Maastricht Convention Bureau


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In the spotlight: Camille Oostwegel jr.

Now that we have a new feature A word from the expert, our feature In the spotlight slightly changed. As of today, we aim our spotlight at one of our regional partners. What are the developments within their company? What are the challenges? In short: you will not only get to know the person better, but also the company where he or she works. Our first In the spotlight guest “new style” is Camille Oostwegel jr., Director Business Development of the Oostwegel Collection:

1. Why did you choose the position you have now?

Camille Oostwegel jr. Photo credit: Clea Betlem

“The position of Director Business Development is a position I have since July 2015 and which fits the experiences I have from working abroad. The plan is that eventually, within the next three years, I take over the family business from my father.”

2. What are the most recent developments within your company? zijn de meest recente ontwikkelingen binnen uw organisatie? (HR/renovation plans etc.)

“Since the beginning of January, the St. Gerlach Pavilion & Castle farm at St. Gerlach are open. At the St. Gerlach Pavilion, 3 multi functional meeting rooms can be used, seperately or combined (850m2). This means that a large variety of meetings and events up to 750 guests become possible. As an addition to the pavilion, there are 6 break-out rooms at the castle farm and at Burgemeester Quicx, Coffee & More.’

3. Which challenges are you facing?

“The challenge for our company is the way we explain our location and accessibility to foreign guests. We often notice that guests find it strange to hear they can best fly to an international airport in Germany or Belgium whilst their end destination is the Netherlands.”

4. What have you achieved, of which you are most proud?

“I am most proud of the staff members who create new memories for themselves and our guests every day. This is something that lasts and which is very important for the complete and positive experience of the working place as well as a place to stay for our guestst.”

5. Wat betekent het Maastricht Convention Bureau voor u?

“The Maastricht Convention Bureau is an important drive, bringing large conferences to Maastricht. The whole region profits from the hard work Jurgen Moors and his team put into the acquisition of conferences. After all, all conference delegates need a place to stay and a place to eat.”


Earlier editions of this feature (“old style”:

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A word from the expert: prof. J.C.S. (Jos) Kleinjans

Welcome to our new feature A word from the expert. In this feature, we introduce someone who has organized a conference in our region or will do so in the future. This month, we introduce with pleasure prof Kleinjans, PhD of the department Toxicogenomics of the Maastricht University. Last month, prof Kleinjans, together with his colleagues prof Theo de Kok and dr René Reijnders, won the Brightlands Convention Award 2016.

  1. Why did you choose your specialism?

“Biology as PhD study because it is fascinating to research how complex the nature is (including the functioning of the human body) whilst at the same time, it seems so apparent that everything functions as it should. 
Toxicology because it is fascinating that body odd materials have an effect on the functioning of the body and because toxicology in that respect is more critical than pharmacology (in which I promoted).”

2. Which conferences have you managed to acquire for the Maastricht Region? Which USP’s did you use?

“World Congress on Alternatives and the Use of Animals in Life Sciences (WCA), 23-27 August 2020
The WCA conference is a multi day conference which is held every 2 to 3 days and attracts around 1,200 delegates. This conference brings added value to science and the society we live in. Maastricht (2020) is next in line after the following cities: New Orleans (2002), Berlin (2005), Tokyo (2007), Rome (2009), Montreal (2011), Prague (2014) and Seattle (2017). To Maastricht, this conference is important because our government strives for the Netherlands to be leading in innovation techniques without laboratory animals in 2025.

International Union of Toxicology – IUTOX, 18-22 September 2022
The IUTOX is a multi day world conference which will bring around 2,500 international toxicologists to Maastricht. After -among other cities- Brisbane (2001), Tampere (2004), Montreal (2007), Barcelona (2010), Seoul (2013), Merida-Mexico (2016) and Hawaii (2019), Maastricht will be The place to be in 2022! The IUTOX was founded in 1980 and today unites 63 opgericht en verenigt momenteel 63 affiliations from all 6 continents and more than 25,000 toxicologist from the industry, academies and governmental authorities.”

3. Which were the competitive cities and what was the decisive reason to choose for Maastricht?

“Decisive were the central international location and accessibility of Maastricht a relatively large conference centre and a large number of hotel rooms, the Maastricht University, the lucidity, and all this combined with a touch of culinary, Burgundy mentality.”

