The GDS-Forum convenes destination leaders and sustainability champions from around the world. This is a dynamic, fun and unconventional gathering to discuss sustainability and impact strategies and best practices, learn from GDS-Index journeys, and co-create new approaches and initiatives for greater regenerative destination management. 

GDS-Forum/CityDNA Autumn Conference

This year, the GDS-Forum is taking place on 15-16 October 2024, along with the GDS-Awards, and the CityDNA Autumn Conference from 16-18 October 2024 in Bruges, Flanders, Belgium.

This year’s theme is “Let Pigs Fly”, the conference to explore why we still need big thinking, wild ideas and believing the impossible … and a platform to discuss what to do when no one shares your vision, or you are trying to fix the unsolvable.

At this annual “un-conference”, you can collaborate with peers and leaders in destination strategy and sustainability to translate innovative ideas into regenerative action, fostering socio-economic and environmental prosperity in cities and regions.

CityDNA, GDS-Movement, and Visit Bruges partner this year to present this exceptional in-person event, dedicated to nurturing cities’ environmental and socio-economic well-being.

Why should you attend the GDS-Forum?

As change accelerates beyond expectations in climate, cities, the workplace, artificial intelligence, and visitor numbers, the question arises: how do we shift from a state of concern to one of opportunity? How can we leverage the ongoing social and technological transformations to revitalise our cities, communities, and natural environments, ensuring greater resilience for the future? By collaborating to amplify our initiatives and innovations, we can drive exponential positive change.

Our Sustainability Approach

GDS-Movement, CityDNA and Visit Bruges Convention Bureau are committed to regenerative tourism, and will help destinations to strategise, scale positive impacts, and prioritise events with a positive social, environmental, and economic legacy.

The emissions from the local event production, delegate and team travel, accommodation, food and beverage, and multiple venues were measured. Where data was not available, impact data was estimated using the GDS-Movement database of sustainable events.

We used the TRACE platform to assess and track our CO2 emissions.

Find out more about the host city´s sustainability efforts here.

Offsetting Approach

In a world still transitioning to clean energy, some emissions are unavoidable, and we address these with high-quality carbon offsets in the form of carbon credits.

GDS-Forum: the “Un-Conference”​

The GDS-Forum programme is an evolving un-conference experience in the form of a flexible and informal meeting defined by deep cooperation. It aims to  

See the 2024 programme here

2024 GDS-Movement Impact Day

Monday, 14 October 2024

2024 GDS-Movement Impact Day is a pivotal one-day inaugural conference aimed at redefining the role of the Business Events sector in driving societal and environmental transformation and regeneration.

Organised by VisitFlanders, the GDS-Movement, and #Meet4Impact, the Impact Day will take place in Bruges, Flanders, Belgium, immediately prior to the GDS-Forum and CityDNA Autumn Conference.

Find out more information here.

GDS-Forum: Let Pigs Fly – Shifting Mindsets

Tuesday morning, 15 October 2024

Delve into the crucial topic of shifting mindsets for radical and accelerated change. Today´s agenda includes empowering teams and leaders, bridging the gap from ‘What If’ to ‘How’, and identifying strategies to accelerate change. Learn how to encourage leadership, clients, and suppliers of the critical nature of change, while keeping communities alive and thriving.

Venue: ‘t Zwin Visitor Centre

Group transfer from Hotel Crowne Plaza to ‘t Zwin Visitor Centre.

GDS-Forum: Let Pigs Fly – Showcase Innovation

Tuesday afternoon, 15 October 2024

Discover the latest in innovation and receive updates on the “Building Block”s from our 2023 GDS-Forum. Explore what’s next for these foundational elements and unlock insights into their future trajectory

Venue: ‘t Zwin Visitor Centre

GDS-Forum: Let Pigs Fly – Fostering Collaboration

Wednesday morning, 16 October 2024

Discover strategies to speed up change and drive progress. Explore methods for sustaining a vibrant and thriving community. Engage with actionable outcomes to propel initiatives forward.

Let’s develop actionable outcomes to drive impactful transformation.

Venue: Hotel Crowne Plaza


Wednesday evening, 16 October 2024

Recognise and celebrate the efforts of GDS-Index destinations and changemakers

– Leadership Award
– Most Improved Award
– Innovation Award
– The GDS-Movement and #MEET4IMPACT Impact Award

Venue: Bruges Royal Theatre

CityDNA Autumn Conference

Wednesday – Friday, 16 – 18 October 2024

The CityDNA Autumn Conference will provide destination professionals working for Tourist Boards, CVBs & DMOs with a unique occasion to meet and network with colleagues from Europe and beyond, while learning and sharing knowledge and insights on the latest trends and challenges on urban tourism in Europe.

The CityDNA conference will showcase a diverse range of collaborative sessions, inspiring discussions, and innovative approaches.

Venue: Hotel Crowne Plaza

Tours and Visits of Bruges

Saturday, 19 October 2024

Experience the enchanting beauty of Bruges with guided tours, where every corner tells a story. From leisurely walks to invigorating cycling tours, discover the charm of this picturesque city like never before. Join us as we explore the hidden gems and iconic landmarks that make Bruges a must-visit destination.

Join Forces: ​Partner with us for a Regenerative Future​

Be part of shared success, collective learning, and positive change within the industry​

Co-create Legacy

Your support is a powerful catalyst to co-creating a meaningful legacy for GDS-Forum and the events industry. Develop innovation with lasting impact on communities while regenerating the natural environment with us.

GDS-Forum Partners

Catalyst Partners

Strategic Partners

Media Partners