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Welcome to Groningen Conventions

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This Month we get to know better Groningen Conventions


What was your motivation to join ICCA?

As a destination, Groningen is still relatively unknown in the world of international conferences and we would like to change that.  In recent decades, Groningen remained in the seventh position in the Dutch ranking concerning national- and international conferences. Amongst other well-known large cities in the Netherlands, this is a position of which we are proud, but we would like to spread our wings internationally too. We have a lot to offer. Besides a top University, a vibrant clean city in which nearly everything is within walking distance, Groningen is slightly different to what many planners and associations may have experienced so far. We would like to meet, speak and exchange ideas about the future with other ICCA members in real life. Especially now we are inviting ICCA members to come and explore Groningen for themselves. We look forward to meeting you.


How did Groningen Congress Alliance| Groningen Conventions get started?

Due to a huge amount of intensification and growth in both economic and scientific fields, the Business Community, Government, and Education have been able to join forces and established the Groningen Congress Alliance in 2018-2019. Yet, after a flashy start, the Covid outbreak emerged. At the beginning of 2022, we made a restart and are now going public under the name 'Groningen Conventions.'  We are currently actively seeking live communication with our associates, corporates, and meeting planners.


What sets Groningen Congress Alliance | Groningen Conventions apart?

Groningen excels in the transition of important themes. For example, Groningen is a frontrunner in boosting renewable energy. We are the European leader when it comes to green hydrogen and as a result, can use the Hydrogen Valley designation. In Health Care we also lead the way.  The existence of the Dutch largest Bio Database ‘Lifelines’ and one of the largest European chemistry labs for drug development emphasize this. Besides, a lot of research into the circular food economy is being done. Moreover, these developments are accelerated thanks to the best-developed digital infrastructure in the Netherlands. Various innovation start-ups develop their innovative products here and additionally, renowned companies such as IBM and Google know what Groningen has to offer. The transition themes play an important part in attracting knowledge conferences. These knowledge conferences are organized by ICCA members, among others, who often seek a link between their field of expertise and the city or region in which their conference is being organized. Associations are able to empower the city and region of Groningen, exchange their knowledge and collaborate in finding solutions for pressing global issues such as energy, health, and food.


Groningen Conventions offers professional and independent advice on marketing, promotion, possibilities for subsidy, and mediation in bidding procedures and site inspections. We can assist in finding the best location, image, and capacity within budget for all types of meetings, conferences, and congresses. We are happy to help promote the event using our various marketing tools.


What is your favourite success story from your organisation?

As we have only started in March 2022, we are still relatively young and particularly proud of having organized our first stakeholder conference in June this year. At this event we gathered no less than seventy parties in the special venue 'Forum' in the centre of the city, aiming to generate enthusiasm for the congress plans. During this congress, the urgency to structurally invest in Groningen as a congress city was underlined by the Groningen Congress Alliance. Seventy participants, from various hotels and (conference) locations, business clubs, the Municipality of Groningen, and the Province of Groningen were present. A high score for the quality of this congress was one of the outcomes of this meeting and consequently, a number of important organizations decided to become partners of the Congress Alliance for the coming years.


What can we expect to see from Groningen Congress Alliance | Groningen Conventions in the future?

In any case, we will participate in the ICCA conference in November. This for us is likely to be a good first step. In the coming years, we will slowly be investing in the conference market and spread our wings towards associations and planners both nationally and internationally. Besides we have become a member in order to share our knowledge within the association wherever possible and desired. Finally, we are now refining our strategy for the coming years in which an important starting point for us is securing a long-term relationship with ICCA and its members.


Which trends do you see in the Association Meetings?

The market is being cautious and a little hesitant still. In some cases, clients expect and demand a high degree of flexibility at chosen locations. So, we can clearly see recovery, but at the same time, clients remain cautious. Online and hybrid forms of meetings will continue to exist and develop into new revenue models.


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