Maastricht Convention Bureau

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Cooperation Maastricht and Brussels Airlines

As of May 1st 2016, Brussels Airlines, member of the Lufthansa Group, is official partner of Maastricht congress city.

Brussels Airlines and the other carriers of Lufthansa Group offer organisers, participants and visitors of international conferences (minimum 100 delegates) taking place in the Maastricht region, specific MICE products, making Maastricht an even more attractive congress city. The cooperation is the result of negotiations between the Maastricht Convention Bureau, MECC Maastricht and Brussels Airlines.

 “MICE is an important player in the market. As an airline company, we therefore offer contracts with interesting tariffs. We already work with various Belgian convention centres. The cooperation with the Maastricht Convention Bureau is absolutely an added value,” explains Kathleen Vandenbroecke, Key Account Manager MICE of Brussels Airlines.

The programmes offered arised from the wishes and needs of organisers and delegates of international conferences, to make flying to their conference destination more easy and less expensive. The concept exists quite a while in Belgium, but Maastricht now joined as first and only congress city in The Netherlands.

As of May 1st, congress organisers can offer lucrative tariffs to delegates and their co-travellers who are flying to the Maastricht Region with Brussels Airlines and the other carriers of the Lufthansa Group. Other advantages are the easy to use booking system, a dedicated account management team and one point of contact at Brussels Airlines for the various carriers of the Lufthansa Group.

Importance Maastricht Region
To the Maastricht Region, this cooperation is of great importance. “Thanks to this cooperation, conferencing in our city becomes even more attractive and it is a nice step forward to being the best conference location of the country in 2016 too,” * says John Aarts, economics alderman of the Municipality of Maastricht.

Lufthansa Group
Brussels Airlines is part of the Lufthansa Group. Other members are Lufthansa, Swiss, Austrian and Eurowings.

 * MECC Maastricht was awarded best 2015 congress location of The Netherlands

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Presentation of Brightlands Convention Award 2015 by the Mayor of Maastricht, Annemarie Penn-te Strake

Prof. Rudy Nuijts (Maastricht UMC+ Ophthalmology) best ambassador for Maastricht as convention venue

Last Saturday (19 March), Prof. Rudy Nuijts received the Brightlands Convention Award 2015 from the Mayor of Maastricht, Annemarie Penn-te Strake. The award designates him as the year’s “best ambassador” for Maastricht as a venue for conventions.

The Brightlands Convention Award goes to someone who has made the most valuable contribution over the past year to the Maastricht region as a convention venue. Every symposium, conference, or medical convention puts Maastricht more firmly on the international convention map. Every convention also brings with it a flood of visitors, with hotels, restaurants, transport operators, and other providers reaping the benefits. Brightlands sponsors the award, thus emphasising the importance of conventions for the organisations and businesses on the Limburg Campuses.

Four nominees, one winner
The four nominees (see below) were spotlighted at the annual TEFAF meeting of the Amici ad Mosam1) conference ambassadors club on 19 March. Through their pioneering work to ensure that scientific conferences and symposia keep coming to Maastricht, they have truly shown themselves to be worthy ambassadors of Maastricht as a convention venue.

The winner of the Brightlands Convention Award 2015 is:

Prof. Rudy Nuijts – ESCRS Winter Meeting 2017

The ESCRS Winter Meeting 2017 is a multi-day conference that will bring some 1500 international eye surgeons to Maastricht to discuss the latest innovations and developments in the field of cataract and refractive surgery.

Prof. Nuijts receiving the award from Mayor Mrs Penn-Te Strake

Prof. Nuijts receiving the award from Mayor Mrs Penn-Te Strake
















The jury report2) had this to say: “Almost two and a half years of lobbying within the ESCRS Board has finally resulted in the prestigious 21st ESCRS Winter Meeting (European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons) coming to Maastricht in February 2017, after cities such as Athens, Rome, Istanbul, Barcelona, and Prague. This large-scale high-end meeting is very highly regarded among European professionals in the field. Moreover, the ESCRS also organises various other conferences for which Maastricht can also be a contender if the 2017 winter meeting is a success. We view Prof. Nuijts as a true ambassador for Brightlands, given his workplace at Maastricht UMC+/Maastricht Health Campus and the cooperation in the field of ophthalmology-related materials that he organises with the Chemelot Campus.”

