From April 17th-20th 2012, Maastricht is hosting city for the European Energy Conference (E2C), which will be held in MECC Maastricht. A new success evolving from the intensive collaboration from MECC Maastricht, other partners and the Maastricht Convention Bureau.

Victoria Ibbertson, Conference Officer of the European Science Foundation (ESF), which, together with the European Materials Research Society and the European Physical Society, organises the conference, gave the “go ahead” to the city of Maastricht early February: “We are very happy to go ahead and use MECC for this event. Thank you again for all of your hard work on this bid and I look forward to working with you in the coming months.”

About the organisers

Three leading European scientific associations have joined forces and are committed to a synergetic engagement to evaluate and promote European research and technology competence in the energy field. The European Science Foundation, the European Materials Research Society and the European Physical Society share the conviction that fundamental scientific aspects of energy research and development will be substantially more efficient, with faster progress and a promotion of understanding through an interaction of their specialist disciplines: material sciences, physics, chemistry, engineering and environmental sciences.

About the conference

The European scientific community has the potential to optimise interdisciplinary cooperation and communication in energy research. This bi-annual European Energy Conference series launched in 2010, promotes, consolidates and communicates this vitally necessary synergy. Although focused on energy research and technology, this conference series fully recognises the political, economic and social aspects of energy supply and consumption. Sustainable development is ultimately a social and community imperative, which can only be accomplished within this larger context.

The programme combines plenary keynote presentations on diverse energy themes in the morning with devoted symposia in specialised fields in the afternoon. Symposia topics are: Energy Systems and Sustainability, Sciences for Energy, Primary Energy Conversion, Distribution & storage, End use of Energy and Emerging Topics, submitted by individuals, groups and institutions.

Key European players in energy research are invited to schedule related energy events and meetings within the programme or the fringe activities of the E2C-2012.

Realising the bid

Victoria Ibbertson gives her thanks to Maastricht & surrounding area for all the hard work on the bid (see above).

“It is indeed hard work before we can present a bid,” says Sonja Opreij-Speth of the Maastricht Convention Bureau. “Our first encounter with ESF was in 2008 on EMIF, the MICE trade show in Brussels. We were participating with a booth to ‘sell’ Maastricht & surrounding area. During this first meeting, it turned out that, given the conference needs and expected delegates, Maastricht & surrounding area was perfectly suitable as destination.  So then, we needed to convince the conference organiser of that. Therefore, I invited ESF to join the site visit we organised in Maastricht & surrounding area, which they did. During a site visit, we emphasise the city’s strong characteristics: the compactness, safety, the vicinity of various international airports, the quality of life, the extensive gastronomic possibilities, the green surroundings, etcetera. After the site visit, we regularly stayed in touch and I visited the ESF office in Brussels. Together, we had a closer look at the conference details and how the conference would be when held in Maastricht & surrounding area. After that, the whole organising committee paid a visit to Maastricht & surrounding area and the venues which could be used for the conference, so they could experience everything with all their senses. When the organisation is enthusiastic about a city, it is a big step towards being allowed to make a bid.”

“True,” confirms Charles Beckers of MECC Maastricht. “And next to that, equally important is the quality and facilities of the congress centre. MECC Maastricht is one of the youngest conference venues, with numerous possibilities. That too, makes an organiser enthusiastic. When those two factors (city and venues), in the eyes of the organiser, combine perfectly, the destination is allowed to make a bid. An official presentation by the Maastricht Convention Bureau and MECC Maastricht, about the city, the congress centre, party and dinner venues, hotels, transportation, privileges for the organiser, etcetera. Everything is listed properly and photo’s are added as illustration. This bid is offered to the organising committee and then, we’ll have to wait and see if their decision will be in favour of Maastricht.”

“In many occasions, a city competes with other possible destinations for the same conference,” clarifies Sonja. “At the end of last year, we were informed that the city of Maastricht made it to a shortlist of five cities for this conference. This list was then reduced to two, and eventually the organising committee choose Maastricht & surrounding area as the destination for their conference.”

Charles: “Now that they have chose Maastricht and MECC, realisation of the convention can begin. Each and every one of us is going to make sure that the European Energy Conference will become a great success. For the organisers, as well as the delegates and Maastricht & surrounding area!”

Economic significance

Charles Beckers already mentioned that the conference will be a great success for Maastricht & surrounding area. A variety of parties benefit from a conference being held. There are the hotels, accommodating the delegates, but also the transportation companies bringing them to and from MECC Maastricht.

During a conference, often a party and/or social programme is organised, which means these parties benefit as well.

During their stay in Maastricht & surrounding area, delegates will visit shops, restaurants, buy souvenirs, in short: the spin off of such a conference is huge.

All in all, a conference delegate spends € 395,- per day during his stay (source: indexed number Netherlands Board of Tourism and Conventions).

Winning the bid of the European Energy Conference for Maastricht & surrounding area means:

  • 750 delegates, with or without their partner, residing in the city
  • They will stay here a minimum of 3 days (many times, they arrive early or leave later)
  • This means a minimum of 2250 overnight stays in hotels
  • They will spend approximately € 888.750,00,- in Maastricht & surrounding area