Brussels rated most important conference city in the world

Brussels has been rated the most important city in the world for international meetings, tourism authority reported on Thursday based on a ranking drawn up by the Brussels-based Union of International Associations (UIA).

Belgium's capital has the most meetings of international non-profit organisations. Last year, 620 meetings of international non-profit organisations were organised in Brussels. Vienna follows in second place with 298 conferences and Tokyo on 226 is third. Antwerp is in 41st place with 33 conferences.

According to UIA, nowhere in the world hosted more international association meetings than Belgium, with 708. Ghent, Leuven and Bruges also hosted several events.

In the period 2004-2023, no other city hosted more international association conferences than Brussels. In all the rankings of the past 20 years, Brussels has taken first place, followed by Singapore, Vienna, Paris and Seoul.

Leader within Europe

Within Europe, Brussels' leading position is even more emphatic. In the period 2004-2023, almost twice as many international association meetings took place in the capital as in Paris, and almost three times as many as in London.

"Around 2,470 international associations have their headquarters in our capital," said Patrick Bontinck, CEO of "They can count on active support from the Convention and Association Bureau of"

Due to the presence of European institutions, there are many lobby groups, PR agencies and think tanks active in Brussels. However, the European Commission wants stricter rules for organisations that want to influence political policy in the EU on behalf of third countries.

Place du Luxembourg, Brussels © PHOTO BELGIAN FREELANCE

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