The compliments of the jury were backed up by the presentation of a bronze by the artist Wil van der Laan, combining a finely proportioned torso with a disc bearing the typical “B” of Brightlands. The bronze represents a healthy and dynamic way of living.

The other nominees:

Mark Post – 1st International Symposium on Cultured Meat 2015
Prof. Chris Reutelingsperger – 8th International Conference on Annexins 2015
Prof. Luc Zimmermann – ESPR/jENS 2019 (ESPR is the European Society for Paediatric Research and jENS is the Joint European Neonatal societies Meeting)

  1. Amici ad Mosam was set up in 2011 by the Maastricht Exhibition & Conference Centre (MECC) and the Maastricht Convention Bureau with the aim of creating a network and platform involving regional academics, the MECC, and the Bureau. For years now, the latter two organisations have been establishing contacts with academics in Maastricht and the surrounding region with a view to collaborating with them to bring existing conferences and scientific meetings to Maastricht and to initiate new ones.

  2. The board of the Maastricht Convention Bureau selected the winner from among these nominees. The Board consists of Frans Willem Cox (director, Hotel Van der Valk Maastricht), Lars Flinkerbusch (director, VVV/Maastricht Marketing), Susanne Pauwels (managing director, Pauwels Congress Organisers), and Rob van de Wiel (director, MECC Maastricht). The Board is chaired by Jan Kees Dunning (CEO, Brightlands Maastricht Health Campus).

 The award is sponsored by Brightlands. Brightlands brings together scientists, researchers, and entrepreneurs so as to generate added value for scientific research and medical technology. Conferences play an essential role in creating these connections.

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International trade fair for steel sector in MECC Maastricht

Stainless Steel World Conference & Exhibition 2015

From November 17th-21st 2015, MECC Maastricht welcomes many international professionals from the (stainless) steel sector. The trade fair “Stainless Steel World Conference & Exhibition 2015” is meant for buyers, engineers, producers, distributors and innovators from the steel industry. During their stay in Maastricht, delegates will (among other things) join workshops, lectures, live welding sessions, a site visit at Brightlands Chemelot Campus and a large dinner party at Hotel van der Valk.

According to chairman Marc Wilms, who works at Shell Projects and Technology in the Shell Technology Centre in Amsterdam, the steel production branch faces huge challenges. Efficiency demands are forcing manufacturers to produce under circumstances which are becoming more extreme. Maintenance costs must be reduced while reliability demands are getting stronger. At the same time, the demand for stainless steel is growing in the construction sector. It is increasingly applied in projects with a high architectural significance, not only because its maintenance is easy, but also because stainless steel is considered aesthetically attractive.

Conference participants are being updated on the latest scientific developments and innovations in the branch through workshops and lectures. This year’s “welding area” is new. It is a special area where live welding sessions and product demonstrations are being held. Additionally, 300 exhibitors present themselves with the latest materials, techniques and insights in the steel industry.

Next to “business”, there is time for “pleasure”, or at least a combination of both. On Wednesday November 18th, an exclusive dinner party will be held at Hotel Van der Valk and on Friday, November 20th, there will be a plant tour at Brightlands Chemelot Campus. The Maastricht community offers extras such as breakfast. Furthermore, the Maastricht Convention Bureau coordinates Stainless Steel Specials at partner hotels and restaurants, a “Maastricht” booth with VVV Maastricht Marketing personnel at the conference and fair venue, and an online portal with information on Maastricht. More information on the programme can be found at

The Stainless Steel World Conference & Exhibition 2015 is internationally highly regarded in the steel sector. The trade fair is held for the 9th time and market leaders in the production, development and distribution of stainless steel and special metals such Aperam, ArcelorMittal, Chandan Steel, Jiuli, NSSMC, Sandvik, Stalatube and voestalpine Böhler Welding once again gladly link themselves to this event.

Maastricht in 2020 in top 3 knowledge regions of the world
The Maastricht region has the ambition to belong to the world’s top three of knowledge regions in the world in 2020. Conferences as well as trade fairs are a very important aspect for reaching this goal and for positioning the city of Maastricht as a city of knowledge.