International events: RAI increases profits

Photo: RAI Amsterdam

Photo: RAI Amsterdam

Amsterdam. Amsterdam RAI achieved a net result in 2013 of € 3.3 million (2012: € 2.1 million). The increased profits resulted from an exceptional conference year and growth in the RAI’s international activities. For the first time in its history Amsterdam RAI attracted over 400,000 international visitors. Although partially compensated for, the cancellation of the AutoRAI did affect turnover. Over the past five years Amsterdam RAI has consistently achieved extremely positive results despite the economically challenging climate. And the outlook for 2014 is equally positive. To further enhance its international position, Amsterdam RAI started construction of the new Amtrium in October; the first of three new-build projects.

In terms of turnover Amsterdam RAI marked time, partly due to the cancellation of the AutoRAI and the transfer of MECC Maastricht. The turnover was € 116.6 million, which represents a fall of nearly 15% compared to the previous year (2012: € 134.7 million). The below the line results were satisfactory, however, and Amsterdam RAI concluded 2013 with a positive result. On balance, the profits over the report year increased to € 3.3 million (2012: € 2.1 million).

Amsterdam RAI experienced an exceptional conference year. Including cardiologists, oncologists, hepatologists and thrombosis specialists, Amsterdam RAI facilitated events for an enormous range of medical disciplines. In 2013 Amsterdam RAI attracted over 400,000 international visitors, marking an increase of over 30% in the conference segment over the past five years. The growth in the number of international conferences is very important to Amsterdam RAI, but also to the greater city of Amsterdam. Combined with the impact of (RAI-organised) international events, Amsterdam RAI was responsible for over one fifth of all corporate hotel bookings in 2013.

In 2013 the activities of Maastrichts Expositie en Congres Centrum (MECC Maastricht) were transferred to the Municipality of Maastricht. A start was also made with the disentanglement of systems and activities, a process that is expected to be finalised by the end of 2014.

Dedicated investments in facilities and exhibition concepts have enabled Amsterdam RAI to attract and realise large, international events. This has also had its effects outside of Amsterdam, as General Director Hans Bakker explains: “In 2013 our international turnover doubled to € 6 million compared to the previous year, which is a considerable achievement. From our home base in Amsterdam we are involved in spin-offs of our own exhibition titles abroad, including events in China, the USA, Poland, India, Mexico and Turkey.”

A start was made with the construction of the multifunctional Amtrium building in mid-October. The new exhibition, conference and office building is the first project to result from the ‘(Spatial) Future Vision RAI’ report, published in 2011. In this document Amsterdam RAI and Amsterdam City Council’s Zuidas Service pledged that Amsterdam RAI would remain at its current location and focus on sustainable development. In addition to the Amtrium, which is scheduled for completion in May 2015, the Amsterdam RAI Convention Centre will also be expanded in the near future to include a RAI Hotel with a capacity of 800 rooms and, most likely, an extra parking facility for 1,000 cars.