The second largest port in Europe, Antwerp, is also known worldwide for its diamonds. Last year the city celebrated 570 years as diamond capital of the world. The answer to the question as why you should plan your conference in Antwerp is therefore quite simple. Antwerp makes your conference sparkle!
An atypical, compact metropolis where everything seems to be within reach, that’s Antwerp. It embraces both heritage and innovation, business and leisure, global ambitions and a genuine concern for nurturing a highly enjoyable quality of life for its inhabitants and international visitors alike. Let’s take a deep dive into its undisputed number one position in the global diamond trade.
Cut in Antwerp
Antwerp and diamonds are inseparable. The city has had a distinct shine since 1447, when it first claimed the Diamond Capital title. Since then, the city has become the oldest, largest and most international diamond center in the world. A place where the industry has pushed boundaries in diamond trade, diamond cutting, jewelry design and technology. One can safely say it remains as successful today as it was in the 15th century.
The role of Antwerp is unique as professionals from all over the world recognize its leadership in trade of especially rough and also polished diamonds and compliance. As many as eight in ten rough diamonds in the world’s rough trade pass through Antwerp at least once. As such, it hardly comes as a surprise that the term ‘Cut in Antwerp’ is synonymous worldwide for perfect diamonds. Besides diamond jewels, Antwerp offers unique jewelry creations made by talented local designers.
Leadership in compliance
Antwerp also has an exemplary role in the diamond trade as the sector played a crucial part in the introduction of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, which aims for the elimination of conflict diamonds. When it comes to polished diamonds, certificates include three diamond gradings handed out by the reputable HRD Antwerp, IGI or GIA labs. They examine the diamond’s authenticity, whether it is a natural, lab grown or treated diamond and will describe its characteristics (the 4 C’s) carat, clarity, cut and color.
Last but not least, Antwerp and the Antwerp World Diamond Centre introduced a quality label for jewelers called Antwerp’s Most Brilliant. The label provides consumers and visitors with a guarantee of compliance, transparency and quality and strengthens the image of Antwerp as a jewelry hub. Jewelers are awarded the label if they fulfil a set of criteria after being audited by an independent accredited office.
Thanks to this label the consumer can buy jewelry with confidence. Labelled jewelers are recognizable by the sticker in the shop window: ‘Antwerp’s Most Brilliant Officially Certified Jeweler’.
A DIVA among jewels
In the heart of Antwerp’s city centre you can take a plunge in the world of diamonds visiting DIVA, Antwerp Home of Diamonds. This museum opened in May 2018 and is set to create a unique experience, as visitors have the opportunity to discover authentic pieces and learn about the history and craftsmanship behind Antwerp’s diamonds and jewelry. Just as a star or a diva dazzles on the big screen, DIVA aims to radiate as the new international diamond experience center with a heart beating for historic and creative silversmithing, boasting fascinating story-telling and immersive productions.
In this sparkling setting Antwerp is host to many conferences, varying from Breakbulk Europe – over 7,600 (!) participants – and the ISWA World Congress to the Chief Digital Officers Congress and the Associations World Congress. The latter is the largest conference for managers, directors, experts and innovative thinkers from the world of international associations.
It took place in the Flanders Meeting & Convention Center Antwerp (FMCCA). This brand new, unique conference location is situated in the heart of Antwerp ZOO and lies within walking distance of Antwerp’s historic city centre. The FMCCA halls and rooms mix an impressive historical setting with state-of-the-art meeting comfort. Not to mention of course, the presence of the zoo itself, which gives an extraordinary special extra to any conference held here. The FMCCA has room for up to 2,700 participants.
Spending time in Antwerp
For an overnight stay Antwerp offers over 4,200 hotel rooms. Choose from a range of hotels, varying from small boutique hotels to four star international chains.
For any amount of free time Antwerp has lots to offer. Explore the historic city centre by foot and discover hidden – or not so hidden – diamonds in unexpected places.
Like the futuristic-looking Port House, the medieval Saint-Julianus Guesthouse with the adjacent chapel, Vlaeykensgang (only a few minutes’ walk from Antwerp’s Cathedral) or St. Paul’s Church, a beautiful Gothic style church with a Baroque tower.
Eat at one of the many little bistro’s and have a taste of the culinary diversity brought to Antwerp by the Jewish and Indian communities, the largest groups within the diamond community.
Planning your convention in Antwerp the Antwerp Convention Bureau and Visit Antwerp together will do their utmost to help you make sure your convention will be a brilliant success. The team has years of experience and knows simply everything there is to know about Antwerp. You can count on them for professional and independent advice, free of charge.