Why Amsterdam?

By Dennis Speet, Director Amsterdam Convention Bureau by amsterdam&partners

Photo: RAI Amsterdam

Photo: RAI Amsterdam

Many countries have been heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. How is Amsterdam currently dealing with this crisis?

The Dutch government has implemented measures to control and prevent the spread of coronavirus in the Netherlands.

In Amsterdam, the stakeholders of the Amsterdam Taskforce City-wide Congresses* confirm that all necessary COVID-19 safety protocols have been successfully implemented to ensure a safe and welcoming visitor journey to the Amsterdam Area.

Amsterdam even looked further and experimented with innovative solutions such as ‘The stage is yours’ , a new plug and play concept from RAI Convention Center where experience, convenience and safety are key. Hence our promise that ‘Amsterdam is ready to meet you again’. Even in these difficult times, within current measures and travel restrictions, we put all our innovation and creativity at your disposal to welcome and host your events.

*The Taskforce City-wide Congresses consists of the main stakeholders involved in international events in Amsterdam such as Schiphol Airport, RAI Amsterdam Convention Center, the public transport sector, the main hotel chains, the largest organisation representing hospitality businesses in the Netherlands (KHN) as well as KLM. For this purpose, the Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions and the Netherlands Event Platform representing the main Dutch stakeholders for business events, were also involved.

The MICE industry is also struggling during these difficult times. How do you think this will change our industry, and what measures can be taken, in your opinion?

The meetings industry is heavily affected. Moving meetings to virtual or the option to add a hybrid component to a meeting has opened the eyes of meeting organisers as it also brings opportunities to have a larger outreach. And perhaps the meetings industry will also move to a more modular or regional set-up for the time being. In these difficult times, it has become more and more important for destinations to anticipate these changing needs of the meetings industry and provide real value, by offering organisers the platform and required studio facilities for example, focusing even more on safety and sustainability issues, and creating real connections with the local community.

As soon as Amsterdam is able to welcome international association congresses in the future…

…we will be able to do what we love most in our job again: facilitating association congresses with a lasting impact. For delegates, by providing the best services, access to local knowledge networks and ecosystems, and access to all the city has to offer. And for Amsterdam, establishing relevant exchanges with local ambassadors, ecosystems and our citizens.
Amsterdam has always been a place where great (international) minds, experts and innovators have come together. And it is exactly the exchange of knowledge and ideas that has helped to further debates and innovations in many fields, and for the city of Amsterdam to take on a leading role as meeting destination.   

Our task as the Amsterdam Convention Bureau is to facilitate such exchanges (again) in the best possible way.

Did you know, that…?

1. Amsterdam is leading the way in the fields of life sciences and technology/Artificial Intelligence:
•    Smart Health Amsterdam, Amsterdam’s collaborative healthcare community, sets the stage for research, innovation and cutting-edge advances across a number of life-science fields
•    AI-Technology for People, a coalition of major knowledge and research institutes in Amsterdam in the field of AI, together with the City of Amsterdam, strongly invests in research, education and valorisation of human-centered AI-technologies that have a positive impact on society.
•    Startup Amsterdam: offers innovative (tech) startups and scale-ups all the support they need in order to get the full potentional out of their innovative solutions.

2. Amsterdam has been named the most sustainable city in Europe by the recent Schroders Sustainability Cities Index, which ranks 59 cities based on their environmental policies.

3. The Amsterdam Convention Bureau was restructured and relaunched on 1 May 2021, to be fully focused on the future challenges ahead/demands of the industry.

Where to meet?

If you are planning your next meeting or event in Amsterdam, you have more than 500 venues to choose from. Venues range from modern to historical, from the new Capital C or the established Beurs van Berlage with capacities around 1000 attendees to our largest conference centre RAI Amsterdam that can host events with up to 30,000 attendees. All equipped with the lasted state-of-the-art equipment and featuring new studios for the perfect virtual and hybrid experiences.

Where to stay?

With more than 36,000 hotel rooms, Amsterdam has a large and diverse capacity of accommodation. Which means your attendees will always be able to find an attractive place to stay close to, or within short travelling distance of, the venue.

There is the brand new 650 bedroom NHOW Amsterdam RAI, that was opened this year. Or what about the historical NH Collection Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky on Dam Square or the modern W hotel on the opposite site of the square.  

The Amsterdam Convention Bureau and the RAI Amsterdam offer an official ‘I amsterdam-approved’ guarantee of hotel room availability and quality at a fixed maximum price. Easy for you and convenient for your delegates.

How to get there?

Amsterdam’s international connectivity is unique in Europe. Trains from London, Berlin, Frankfurt, Brussels, Antwerp and Paris take you to Amsterdam (central station) in only a few hours. Amsterdam has a direct flight connection to more than 300 destinations worldwide. Our national airline KLM, part of Air France-KLM, even offers special discounts for meeting groups. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is only 20 minutes away from the city centre by public transport or taxi. Once you arrive in Amsterdam, you'll find everything is close by. Hotels, venues, restaurants and attractions are all connected by an efficient public transport system and your travel time will rarely exceed 30-45 minutes. A vibrant capital with a village vibe is what describes Amsterdam best, according to Dutch people.

Do you offer any special services/assistance for associations?

We work independently and offer a number of free services. We help you organise impactful conferences and meetings that truly add value for delegates, local businesses and residents alike. Our services include:

-    Location advice: We can help you shortlist the most suitable venues and offer tailor-made suggestions,
-    Creating connections: Connecting your meeting, congress or event to knowledge institutes, talent and businesses within the local ecosystem,
-    Bid assistance: We can help you in creating a bidbook
-    Site inspections: Have your programme for a site inspection arranged
-    Hotel room blocks: Convenient for you and hassle-free for your delegates
-    Promotional material: Use of our media bank, including Amsterdam information and footage
-    Local service providers and event planning support: Whatever services you need, we can connect you, provide ideas, concepts and quotations
-    Incentives ideas and social programmes: we provide tailor-made advice about opportunities for delegates to connect and discover the Amsterdam area together.

Personal recommendation/insider tips?

Amsterdam is packed with cultural, historical and architectural delights – from over 75 museums like the Rijksmuseum or Van Gogh and the Anne Frank House to a canal tour (a must do!). Amsterdam restaurants offer a wide variety of different food styles and do not forget to have a drink in our cosy bars in the Jordaan or the Pijp area.

Whom to contact?

The team of the Amsterdam Convention Bureau is happy to assist. You can contact us by e-mail at meetings@iamsterdam.com or whatssapp at +31(0)682747079