Q: Can you describe your start in the Meetings Industry?
It was by chance that I started working in the meetings industry. After my studies, I started a communication and event agency, where I had the chance to work on different accounts. I have two memories that had a great impact on me at the time. The first was when we organised an incentive trip for a group of 50 people with automotive competitions. During this incentive meeting, we organised different races with Formula 3000 cars on unique circuits and racetracks. The second event that I have great memories of was an incentive meeting for the sales managers of SNCF, which totalled 2.000 people and was centred around the subject of ice.
For me, these two events were my start in the industry, and it was a lot of fun. I was young at the time, 28 years old, full of excitement and adrenaline. Back then I discovered what was very important to me and that was meeting people and having creativity at the heart of my job. To see how organising events in different ways can awaken different emotions in people. I also met incredible people that I never expected to encounter. And after that, my career took off and I started managing the Luxembourg Congress Center and the rest is history.
Q: According to you what is the perception of Luxembourg among meeting planners in Europe?
Luxembourg is not perceived by meeting planners as Luxembourg really is. Business events Luxembourg is there to show meeting planners the real Luxembourg. Yes, of course, it is a big city with top-notch infrastructure. Yes, our university is ranked 9th in Europe among young universities by the Times HIGHER Education World University Ranking. Yes, it is a finance hub. But Luxembourg is so much more, something that is much more powerful. The soul of the country, how green and clean the country is. How the people are open-minded, international, and respectful.
Q: Who are your main competitors in Europe?
I believe that there is no real competition in Europe. There is no city vs. another city, there is no country vs. another country. I don’t think we should compete with each other. I really believe in big Europe, and I do not believe in competition when hosting a conference, congress, meeting or incentive. I believe that every destination can bring their unique selling point into the mix to grow the conference. For example, when hosting a conference about space, Luxembourg can show off as a global leader in satellite telecoms infrastructure and its unique business environment with capabilities across the space sector value chain. And this is the message that we give to event organisers as well, host your event in Luxembourg and you will discover our strong eco-system and what it will bring after organising your meeting in Luxembourg. But for sure it will be unique. Europe should grow together, and no competition should be at the forefront.
Q: What is your vision and what hopes do you have for the future of Luxembourg?
My vision and my hope for Luxembourg is to look into the future of events, such as distance conferences or connectivity. We have to work together with our partners to create and adapt the destination to the future needs of the conferences. The vision we have is to always be efficient in the message we would like to deliver during an event. We should always be authentic and open-minded.
Q: Can you tell us about the variety of special venues that Luxembourg offers?
We have a lot of special venues in Luxembourg. We could mention the venues that can be found in the UNESCO World Heritage site of the city of Luxembourg: Abtei Neimenter or Cerclé Cité. We can talk about our top-notch infrastructures on the new Kirchberg district: Luxexpo the Box or the European Convention Center Luxembourg. We could mention castles in the north of Luxembourg, such as Château d’Urspelt. In a small country, you have a lot of different venues with a contrasting and distinct character.
European Convention Center Luxembourg
Q: Where would you take someone to “feel” the vibe of Luxembourg and what is your best incentive idea in Luxembourg?
A difficult question to answer, as there is not one fit answer. I would say it is important to cross the needs of the clients with what Luxembourg has to offer. One great example of an incentive idea is “rent a city” in Clervaux. The concept is that the city can be rented out and customised in the colours of the company and everything can be personalised to the needs of the customer. Another option would be to host your incentive in a castle and be mesmerised by the story and culture. Another incentive event can be held in Belval, where old meets new. Hundred years ago, it was a big steel factory and now it is the city of science and innovation. Another incentive idea can be held in Luxembourg city, where UNESCO can be paired with a new and vibrant city. It is really difficult to say what is the best incentive. But I believe it is when people go home, and they have learned something new. So, incentives can be tailor-made for the organisers. Luxembourg is open to create something special for them and deliver new emotions.
Q: Is there a certain formula for a good meeting destination?
There is no best formula for a good meeting destination. Of course, it is important to have good basics: hotel, venue, …etc. However, I remember an event I organised in the past, where the venue was not 100% perfect for the conference as it was a bit too small. But we got a lot of good feedback as the interactions between the people were so great. So, what I am trying to explain is that: yes, of course, the basics are important but the human aspects are above everything else. The matchmaking, the soul, the smile, the culture, and the pleasure are key to make an event successful.
Q: Where do you go when you need to take a break?
I do three things to relax and take a break. I do sports. I always have a break in the morning and evening as I cycle to work, even if the weather is bad. It is a good break and it pleasant to start and end my day this way. I also enjoy the culture. I like to listen to music and go to concerts. High on my wish list is to go to the Philharmonie in Luxembourg. It is a resource for me. I also enjoy going to museums during my breaks. And lastly, I like to meet people and share a nice meal.
Q: What is your life motto?
I do not really have a sentence motto, that you can say and repeat every day. But I live by the motto – be happy by choice. I decide to be happy, I decide to discover and am always open to learning. Another motto that links to my culture is – liberté, égalité, fraternité, it is important to be able to decide what to do in your life and have the liberty of being happy. Moreover, I believe that if you do not agree with something, you can change it and should not complain. This sums up my vision and motto of life – Never give up!