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Antwerp, where “The City Is Your Venue”, hosts IAPCO EDGE

Antwerp Convention Bureau, VISITFLANDERS Convention Bureau and Semico co-hosted 65 leading PCOs and their industry partners at last week’s IAPCO EDGE Seminar, during which, Antwerp demonstrated its new brand, encapsulated in the phrase: “The City is Your Venue”.


Held from January 16-18, 2024, IAPCO EDGE Europe was an opportunity for attendees to focus on relevant contemporary themes, make new connections and learn new skills through a mix of lectures and practical workshops taught by industry leaders.


EDGE Seminars are taught in English and the content is relevant to early career attendees as well as experienced industry players. Much of the learning is through interactive group work where EDGE attendees learn alongside their peers.


The seminar perfectly illustrated Antwerp's intimate size and flexible, welcoming mindset that transforms the entire city into a venue. From the welcoming reception in The Radisson Blu’s Diamond Room to educational sessions at the Flanders Meeting & Convention Center Antwerp (FMCCA) – A Room with a ZOO; and the gala dinner at the Zoo’s Aquarium Building, each part of the event integrated the city's personality, efficiency and world class event offering.


Other highlights of the seminar included an immersive day at the Botanic Sanctuary Antwerp and the grand IAPCO Dinner and Party at the Sapphire House Antwerp Hotel & Handelsbeurs. The concluding educational sessions at the Horta Art Nouveau Hall marked not just the end of the event but the celebration of a city-wide experience, embodying the essence of Antwerp’s innovative approach, where so many of Flanders’ Heritage Venues are unique and different from the “average meeting room.”


Tadeja Pivc Coudyser, CEO of Antwerp Convention Bureau, reflecting on the event's success, remarked, "The IAPCO EDGE Seminar not only showcased Antwerp as an excellent conference destination to leaders in our industry but also demonstrated our unique brand promise. In Antwerp, events resonate beyond the conference room, becoming part of the city's fabric. We are a city that opens up easily, that is versatile and adjustable, creating custom fitted experiences for delegates.  The IAPCO EDGE seminar was not just any event; like all those taking place in our city, to those attending it felt like it was the main event in our city."


Reflecting on the event's success, Mathias Posch from IAPCO commented, “This year, IAPCO is celebrating 50 Years of providing quality education to industry professionals through our seminars and we couldn’t have asked for a better backdrop than Antwerp. The city's rich culture, stunning venues, and warm hospitality made it the perfect backdrop for our event. We are immensely grateful to the Antwerp Convention Bureau, VISITFLANDERS Convention Bureau and all its partners for helping us create an unforgettable experience.”


Evelyne Bardyn, Head of Congresses & Events - VISITFLANDERS Convention Bureau concludes: “IAPCO EDGE beautifully aligns with our ambition to reinforce the positive impact of conferences.  This was demonstrated through a case-study style workshop delivered to the attendees, showcasing how strong collaboration can create a positive societal change, through the legacy of international conferences for the destination.”


Antwerp, with its rich history and modern infrastructure, provides a compact and accessible offering that stands out in the international event market. The Antwerp Convention Bureau, along with its partners, continues to drive this vision, attracting international organisations and large events, further solidifying Antwerp's position as a bespoke, vibrant destination for global conferences and events.



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