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Guide to hosting events in Brussels
Brussels. The waffle-loving, comic-book-indulging, and chocolate-embracing capital of Belgium. Event planners love it for another reason, though. The event venues. So, welcome - one and all - to our guide to event venues in Brussels, where we’ll explore the architectural gems in Brussels with picturesque settings and venues that boast the city’s innovation and flair. Let’s get started.
FAQ about Brussels venues and events
To be honest, every season in Brussels has its own charm, and it can be hard to pick just one season to host your event here. When you choose to host your event would depend on several factors, such as the nature of your event and the type of experience you want your attendees to have.
If you’re hosting an outdoor event, we would suggest either Spring or Summer - March to May or June to August - this is when the weather is at its best behaviour, and you can take complete advantage of it.
For indoor events, any time of the year works well since the city in winter also has its own charm!
- Bonus reading: Experience Brussels' magical winter by trying one of the activities in this list of things to do in Brussels in winter.
This really depends from venue to venue since different event venues have their own cancellation policies, but it’s good to remember that the closer to your event date you cancel, the less money you’re likely to get as a refund. In fact, most venues are non-refundable if you cancel at the last minute (this is usually 48 hours before your booking date).
Dutch and French are the official languages of Brussels, although you’ll find many locals speaking a unique dialect called Brusseleir which is a mix of both Dutch and French.
If you speak neither of these languages, don’t worry. English is also widely spoken throughout the city, especially in tourist areas and at event venues and corporate spaces in Brussels.
There are several permits you need to obtain from local authorities before your event to ensure a smooth-sailing experience for you and your guests. These include an event authorisation permit that permits you to host your event in the city.
The other permits you require include a public assembly permit, a noise and sound permit, a food and beverage permit, an alcohol permit (if you’re planning to serve alcohol), a parking and traffic permit, and insurance.
The number of permits you need will also depend on the nature of your event and the number of guests that will be attending. If you’re in doubt, it’s best to check with the local authorities well before your event date.
When hosting a corporate event in Brussels, cultural etiquette and customs play a crucial role in creating a positive and respectful atmosphere. As a bilingual city, it's essential to acknowledge and show respect for both French and Dutch languages in your event materials and interactions.
Punctuality is also highly valued in Belgian culture, so starting and ending the event on time is essential. Dressing in business attire, especially for formal events, is expected. While gift-giving is not mandatory, if you choose to present gifts, it's thoughtful to consider local Belgian products.
Like most European countries, Brussels has an excellent variety of event photographers that can capture the memorable moments from your event. If you’re unsure where to start, you can check out the portfolios of popular event photographers online or hire them through local directories or even event planning agencies.
Some venues will also be able to recommend event photographers to you. To get a headstart, we recommend checking out these top photographers working in Brussels.
Yes, tipping is part of the culture in Brussels, as it is in the rest of Belgium. However, it is not as common or expected as it might be in some other countries. In Belgium, a service charge is often included in the bill at restaurants and bars, and this fee is intended to cover tips for the staff.
If you receive excellent service and want to show appreciation, leaving a small tip is always a nice gesture, but it is not obligatory. In general, Belgians tend to round up the bill or leave a few extra euros as a tip. For example, if the bill is €48, it is common to leave €50 and consider the extra €2 as a tip.