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Les Apéros Urbains – Brussels

By Marie SENG

Les Apéros Urbains -Aperos Urbains

Started with 40 participants, today an average of 2.500 people joins the Apéros Urbains every Friday in a new area of Brussels to enjoy an after work drink.

There was not much nightlife in Brussels in 2004 when François Lafontaine and Viriginie Cwajagenbaum had the idea of organizing a drink on a Friday night in a public space. They wanted to re-appropriate public spaces where people do not necessarily accustomed to and to create opportunities for people to meet in a relaxed atmosphere after work.

The first event was organized in 2005 with the support of social media and 25 people came. Today, this informal activity has grown up to 37.800 followers on their Facebook group. They have changed from an underground and illegal outdoor event to a non-for-profit organization working closely with the local municipalities and other local collective actors.

The Apéros Urbains is held every Friday during summer starting on the 30th of May from 19:00 to 23:00 in various locations around Brussels.

Key-actors

Founder: François Lafontaine and Virginie Cwajgenbaum
Secondary player: Municipalities of Brussels-Capital Region, a group of volunteers, sponsors
Beneficiaries: The general public, the municipalities, sponsors and the organizers

Role of Design

One of the keys to their success is the use of technology and social platform (such as Facebook, Twitter) in their communication strategy. The social network plays a major role in the promotion of the project; they have an extensive network of followers on their FB page. Moreover, people who join the new edition of Apéros Urbains receive a smart card inserted into a terminal. Information will return on that person’s Facebook profile to notify friends. Another technological innovation is a smartphone app who geolocate and find the person’s friends within the site of Apéros Urbains.

CONTACT (of the editor)

Winglam Kwok – Organization: Pro Materia Association – Email: winglam@promateria.be

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