In the spotlight: Rob van de Wiel

Each month, we aim our spotlight at someone dedicated to the Maastricht region, a beautiful conference destination. This month, that someone is Rob van de Wiel, ‎Managing Director of MECC Maastricht. Each In the spotlight participant will be asked the same five questions. This is the response of Rob van de Wiel:

1. Why do you love the Maastricht region?

“For me, as an inhabitant of the province of Noord-Branabt, one of the main reasons to go work in the city of Maastricht is the city itself and the many possibilities. The special atmosphere, created by a historic city centre and many restaurants, nice terraces, fine shops and beautiful culture. And all this combined with an international community with a Municipality which is very enterprising and which invests in the future of the city, the region and MECC Maastricht.”

2. What is your most favourite memory?

“Every time an (international) congress organizer chooses for Maastricht and MECC Maastricht, we are proud. Then we win a competition with other international and national cities, which sometimes took many years. When subsequently, the thousands of delegates of the conference take over the city and all the hotels are fully booked, then I am enjoying our achievement tremendously!”

3. What is your “hidden treasure” and why?

“To this day, on a regular basis, I am still surprised by the possibilities in the Maastricht region. For example the hospitality and the variety of culinairy possibilities in the Wyck area. At approximately one kilometre from MECC Maastricht and accessible via the Ceramique area, which is full of top architecture. Recently, I was invited for a tour by again a new initiative. Wyck Bazaar, a covered food concept of approximatley 1000 m2, with all kinds of smaller and medium-sized businesses, specialized in “local” food. A great development which is also interesting for our target groups. With a little less modesty and more pride, these treasures would be more known and the tourism to the south of the Limburg province will grow more.”

4. Why should any conference organiser or association organise their conference in the Maastricht region at least once in their lifetime?

“The most important goals that have to be accomplished during a conference usually are the exchange of knowledge and creating a community. These goals are always realized in Maastricht, On a scale of 1-10, MECC Maastricht scores an 8,1 for services, support and facilities. Together with the compact city, the international atmosphere and among other things the high level of garstonomy, we offer a proposition which no other city can offer.”

5. What does the Maastricht Convention Bureau mean to you?

“We have the ambition to annually seriously grow with hosting international conferences in Maastricht. Therefore, the Municipality of Maastricht, the Province of Limburg and MECC Maastricht will invest the coming years in the enlargement en renovation of our congress centre. To be able to let the amount of conferences grow, a strong, independent Maastricht Convention Bureau is essential. Not only for the promotion of the city or for the acquisition of the conferences, but also as axle and coordinator between all the organizations and companies that are part of the conference product such as hotels, restaurants, shops and suppliers of social activities. This is how we make the difference.”