ETFI is proud to announce that we are a partner in the recently launched EU project BEFuture! Together with partners from Belgium, France, Germany, Spain, and Italy, the Business Event Future project focuses on a sustainable and digital transition of the business events industry, shaping the future of the events sector in Europe. This is achieved through a regenerative, resilient, and sustainable transformation of the industry. The project will work to engage the entire Business Events ecosystem in co-designing and implementing four packages.


To ensure future sustainability, BEFuture is working on building resilience within the sector to strengthen the competitive position of the European events industry and transform it into a global benchmark for innovation, technology, and sustainability. This includes tech solutions and innovations, minimizing and measuring CO2 emissions, promoting inclusivity, and optimizing positive and lasting impact for all stakeholders. To promote this new generation of events, BEFuture will roll out an acceleration program supporting at least 80 innovative projects, along with an extensive communication and training program, aligning with key industry events such as IBTM World, IMEX, and the Mobile World Congress.

Problem solution

To achieve a future-proof industry, best practices are identified, training and co-creative programs are implemented, and innovative projects are subsidized. By identifying key stakeholders in the industry, the ecosystem is mapped to enhance and sustain the business events industry through collaboration and synergy.

The project team consists of:
  • Amber Herrewijn: senior lecturer and researcher in Event Management at the Master International Leisure, Tourism & Event Management. She guides students in research areas including sustainable events, behavior change, inclusion, and virtual transformations in the event sector.
  • Jochem Jansen: senior lecturer and researcher in the field of placemaking and scenario planning. He is a PhD candidate and involved in various projects focused on transformations of urban and rural areas.
  • Stefan Hartman: as the head of ETFI involved as the overall coordinator and content expert.

Using the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals, the project will identify best practices and then develop talent and build innovation capacity among SMEs as well as professionals in the industry. This is achieved by organizing co-creation workshops and other innovation events that explore technologies, strategies, and trends, bringing together professionals who will shape the future of the industry.


This is the first time that a European project has been awarded to the Meetings Industry or Business Events (BE) industry in Europe. BE contributes the most to the revenue of the tourism industry. In 2019, its value was $916 billion globally. It is expected to reach $1,780 billion in 2030. So, the global market continues to show growth, with a dip in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This research project runs from September 2023 till March 2025

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Jochem can tell you more about the societal impact of leisure, tourism, and events.