Flanders Surprises: A Room with a Zoo Open for Business in Antwerp, Belgium

Flanders Meeting & Convention Center Antwerp (FMCCA) has announced that it’s officially open for business with A Room with a Zoo. Located within one of the world’s best-preserved and award-winning 19th-century zoos, the center provides the meetings industry sector with a new venue for the 21st century.

The state-of-the-art hall has been quoted a 10+ by the world’s finest acousticians and architects. Every seat offers perfect audiovisual pleasure, both for concerts and congress meetings. The center can hold events for up to 2,700 participants in its more than 270,000 square feet of meeting space, with a creative meeting planner experience available that includes the whole zoo.

Located adjacent to the world’s most beautiful railway station (30 minutes from Brussels Airport), within the historical center of Antwerp and on the site of the legendary Antwerp Zoo, FMCCA is a destination that stands out — worldwide — in its uniqueness. No other venue combines world-leading accommodation with historical greatness and animal wildlife just footsteps away. With easy access for Europe and the world, with both Brussels’ and Antwerp’s international airports close by and the railway station next door, the FMCCA provides a low-environmental-impact, sustainable, and low-energy consumption venue with the latest technical facilities and equipment.

Antwerp itself offers over 4,600 hotel rooms within walking distance of FMCCA. The city has the second-largest port in Europe and is the world’s diamond trade capital. This multicultural city offers cutting-edge fashion, shopping and culture in a historic setting.

Antwerp’s unofficial tagline is “so cool, it’s hot,” and the city has lately received a lot of well-deserved attention. Antwerp regularly hosts large events, from the Olympic Games in 1920 to the annual Breakbulk Europe Exhibition today. It has been regarded as a creative hub since the 16th century, housing master Baroque painters such as Peter Paul Rubens and Anthony Van Dyck. It is also a fashion capital and boasts numerous shops and boutiques. Much like its famous diamonds, Antwerp sparkles with an impressive range of architecture, from the gothic Cathedral of Our Lady to the contemporary courthouse. The city’s excellent restaurants, bars, clubs, and cultural activities will round out any visit.

What’s More in Flanders? The Capital: Brussels

Brussels is the political heart of Flanders and Belgium, the capital for 500 million Europeans and home to NATO. The Flemish capital hosts more association headquarters than any city in the world, making it a leading conference center of Europe and the second-busiest globally after Singapore, according to the Union of International Associations. Brussels offers diverse international hotels with over 20,000 rooms, and the Square Convention Centre near the central train station recently underwent a complete renewal and refurbishment.

Being in the political heart of Europe, Brussels’ meetings industry has extensive experience catering to large, international gatherings. A convention program is sure to run smoothly in this city, and delegates will enjoy venturing out to Antwerp, Bruges, and Ghent for their medieval charm.

Beauty in Bruges

The heart of Bruges, surrounded by an almost continuous ring of dreamy canals, is the best-preserved example of medieval Flanders. The entire picture-perfect city center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The chocolate shops, cobblestone streets, romantic restaurants, and high-end museums make Bruges one of the top incentive destinations in Europe.

In keeping with the nature of the city, hotels in Bruges trend toward small and charming. But for those who need larger facilities, boutique establishments and international properties with great conference spaces are also available. The city holds close to 3,500 hotel rooms, a new conference/concert facility, and a historical conference center in a medieval hospital — the latter making Bruges especially popular for pharmaceutical and medical conferences.

Medieval Ghent

Ghent is Flanders’ hidden gem, sandwiched between Brussels, Bruges, and Antwerp. This attractive and compact medieval city is often overlooked by conference organizers but has much to offer in the way of beauty, culture, and meetings convenience.

Ghent was Europe’s largest cloth producer in the 15th century, a wealthy city and the continent’s second-largest after Paris. Today, it holds over 900 UNESCO-listed buildings that managed to survive both world wars.

Located just 30 minutes by train from Brussels, Ghent has three convention centers and 2,000 hotel rooms, ranging from stylish international to trendy boutique properties. And Ghent University works closely with the Ghent Convention Bureau to attract association conferences. Ghent is ideal for U.S. meetings, incentives, and conference planners who want to provide their groups with something unique and special.

Flanders Fact Sheet

Flanders lies tucked away in the northern part of Belgium between France, Germany, and the Netherlands. The region includes an assortment of cosmopolitan, easy-to-reach cities that offer visitors far more than just the traditional main squares and medieval architecture.

Flanders surprises with:
– State-of-the-art convention centers.
– International chain and boutique hotels.
– Dazzling historic special venues.
– Medieval settings and historic attractions.
– World-renowned cuisine.
– Belgian chocolates (honestly, they’re the best!).
– More than 600 kinds of quality beer!

Flanders’ popularity among meeting groups stems from its variety of venues and locations, the short distances between cities, a worldwide reputation for high standards and customer care, multicultural experiences, and, above all, the way of life. In short: It’s a destination that works!

As the official Flemish government CVB agency, our services to are 100% free of charge. Do not hesitate to contact our New York office directly:

Brecht Putman
Visit Flanders
620 Eighth Avenue, 44th Floor
New York, NY 10018

Flanders counts as one of the key economic regions in Europe, and we can’t wait for you to enjoy all of its attributes. Let our insider knowledge, creativity, and experience clear the path for your next flawless meeting in Flanders.

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