubilee Park and Triumphal Arch all stand happily side by side, giving this convention district its unique identity. Europe united But what goes on behind the doors of the official EU buildings? What do the European Council and the European Parliament do? Your event programme can be tailored to include

a visit to the European Commission, but you will need to book early as pressure on places is intense. A range of programmes is possible from a 90-minute information session with a general introduction to the EU institutions, to a customised full-day programme with the chance to focus on special topics and have direct contact with Commission officials. Interesting multimedia tours take place in the Plenary Room at the European Parliament as well (www.ec.europa.eu). Brussels l Wallonia June 2012 xv

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© MCE

118 rue de l’Acqueduc in the Ixelles neighbourhood is the home of the MCE Conference Centre. Its 7,800 sqm of space includes a reception area, exhibition space, catering and 32 meeting rooms for up to 700 people. All the rooms are equipped with ultra-modern technology, and the large conference room boasts six simultaneous translation booths. A multilingual team organises events from preparation through to completion, and even the most demanding clients leave satisfied! www.mce-ama.com

Albert Hall

At number 80 boulevard Charlemagne stands the Martin’s Central Park, true to the tradition of the Martin’s hotel chain. This four-star establishment harmoniously blends traditional hotel style with a feel-good experience for all the senses. The entire first floor is dedicated to seminars and meetings. Five rooms with natural daylight, four of them equipped with interpreting booths, are available for events for five to 120 participants. Guests can enjoy a relaxing night’s sleep in the 100 bedrooms. Most of the bathrooms, which combine grandeur and comfort, have a whirlpool – the perfect spot to recover after a long day’s sightseeing and marathon meetings. The hotel has also signed up to make a serious environmental contribution. www.martins-hotels.com

The Albert Hall Complex (www.albert-hall. com), with its 2,500 sqm, also offers first-class technical facilities combined with marvellously restored Art Deco splendour. Three adjoining main rooms with five breakout rooms, kitchens and changing facilities offer the ideal venue for meetings and events for anything from 100 to 1,000 participants. The Concert Noble (www.concertnoble. com) has been an exclusive meeting place since it attracted the high society in the 18th and 19th centuries. These days, with its very elegant atmosphere and opulent ballroom, which can accommodate banquets for up to 400 people, it is one of the most exclusive meeting venues in Brussels. Quite close to the European Parliament stands the 100-year-old Solvay library (www.bibliothequesolvay.be). This jewel of eclectic architecture has been lovingly restored to its original state and can cater for up to 300 guests. If you are looking for something even older – why not dine among the dinosaurs? The Museum of Natural Sciences (www. naturalsciences.be) offers eleven halls, auditoria and meeting rooms, where memorable and professional events can be held under the watchful gaze of T Rex and friends.

Rocco Forte Hotels is delighted to introduce Hotel Amigo, which has been restored to its rightful status as the best luxury hotel in Brussels. Superbly located adjacent to Grand’Place and within easy walking distance of the antiques district of Le Sablon. The latest facilities and technology have been provided throughout the hotel, from bedrooms to conference suites. A great deal of investment has seen the expansion and upgrading of the conference facilities with six fully-equipped meeting rooms, a ballroom and Business Centre. Each of the bedrooms and suites is individual in style, spacious and luxurious. Bocconi serves creative Italian and Mediterranean cuisine within a relaxing and contemporary atmosphere while Bar Amigo offers a broad selection of cocktails. There is also a new fitness centre equipped with the latest exercise machines. Throughout Hotel Amigo, the style depicts the fresh, modern interiors synonymous with the Rocco Forte Hotels brand. www.hotelamigo.com

Sofitel Brussels

Sofitel has two luxury hotels in Brussels, promising planners tailor-made, unforgettable events thanks to its specially developed Inspired Meeting concept. The Sofitel Brussels Europe is located in the heart of the European district. It has 149 rooms, including 13 suites. This elegant luxury hotel is situated on place Jourdan, a short walk from the quiet parc Léopold, the museums of the Cinquantenaire park and the unusual Félix Hap garden. The eleven conference rooms and one boardroom in the five-star hotel are air-conditioned, Wi-Fi-enabled and equipped with ultra-modern AV facilities. The bar and restaurant combine French culinary wizardry with the latest trends in international cuisine. A further highlight is the five-star Sofitel Brussels Le Louise, located on the exclusive avenue Louise, which tempts visitors with a wealth of exclusive boutiques. With 169 rooms and suites, it invites guests to linger in its contemporary ambience, and the Crystal lounge promises unforgettable events. Meeting planners have access to meeting rooms for events of up to 240 people. www.sofitel.com www.bebrussels.be © Sofitel

