Room with a zoo: Why connecting with nature means better events

Anja Stas talks about CSR as a way to be more productive, at the Associations World Congress in Antwerp.

Anja Stas
Anja Stas

One of the speakers at the Associations World Congress in Antwerp was Anja Stas, chief commercial officer of Flanders Meeting & Convention Center – the unique venue that hosted the event and from which pink flamingoes can be seen strolling through Antwerp Zoo.

Stas said people who connected to nature during an event – or even during our busy working lives - would be more productive, efficient and could get more out of their day.

She asked delegates: "Why do we meet in person, why do we travel thousands of miles to sit together for days, exchanging information? Because in this digital age, nothing beats human to human connection."

But Stas also reminded delegates to take time to look around at their environment – and to use their congress passes to take a tour of the award-winning zoo, one of Belgium's most famous attractions.

"We are the only convention centre in the world with a zoo outside, and the only one that promises and guarantees an immediate CSR solution," Stas said before reminding the audience of the venue's slogan, 'A Room with a Zoo'.

Flamingoes at the Flanders Meeting & Convention Center

 

Antwerp is celebrating the 175th anniversary of the zoo this year, with a musical planned to tell the story of the port city’s love for the zoo.

Stas extolled the CSR virtues of the venue, whose profits are all funnelled back into conservation.

She said: "Antwerp Zoo is the oldest scientific zoo in the world and is managed to the highest standards of animal welfare.

"All the profits from events at the convention centre, as well as from the zoo, go directly to the conservation programme.

"That includes education, award-winning and groundbreaking scientific research, international breeding programmes of endangered species, as well as conservation programmes and research."

The Associations World Congress from March 12-14 is now in its eleventh year. With more than 400 delegates it is the largest for professional, scientific and trade membership organisations in Europe.

Highlights on the agenda include governance, event tech, revenue, event development, membership, communication and effective CRM.

 

For more features and breaking news sign up to C&IT Magazine's daily Newstracker here 

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles
and free email bulletins.

Register now
Already registered?
Sign in
'Four-poster bed, copper bath and gorgeous furnishings': a night at Down Hall Hotel

'Four-poster bed, copper bath and gorgeous furnishings': a night at Down Hall Hotel

C&IT's associate editor reviews a country house hotel dating back to 1322 with Italianate architecture and luxury interiors.

The charity ball with a projection-mapped 'Wheel of Fortune'

The charity ball with a projection-mapped 'Wheel of Fortune'

Country estate Alrewas Hayes hosted the 25th anniversary of the Hope and Homes for Children fundraiser.

2020's most popular incentive destinations

2020's most popular incentive destinations

In our State of the Industry: Incentives report, we look at the top countries and cities over the past year.

Cancellations and deferrals: How global agencies are reacting to coronavirus

Cancellations and deferrals: How global agencies are reacting to coronavirus

As IBTM APAC gets postponed, agencies tell C&IT what they are doing to meet the challenges posed by the outbreak.

IBTM APAC 2020 postponed over coronavirus

IBTM APAC 2020 postponed over coronavirus

Organisers have postponed the inaugural IBTM Asia Pacific due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

How are incentive budgets changing in 2020?

How are incentive budgets changing in 2020?

Budgets increases come despite fears over economic uncertainty, according to the State of the Industry 2020: Incentives report.

MGM Resorts takes action over massive data hack

MGM Resorts takes action over massive data hack

More than 10.6million guests have had their data leaked after the cyber attack, according to reports.

APAC planners still 'use manual processes' for most of their tasks

APAC planners still 'use manual processes' for most of their tasks

Australian and New Zealander event planners need a more technology-driven approach, according to new research by Cvent.

DICE launched to improve diversity at conferences and events

DICE launched to improve diversity at conferences and events

New charter aims to eliminate 'manels' and offers guidelines for making events more diverse, on and off stage.

Are experiential food and drink incentives on the rise?

Are experiential food and drink incentives on the rise?

Planners reveal what food and drink experiences clients are increasingly requesting, in the C&IT State of the Industry: Incentives report.

LATEST JOBS