WTSC, 5-7 Oct. 2016, Bruges, Belgium

ALEXANDRIA, Va., July 21, 2016—Nearly 125 textile services industry executives from linen and uniform supply companies from 15 countries are pre-registered for the World Textile Services Congress (WTSC), 5-7 October in Bruges, Belgium. WTSC organizers expect a larger final attendance count as laundry operators participate to learn about business opportunities common to the industry in every nation.

Representatives of more than 60 textile services companies will be joined by personnel from 14 event sponsors (suppliers to the industry) to share education, networking and social events. Discussions of economic, political and legal trends will inspire attendees to improve company strategies. Presentations by laundry executives will provide ideas to enhance everyday business practices to immediately increase profitability. In the evening hours, participants will enjoy food and drink with other WTSC delegates as they explore Bruges, with its canals, cobbled streets and medieval buildings.

Co-sponsors are the European Textile Services Association (ETSA) and two national associations, FBT (Belgium) and TRSA (United States).

The event begins 5 Oct. (Wednesday) when the Boards of Directors of seven participating national associations meet during the day. Board members will participate in social activities that evening.

Keynote presentations are 6 Oct. (Thursday):
Herman Van Rompuy, 2010 to 2014 European Council president, the master negotiator who facilitated cooperation among Eurozone countries to help Greece (and later Ireland and Portugal) stabilize borrowing costs while preventing economic contagion throughout the EU.
Marc Herremans, the World Champion Ironman triathlete whose strong spirit and dedication did not stop him when he became disabled when training accident. He became an exceptional wheelchair athlete, coach and philanthropist.
Dominique Persoone, the “Shock-o-Latier,” who is revolutionizing the chocolate industry by collaborating with scientists to uncover new flavor combinations. His business is a case study in differentiating from competition and approaching everyday operations with a “rock and roll” perspective.

Presentations will be held in the Belfry and Market Halls, where much of Bruges’ wool and cloth trade was conducted in the 13th to 16th century. The Belfry provides panoramic views of Bruges and the surrounding countryside all the way to the sea. Thursday’s agenda also includes panel discussions featuring textile services executives from across the globe:

Corporate Social Responsibility. Laundries everywhere can increase revenues by promoting the industry’s increasing contributions to customers’ sustainability, cost control and image. Other industries will be discussed as good models for our industry to become recognized for its good works.

Global Trends Overview. Learn about revenue-building and cost-control techniques to address challenges common to laundry companies around the world due to regulation, globalization and competition. There will be discussion of supply and demand for key products required for your business such as textiles, energy, chemicals, electronics and more. Legal and ethical constraints, especially regarding environment, safety and health, will be discussed.

Textile Services Market Dynamics. Launderers in every nation are faced with a different combination of challenges to profitability based on market conditions. Participants on this panel will explain how laundry performance in their countries s affected by supply concentration (chain vs. independent laundries), demographics (population, workforce), economic mix by industry (product- vs. service-producing) and supply costs.

Executives who travel to the WTSC are encouraged to bring spouses/partners with them. A spouse/partner program, “Walk with the Chef in Bruges,” is scheduled for Thursday. The guide will share recipe secrets and discuss Bruges history as participants hit the tastiest spots in the city, stopping in markets and shops to sample local products. The itinerary features encounters with an airbrush artist and chocolatier and lunch at a historic home with a painter’s studio.

Spouses/partners will also enjoy the social activities on Wednesday and Thursday night. On Wednesday, the opening reception will be at the WTSC hotel, the Hotel Dukes’ Palace, the same ground where lavish festivities were staged nearly 550 years earlier to usher in the reign of Duke Charles of Burgundy. After the reception, a Beer Tasting Dinner will be held at Bruges’ former provincial palace. Led by a Brugean town crier, you’ll stroll with the group to this neo-Gothical building that opened in 1876 and was built in
phases until 1921.

On Thursday night, activities begin with a short walk to the City Hall (built in 1376) where the group will be greeted by the mayor of Bruges and have a drink in the building’s Gothic Hall, featuring late 19th-century murals and a colorful vaulted ceiling. The remainder of the evening will be in the city Concert Hall for a reception, gala dinner and after-dinner drinks. This building’s rooftop provides a unique view of Bruges’ historic center. When seated for dinner, attendees will be treated to a breathtaking panorama featuring the lighted towers of this World Heritage city.

On Friday morning, executives participating in the WTSC will visit two nearby laundries, observing how Belgian plant operators achieve high productivity and efficiency. Participants have a choice of healthcare, hospitality or workwear laundries, stating their preferences at registration. TRSA is offering a laundry tour before the WTSC beginning in Brussels on Tuesday, 2 October and arriving in Bruges on Wednesday.

Spouses/partners can rejoin attendees for lunch at a brewpub. After that, all remaining activities are optional (extra). These include walking and bicycling tours of Bruges and a visit to Flanders Fields. Dinner that evening (also optional) is at ‘T Zwart Huis, a former merchant’s house (1482) now known for knowledgeable and friendly restaurant staff serving great food with world-class jazz and blues playing in the background.

For more information and registration for the WTSC, please go to For the TRSA laundry tour,


Ken Koepper
Director of Marketing/PR
1800 Diagonal Road, Suite 200
Alexandria, VA 22314
+1 877.770.9274 or  +1 703.519.0029, ext. 109
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