AIPC Conference 2023: Letz! Legacy in Luxembourg!

2nd Jul, 2023

Plenary Room 1 © The European Convention Center Luxembourg

When you search the web for “legacy of events”, you will get 1,340 million results in less than a second. Doing the same search for “legacy of convention centre”, you will get 49 million results. And yet, we believe that the buildings in which events take place can play a very important role when it comes to creating a legacy.

Authors: Patrick Hoffnung, CEO ECCL; Sven Bossu, CEO AIPC.

Event legacy can take many shapes and forms, but one of the most common ones is that organisers want delegates to go back home feeling inspired, energised and with a set of “calls for action” which they can start working on the moment they are back home. Having great speakers, stimulating interaction and facilitated networking are all crucial to achieve this objective. However, without an inspiring environment which offers a unique user experience, it will be a lot harder.

That is why architects, such as the award-winning Luxembourg based Nico Steinmetz, focus on user experience and community building when designing venues. Delegates will no longer leave the comfort of their homes/offices, just to sit in a large ballroom and listen for hours to people giving lectures, an evolution which was accelerated as a result of COVID-19 and the increased use of digital for dissemination of knowledge. Events need to be carefully designed, offering different types of experiences in function of the goal to be achieved and using all the assets the venue can offer.

The European Convention Center of Luxembourg (ECCL) – re-opened 10 years ago – was designed to offer such a range of user experiences for a very specific audience: the EU Council of Ministers. As you can imagine, it is an audience with very diverse needs. There is the need to have formal meetings in an environment which feels “safe” and offers all the facilities needed. At the same time, there is the need for discrete bilateral discussions, often far less formal but not less important to make progress on the challenges the EU faces. And of course, not unlike any other event, there is the need for informal networking. The ECCL offers all the facilities to cover for these needs and experience, but combines it with an architecture which brings in lots of natural light and with a use of colors and materials which create a sense of harmony. Similar features can be found in other venues such as ICC Sydney or the BMO Centre which will open its doors in 2024: a clear focus on user experience with lots of light, flexible use of spaces and a sober, streamlined design, offering organisers the ideal platform to achieve the objectives outlined above.

Creating the right atmosphere has indeed often proved crucial when it comes to legacy. A great historical example is the Solvay Conference of 1911, which brought 18 top scientists from across the world together for lectures, formal and informal discussions on science. The venue – the Metropole Hotel in Brussels – allowed to create an atmosphere in which the attendees felt comfortable in sharing their ideas (while not necessarily agreeing on everything), which was the key objective of the organiser. Now, this meeting is considered a turning point in science, when classical physics was about to give way to quantum theory, forever changing the field.

For any organiser, it is of key importance to have a lasting impact or legacy. This can take the shape of a scientific breakthrough, an agreement on measures to address climate change, technological innovations and so much more. We like to think that the convention centre design can play a crucial role in making this happen and invite you to discover for yourself at the AIPC Annual Conference 2023, taking place at the ECCL.

AIPC is a global network of more than 190 convention centres across 64 countries. Their goal is to promote the best in convention centre management by providing education, research and networking opportunities to management-level events professionals worldwide. Visit for more information.

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