The election of Bruges as host city for the European conference of Junior Chamber International in 2022 creates opportunities for companies in the Bruges region. The theme of the conference 'Food for generations' fits seamlessly with the activities of many Bruges and West Flemish companies. JCI Brugge and JCI Houtland worked together with the Visit Bruges Convention Bureau on their bidding file for two years. Junior Chamber International is bringing one of the first major conferences to the new Exhibition and Congress Building in Bruges. "That will boost conference tourism in our city," said ships of Tourism Philip Pierins.
Last Saturday, at the digital general meeting of JCI Europe, JCI Belgium presented its candidacy to host the European Conference in 2022. 250 enthusiasts followed the virtual election in their room. Food for generations was presented by members of JCI Houtland and JCI Bruges, and was received very well. Belgium can therefore work hard to inspire around 2000 European JCI members in June 2022 for a better future for food and how we deal with food. The Bruges region is brimming with companies that focus on innovation in agriculture, fisheries, food production and processing. JCI contributes daily to strengthen the economic fabric, and through this conference aims to provide a platform for these innovative companies to demonstrate. The intention is to work together with industry on four themes: Sustainable Food Production, Nutrition, Gastronomy and Heritage. The European countries still like to see Belgium as the country of beer, chips, chocolate and waffles. "These are also strong culinary assets," says Jonas Maes, leader of the team that is realizing this project. “With the four defined pillars, however, we want to appeal to a wider audience and use the link with the West Flemish companies. We also integrate the annual network event B2BnB and look at partners such as De Hanze Business, Voka and Unizo to organize a business forum at the conference. Business and networks are in JCI's DNA.”
“This conference is a boost for conference tourism in our city. We are proud that JCI chose Bruges as its destination”, says ships of Tourism Philip Pierins. There was no reason for doubt, according to the national chairman of JCI Belgium Tom Staelens. "A team of many dedicated members has been building this project for months with the support of the National Board of Directors and expert advice."
The beating heart of the European Conference will be the new Exhibition and Congress Building in Bruges, which is currently under construction. “We are honored that JCI chose the new Exhibition and Congress Building. With our state-of-the-art conference location, we will show participants from all over Europe that Bruges is the ideal conference destination”, says mayor Dirk De fauw. In addition, many hotels and other venues such as the Concertgebouw will also be part of this beautiful conference.
The organizing team is convinced that the program will convince a lot of people. “There are many ideas and we can count on broad support from all Belgian JCI members. So we are really looking forward to showing what we Belgians are capable of in 2022”, says a satisfied project director Jonas Maes.
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