Member News

Open for business now: A room with a ZOO

Proud to present: Flanders Meeting & Convention Center Antwerp

Today is the day: the Flanders Meeting & Convention Center Antwerp in Belgium is ready and officially open for business. It is a unique convention centre at a unique location. The Flanders Meeting & Convention Center Antwerp (FMCCA) is conveniently located in the heart of the city, in the award winning 19th Century Antwerp ZOO (the Garden of Life). It is located a ten minutes’ walk from the historic centre. The venue can accommodate up to 2,700 participants, with over 25,000m2 of meeting rooms and presenting a host of unique experiences. The Flanders Meeting and Convention Center Antwerp offers experiences second to none.

Beautiful combination The FMCCA is surrounded by history at every turn. Meeting rooms like the Marble Hall & Verlat Hall are a living, breathing historic monument, and part of one of the world’s founding zoos, complete with Belle Epoque decorations and classified monuments. The FMCCA joins traditional high-quality services and modern facilities which turn it into a perfect and fascinating meeting and convention centre. The FMCCA aims to be a low- environmental-impact, sustainable and low-energy- consumption venue equipped with all modern technology and amenities.

Instant CSR and sustainability The FMCCA lies in the centre of the Antwerp ZOO, a part of the ZOO Foundation, a place of animal welfare, nature conservation and science. A place from which the FMCCA derives its huge and quite remarkable social relevance and anchoring/depth. Anja Stas, Chief Commercial Officer FMCCA: “Every cent spent at our conference centre is managed by the ZOO Foundation and directly contributes to our efforts in the field of animal welfare, heritage, breeding programmes, research and nature conservation. All of this is aimed at the welfare and survival of our zoological friends.”

Protection of threatened species and research on fundamental nature conservation is part of our DNA as a founding partner of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA). Scientists are convinced of nature’s role in our overall feeling of happiness. Nature nurtures the soul, inspires and connects. That is what the FMCCA offers, a conference centre surrounded by nature, tropical animals and the most beautiful garden. After an intensive meeting at the FMCCA you walk into the zoo to savour the sight of lions and giraffes. Imagine what a business meeting could bring under the watchful eyes of the flamingos! How refreshing a morning jog can be among the animals before the start of a busy day! Looking at nature, the animals, the trees and plants empowers and connects. This setting gives a conference or meeting an unequalled boost.

Vast capacity With over 25,000m2, up to 2,700 participants and 20-30 meeting rooms, which offer a unique mix of state-of-the-art meeting comfort and an impressive historic setting, the FMCCA can truly provide for any kind of meeting and convention. The Queen Elisabeth Hall is an auditorium-style 25,000m² concert hall with 2,020 seats, perfect acoustics and sound resonance; it is without a doubt the showpiece of the FMCCA. The Atrium, a large and light-flooded hall with a capacity of 1,900 people, where authenticity meets modernism, is the largest meeting room of the new convention centre. The Atrium can also be split up into 6 different areas. The 2,100m² space is the ideal location to register and welcome participants, as well as to set up expositions and exhibitions. The Historic Wing is made up of 12 rooms, featuring a whole range of marble varieties, high ceilings and Art Nouveau architecture. Each hall has its own distinctive feature, for example, the Darwin Hall contains an impressive skeleton of a Baleen whale, while the Winter Garden is a late 19th century architectural gem of glass and steel providing a tropical illusion where you can walk among hundreds of butterflies during the spring and summer. The historic halls are the ideal setting for any event. The Carnot Wing features 8 modern rooms, all with an executive feel of timeless luxury.

Ideal location The unique location, right in the centre of Antwerp and next to the Central Station, gives organisers of conventions and music performances a very attractive homebase. The FMCCA is connected directly to the rest of Europe with high-speed rail links. Take the Thalys train straight into Antwerp Central Station, sometimes referred to as the cathedral of railway stations, and simply stroll over to the FMCCA. Brussels & Antwerp International Airports are also within a 30 minute drive (44km/27.7 miles) with over 300 international flights per day, serving 200 destinations with direct flights.

Quotes Anja Stas, Chief Commercial Officer FMCCA says: “Combining history with the very latest technology, in a city often described as small but with a larger-than-life attitude for culture and business, this brand new centre is set within one of the founding zoos in the world. With meeting and conference rooms in historic surroundings and premises that will provide a truly unique atmosphere and creativity to meetings and events – we have a living and breathing historic monument now accessible to the world of meetings and events.”

“You can actually organise a conference anywhere in the world", says Flemish tourism minister Ben Weyts. “But only in Flanders you can enjoy such beautiful setting and delicious dining culture after your conference activities. With fantastic convention infrastructure like the FMCCA we can definitely encourage many more business tourists to visit Flanders. It is a nice extra that this audience is spending significantly more money during a stay than other tourists. So the whole economy will definitely benefit.”

The story of gorilla Matadi Home to Matadi, the silverback gorilla, whose impressive appearance has become the face of the FMCCA. Matadi has become one of the zoo’s darlings and the FMCCA mascot. Handed out during ibtm world and conventions held in the FMCCA complex, our mascot is now travelling the world. Last year Matadi came to Antwerp ZOO from Howletts Wild Animal Park in Canterbury, UK. He is said to have an “incredibly sociable and curious outlook about everything around him and loves to be the centre of attention”. Since arriving he has gradually been introduced to our females and as the silverback gorilla is seriously endangered in the wild, the ZOO is hoping that Matadi will produce offspring. Share your Matadi story #Matadi #aroomwithaZOO

For media enquiries, please contact: Ilse Segers, Tel: +32 3 202 45 77, Images:
Member news by: Flanders Meeting & Convention Center Antwerp