Hotel Amigo

© Albert Hall

MCE Conference Centre

Martin’s Central Park

Bar © Silken Berlaymont

© John Brunton

Palais Royal

At 11 to 19 boulevard Charlemagne – just a three-minute walk from the EU Commission – stands the Silken Berlaymont Brussels hotel, a designer hotel built in 1996. It offers 214 rooms and suites. From the Restaurant L’Objectif, diners can enjoy views on to a delightful garden, and the bar The News and the Jacqmotte coffee house offer guests a wide array of drinks, snacks, baked goods and tapas. The hotel’s Relax spa boasts Jacuzzi, steam bath, sauna and infra-red cabin as well as a fitness centre. Seven air-conditioned meeting rooms can accommodate events for up to 150 participants. www.hotelsilkenberlaymont.com

© Martin’s Central Hotel

Silken Berlaymont

The Museum of Natural Sciences

Autoworld

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A fantastic wealth of options for event planners Other impressive event venues are located nearby including The Royal Museums of Art and History (www.kmkg-mrah.be), which can offer meeting capacity for 30 to 250 participants. The monumental building is set in glorious grounds and makes for a unique setting for events of all kinds. It can accommodate 500 at a banquet or 750 at a reception. The park site is also home to Europe’s largest collection of vehicles, Autoworld (www. autoworld.be), which has 350 on display and is an extremely impressive location for events for ten to 2,500 people. Its iron roof covers two large meeting rooms measuring 180 and 300 sqm, which welcome guests to various action spaces including a lounge and party bar. There is also a restaurant with an outdoor terrace built out over the hall like a glass ship’s bridge. Perhaps you fancy holding your event against a setting of digital wallpapers, walls of books or even dinosaurs? The innovative Europe district can offer just about everything. The ultra-modern high-powered projectors at the Claridge (www.claridge. be) throw highly individual presentations on to the mighty digital wallpapers. DVDs display thematic and informative material to accompany events in the 500 sqm Art Deco hall. The only one of its kind in Belgium, it is likely to surprise its guests.

© Amigo

© Autoworld

Bibliothèque Solvay

xvi June 2012 Brussels l Wallonia

© Bruxelles Champètre

© Solvay Library

AT THE HEART OF EUROPE

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© BITC, O. van de Kerchove

© Eric Danhier

A wealth of attractive hotels With 1,100 hotel rooms, the European district in Brussels is an attractive destination for meetings and events. The area around the Berlaymont – the Commission building – boasts a dazzling range of attractive hotels including Silken Berlaymont, Sofitel Brussels Europe and Martins Central Park within an easy walk.

n AIM Group International AIM Group International has been on the scene for 50 years, and in Brussels since 1999. It offers a full package of event planning services. From organising conventions to planning corporate or public events and implementing incentives, AIM will deliver a customised package within a short deadline, with effective, creative solutions. Flexibility and commitment come as standard. Jan Van den Broeck and Bernadette Della Croce www.aimgroupinternational.com

© Comic Strip Museum (CBBD)

© J.P.Remy

n Brussels International Travel Service The experts at Brussels International Travel Service have 25 years of experience in providing professional support, answering questions about Brussels and, in addition, providing a comprehensive co-ordination service for the whole of Belgium. BITS handles reservations, organises day trips and short breaks in Belgium, transfers to the hotel from the airport or railway station and group hotel bookings. Marc Dans www.bits-dmc.be

n BTS Travel The team at BTS Travel Brussels combines many years of experience with an exceptional service concept, which covers business travel, incentives, group travel and, above all, meetings, incentives and events. The professional team investigates all requests in microscopic detail and then delivers the optimum framework to guarantee the success of your event. It organises events, meetings, seminars, conventions, conferences, themed trips, cultural visits, incentives, product launches and more… the paramount objective is always the satisfaction of customers and partners! Sonia Meys www.btstravel.be n Mindstream

