Luxembourg might well be one of Europe’s best-kept secrets, offering more than just a place for diplomats. In fact, as a knowledge hub tucked away between Germany, France and Belgium, the Grand Duchy has many assets up its sleeves, attracting the attention of European and international associations.
On the occasion of an open discussion organized by the Luxembourg Convention Bureau 14 December 2022, with the active engagement of the local business events community, the audience was reminded of the competitive advantage of Luxembourg as a host to conferences. One of Luxembourg’s biggest economic assets is its intellectual capital. But how can congresses and other meetings leverage this, and how can events in general help to unite and develop various key sectors and increase the attractiveness of the Luxembourg brand?
A country full of contrasts, Luxembourg is well connected to the major European cities and hubs, whether by car, train or plane. Boasting a trilingual and multicultural population of more than 600,000, it has historically been open to the world: thanks to the country’s role as a centre of business, European capital and home to the European Court of Justice and the European Court of Auditors and the Secretariat of the European Parliament, it’s hosted EU summits and diplomats from around the world, and is no stranger to organizing large-scale events.
However, François Lafont, CEO of the Luxembourg Convention Bureau, emphasized that congresses and conferences do more than showcase the country’s intellectual capital; they help to develop it by uniting researchers, entrepreneurs, innovators, and institutions. The business events industry has much to offer Luxembourg, and Lafont insisted that concerted efforts are needed to strengthen the sector and unite those players who stand to benefit.
“Changing in an increasingly complex and volatile environment, the events industry will not only need guidance and leadership, but also stronger and more coherent networks and an unprecedented level of cooperation,” he said. “We can foster exchanges between partners ranging from business and industry to science, NGOs, media, culture, and citizens,” he said.
Echoing his comments, Milos Milovanovic, GainingEdge, an expert in the development of convention bureaus and destination marketing, reminded the audience that hosting congresses not only offers immediate economic benefits, but they lead to long-term economic growth and development because they “help to build business networks, spread knowledge, and attract investors.”
“For any destination, intellectual capital is the most important resource we can rely on, and Luxembourg is built on this: innovation, scientific collaboration, and knowledge,” he said, cautioning that this is “not only about filling rooms, but about branding Luxembourg as a knowledge-based society.”