This month, we get to know Bruges Meeting & Convention Centre a bit better with a Q&A below:
What was your motivation to join ICCA?
Being new on the market, ICCA is a great platform to get the word out about the new Bruges Meeting & Convention Centre. Thanks to ICCA we will have the opportunity to network with other venues to learn about trends, how they are approaching certain difficulties, their success stories, etc. We’re also looking forward to getting to know the associations, learning what associations are looking for, bidding for conferences, etc.
Tell us your story. How did the Bruges Meeting & Convention Centre get started?
Bruges is a very popular destination, but there was a lack of infrastructure for events, exhibitions and conferences. In 2015, the city decided to start a new project in the heart of the medieval city and to build a brand new Convention Centre. You can only imagine what challenges we were facing in building a new facility in the heart of a UNESCO protected city! In September 2019, the construction work started. We are currently still in the building phase, finalising the last level. But, we’re in a straight line towards opening in January 2022. We’re very much looking forward to hosting many association events in the brand new state-of-the-art Bruges Meeting & Convention Centre!
What sets the Bruges Meeting & Convention Centre apart?
Apart from many other European cities, the Bruges Meeting & Convention Centre (BMCC) is located in the very heart of the historical center of Bruges, a UNESCO world heritage city. We’re only 80 minutes by train from Brussels Airport. Once in Bruges, visitors can walk from the central station to their hotel or to the convention centre. All hotels, attractions, restaurants and museums are within walking distance. Delegates have fantastic views over the historical buildings of Bruges, overlooking the medieval skyline. Meeting in the heart of a world heritage city makes every conference very unique.
Moreover, our staff has hospitality in their hearts. We will give you the best professional advice and help you to find the most suitable spaces for your event. The Bruges Meeting & Convention Centre (BMCC) is embracing sustainability. The new venue is a nearly Zero Energy Building or nZEB, which means that it was built according to the principles of sustainable and ecological design. Careful thought has been given to the choice of materials used in every stage of construction, as well as in the choice of partners to work with for the organisation of events, such as caterers, AV companies, etc. The building can adapt to changing demands. Innovative and high-tech AV materials facilitate hybrid meetings, enabling us to host your event in the safest way.
What can we expect to see from the Bruges Meeting & Convention Centre in the future?
You can expect to see a very dedicated team who will respond to your RFPs in a very professional way and who is able to make your conference a success. And, of course, you can expect a wonderful new building designed by the famous and award winning Portuguese architect Souto de Moura together with the Antwerp based architects META. The new venue will be able to host your event in the best possible way, responding to all your needs.
What is an industry challenge your organisation is facing currently?
Of course, everybody is struggling right now due to the pandemic. In a way, we’re lucky that the Bruges Meeting & Convention Centre is still in the construction phase, and we’re able to make some changes here and there. For example, to make sure that we can also host hybrid conferences. We are very hopeful that business will get back to normal in the next few months and that physical meetings and conferences can take place in the near future. We are continuing our hard work, planning for conferences in 2022 and onwards, and making sure that we’re ready for business when you’re all able to travel again and attend conferences. Bruges is ready for you!