Mindstream offers comprehensive support in the organisation of conferences, conventions, meetings, exhibitions and events. Over the past 15 years, this experienced PCO and DMC has organised more than 2,000 events, winning themselves a large and loyal customer base in the process. With offices in Brussels, Flanders and Wallonia, Mindstream’s regional expertise is what keeps their customers coming back. The privately-run company’s 10-strong team delivers the very highest calibre of professional, creative and dedicated answers to customers’ questions. Mindstream also offers online registration tools, which can be tailored to your individual event. Laurence Reichelt www.mindstream.be

n Ovation Belgium With its presence in Brussels, Ovation is one of the most important incoming agencies in Belgium, and boasts a team of experts who are fully aware of the unique role of meetings, incentives, conferences and events for your company, and brings them perfectly to life for you. As part of a major international group with a presence on four continents, Ovation has embedded itself in Belgium because the kingdom’s perfect location, poised between France and Holland, offers the very best of Europe. Hugo Slimbrouck www.ovationdmc.com n Tellus sa Founded in 1992 , Tellus DMC Belgium is a private company based in Brussels, the very heart of Europe. Our agency has successfully developed and expanded services for customers who are bewitched by the many facets of Belgium. Whether it be business trips, leisure travel, incentives, conventions or seminars, we will apply our energy and imagination to every type of event. Our professional, friendly, multilingual team draws on an impressive knowledge of the target area and a solid network of excellent local partners, enabling us to offer you the very best tailor-made solution for all your projects at all times. www.tellus.be

Conrad Brussels

© Conrad Hotel

This five-star boutique hotel welcomes its guests in an exclusive atmosphere with personal service. It offers event planners the perfect balance between lavish hospitality, exceptional comfort and progressive technology. Le Chatelain offers 107 luxury rooms and suites and prides itself on meeting the most discerning requirements. Meetings and conferences can choose from a range of fully-equipped facilities. The hotel’s central location in the heart of Brussels, with a lovely garden and a superbly-equipped fitness centre on the first floor, lend this business hotel a distinct charm. www.le-chatelain.com

The agencies listed below are Brussels experts and will be delighted to help you plan and carry out your events

© Harshad B. ICKX

Le Chatelain

in safe hands

© Eric Danhier

Stylish meeting and shopping in Brussels In the sophisticated Louise convention district in Brussels, great places to stay include the Conrad Brussels, while a great meeting venue is the MCE conference centre. With 1,800 hotel rooms, this stylish neighbourhood is ideal for enjoying the vibrant Brussels nightlife. In addition, the luxury mile along avenue Louise is among the European city’s top shopping destinations. Since royal times, it has cut through the Ixelles district. Countless refined designer boutiques from Boss to Versace, museums, cinemas, theatres, clubs, cafés and restaurants invite visitors to do some serious shopping. From haute couture to avant-garde, retro and vintage, the luxury mile offers pretty much everything the heart desires. From place Louise to avenue Bois de la Cambre, visitors will find a string of designer stores, and boulevard de Waterloo is also a treat for shopping fans. Big shopping galleries and intimate boutiques offer designer fashion, jewellery and luxury goods of all kinds. The Louise district is also an architectural treasure house: the lively boulevards are interspersed with some magical Art Nouveau districts such as the Art Nouveau buildings around the lakes at Ixelles, which are a particular delight. It is well worth taking the time to stand and admire the houses along rue Bellevue and rue du Lac.

Your event

© Phile Deprez

stylish neighbourhoods

Situated on the famous Avenue Louise, the Conrad Brussels features 269 bedrooms, including 130 brand new Signature rooms, and the largest free-standing ballroom in the capital (600 people theatre-style). Conrad Brussels guarantees unsurpassed service and attention to detail. Even the smallest party has the panache and sophistication of a more extravagant concern when held at Conrad Brussels. The on-site services of the Meetings Conrad Style team will support guests throughout their event. In addition to the ballroom, the Conrad Brussels also offers 12 meeting rooms for smaller events, all benefitting from natural day light. www.conradbrussels.com Comic Strip Museum

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LET’S MEET IN BRUSSELS

GATHERING IN BRUSSELS IS JUST A DIRECT FLIGHT AWAY

Whether you’re organising a large international conference or a small regional meeting, Brussels Airlines has the ideal solution for you. To find out how you can benefit from our various programmes, contact our team at conventions@brusselsairlines.com

brusselsairlines.com/conventions

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