4. What important themes will be discussed during the conferences?

WCA: At the conference, the latest innovations in the field of alternatives for animal use will be discussed, as well as their application within the industry, science and regulatory organizations. But also the societal and ethical impact of these developments. 
IUTOX: At this conference, the latest innovations and developments in the field of toxicology are reviewed.”

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

“It is an ambitious partner with a lot of experience with international conferences. An independent, supportive and stimulating partner. Not only for acquiring conferences and making bidbooks, but also an essential pivotal role and coordinator between and with all parties involved en companies part of the conference, such as hotels, restaurants, shops, suppliers and social cultural activities.”

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Presentation of Brightlands Convention Award 2016 by Alderman John Aarts

Best ambassadors for congress destination Maastricht:
Prof. dr. Jos Kleinjans, Prof. dr. Theo de Kok and Dr. René Reijnders (Department Toxicogenomics, Maastricht University)

Today (Saturday 18 March 2017), Prof. dr. Jos Kleinjans, Dr. René Reijnders and Prof. dr. Theo de Kok received the Brightlands Convention Award 2016 from Alderman John Aarts. The award designates them as the year’s “best ambassadors” for the city of Maastricht as a destination for conventions.

The Brightlands Convention Award is allocated 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.
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 fulfill an essential role in creating these connections. By sponsoring the award, Brightlands emphasizes the importance of conventions for the organizations and businesses on the Limburg Campuses.

The nominees (see below) were spotlighted at the annual TEFAF meeting of the Amici ad Mosam1) conference ambassadors club on 18 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.

1. 11th World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences (WCA11) 2020 & IUTOX 2022: Department of Toxicogenomics Maastricht University: prof. dr. Jos Kleinjans | prof. dr. Theo de Kok | dr. René Reijnders
2. EAS 2019: prof. dr. Erik Biessen (CARIM – Maastricht University Medical Center; Maastricht UMC+)
3. ECB 2020: Emile van de Sandt (DSM Delft) | Aldrik Velders (Wageningen University)
4. EEA 2016: Department of Accounting and Information Management Maastricht University: Prof. dr. Roger Meuwissen | Dr. Caren Schelleman | Prof. dr. Ann Vanstraelen
5. European Vascular Course: prof. dr. Michael Jacobs (Maastricht UMC+)
6. Ramses: drs. Tom van Mulken (Maastricht UMC+, Zuyderland Medical Center)

The winner of the Brightlands Convention Award 2016 is:

Prof. dr. Jos Kleinjans, Prof. dr. Theo de Kok and Dr. René Reijnders – 11th World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences (WCA11) 2020 & IUTOX 2022

F.l.t.r.: Alderman John Aarts, dr. René Reijnders, prof. dr. Jos Kleinjans en prof. dr. Theo de Kok. Photo: Gert Lammer

WCA11 is a multi-day conference, being held every 3 years for 1200 delegates. During this conference, de last innovations on alternatives for animal experiments are being discussed, as well as the societal- and ethical impacts of these developments. In 2020, Maastricht will host WCA11, following Montreal (2011), Prague (2014) and Seattle (2017).
IUTOX, also an international multi-day conference, will attract 2500 international toxicologists to Maastricht to discuss the latest innovations on toxicology. After Barcelona (2010), Seoul (2013), Merida-Mexico (2016) and Hawaii (2019), Maastricht will be ‘the place to be’ in 2022!

The jury report2) had this to say:
“Prof. dr. Jos Kleinjans, Prof. dr. Theo de Kok and Dr. René Reijnders have done their utmost to attract these two internationally renowned conferences to Maastricht, next to their work for the department of Toxicology of Maastricht University. These large-scale high-end meetings are worldwide highly regarded among professionals in those fields. Both events draw a high number of visitors in the region during multiple days, as well as worldwide attention in the relevant media. Which means an enormous spin-off for this region in every way. These gentlemen have proved to be true ambassadors for the city of Maastricht.”

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.

  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 Convention Bureau Bureau. For years now, the latter two organizations 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 Nico Stam (Deputy Director, Brightlands Maastricht Health Campus).