European Association Summit 2019 - 'Share & Co-create'

29th Apr, 2019

The successful 7th annual EAS 2019 closes under the motto 'Share & Co-create', with 184 participants from 121 different associations and other organisations. The two-day conference which took place in Brussels from 28th February to 1st March was an unmissable event for association executives to gather insights from peers and share their experiences and concerns. A special focus was also dedicated to sustainability issues with specific sessions and reflected in the event organisation.  

Jesús Guerrero Chacón reports

Gathered at the SQUARE – Brussels Convention Centre, attendees learnt through a series of 19 sessions, where mainly case studies from various International and European associations have been presented on topics such as membership acquisition and retention, value proposition, change management, and youth leadership, in addition to thematic workshops on management, marketing digitalisation, communications, events or legal matters provided by the EAS partners. 

While not intended, the EAS coincided with the approval by the Belgian Federal Parliament on 28th February 2019  of the new Belgian Companies and Association Code, making the session on the code reform a timely and essential one on the first day of the Summit. Moderated by Adrian Harris, President of FAIB (Federation of International and European associations in Belgium) and with experts from different legal firms, the session highlighted the importance of this issue for associations who are already headquartered in Belgium or considering moving to Brussels.

As Europe's capital, Brussels has become a hot spot for climate change and aims to make sustainable projects grow and become a beacon of high standards inspiring other cities. Association Bureau and SQUARE are taking new initiatives to be more environmentally friendly and organise more and more green meetings.

As the world marches on for climate change with increasing number of environmentally-minded crowd stressing leaders for real actions against the pressing threat of global warming, EAS responded with a special feature on sustainability – as associations cannot afford to ignore the detrimental impact of MICE events. Taking the bull by its horns, various sessions and workshops urged the importance of taking action now, alerting associations that they cannot keep ignoring the issue. We should all be reminded individually that we have the power to make positive changes!

Among the experts discussing about sustainability are representatives from organisations such as Zero Waste Belgium, MCI,, Green European Foundation, Sun for Schools and SolarPower Europe.

Some of the sustainable actions undertaken by the Association Bureau and SQUARE included the conference app to avoid paper wastage; carbon offset during registration to stimulate the use of public transport, recycled cardboard signage, and badges; refillable drinking bottles instead of plastic bottles and lunchboxes to pack away food to avoid wastage after the event. 

Before a joyful networking dinner at an old wine cellar, Les Ateliers des Tanneurs, delegates were also given the opportunity to take a green guided tour of Brussels after the first day of the conference. Our passionate guide took us on a sustainable walking tour of Brussels and gave us addresses where you can easily buy green and local including the clothes, furniture, and bio food. 

For more information about the EAS, please visit

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