H&E North checks out the Netherlands capital as a destination for an unforgettable and innovative conference experience.
Amsterdam is famed for many things – narrow houses with eye-catching gabled facades, an intricate network of canals, and an impressive cultural scene. However, aside from tourist appeal, the city is also a top contender as a world-class conference destination.
Having ranked in recent years as one of the top 10 international conference destinations by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) and The Union of International Associations (UIA), Amsterdam is home to hundreds of meetings, conferences, exhibitions, conventions and trade fairs throughout the year.
A Unique Offering
The reason for such merit has to start with Amsterdam’s unique venue offering. From intimate meetings to exhibitions for tens of thousands of people, every option is catered for and we’re not just talking about your average conference hall.
Think stunning properties with canal views, state-of-the-art hotels and custom-made events at the EYE Film Museum and world-famous venues such as the Van Gogh Museum and Madame Tussauds. Another popular option is the Amsterdam RAI Exhibition and Convention Centre – a multifunctional complex made up of conference and exhibition halls in the Zuidas business district.
In terms of accommodation venues, Amsterdam doesn’t disappoint either. There are high quality options galore, both traditional and unusual in style. This means the Amsterdam experience does not have to stop once the event ends. Of course, there is lots for delegates and visitors to see and do as they take in the 2016 European City of Culture’s many museums, attractions, restaurants, cafes, shopping and nightlife by foot, bike or public transport.
This year saw the launch of the Maritim Hotel Amsterdam, due to open in 2020. Located behind the famous A’DAM Tower, the ultra-modern conference hotel will become the largest in Amsterdam and an impressive fixture on the skyline thanks to its two-tower design. Comprising of 579 four-star rooms with city centre views, in addition to several meeting rooms, the centre will include conference halls tailored to any event.
The second tower will be a residential development and include penthouses, serviced apartments and standard apartments. There will also be six restaurants throughout the hotel offering international and national cuisine, plus a sky bar to take in the incredible views.
Amsterdam’s ease of connectivity is definitely a bonus to those travelling to and within the city. The Maritim Hotel Amsterdam’s city centre location means the conference centre is just a few minutes via the free ferry at Amsterdam Central Station. The hotel will become more connected when the new Noord/Zuidlijn metro connection opens soon.
Connecting people further afield is Amsterdam Airport Schiphol – one of Europe’s four major hubs, operating to more than 300 destinations directly. This includes Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow airports, from which the flights are reasonably priced and in most cases, take less than two hours. Once you arrive, you’ll only be one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time and greeted by an electric fleet of taxis and public transport connections to the city, taking no more than 20 minutes.
Connectivity in a digital context is also among the best in the world thanks to the Amsterdam Internet Exchange – the world’s largest exchange. So, if you want to video conference colleagues in far-flung destinations or broadcast your event live, Amsterdam has it sorted. This digital connectivity is also allowing cutting-edge creatives, tech specialists and the start-up community to thrive.
What really tops off Amsterdam’s appeal to anyone working in the event industry, is the amount of support available. For example, the Amsterdam Knowledge Network offers experience, expertise and valuable connections for organisers of international congresses and conferences specifically by academic and medical associations.
Iamsterdam.com is also a great resource and includes a venue finder and service finder, plus other useful information to help you plan your event and do business in the wonderful city of Amsterdam.
A Bright Future
2018 will see Amsterdam host the likes of the 22nd IPF World Congress on Psychotherapy and The ACM SIGSOFT International Symposium on Software Testing and Analysis. Despite already hosting a calendar of events each year, and the city being a firm favourite with many meeting planners and delegates, Amsterdam is showing no signs of slowing down.
According to the MasterCard Worldwide Centers of Commerce Index, the iconic metropolis is among the 10 top most important commercial centres in the world and the fourth most influential business centre in Europe. It’s a historic city but it is very much looking to the future to cement its reputation as the ultimate conference and events destination where knowledge and ideas are exchanged to benefit all those concerned.
To find out more about how you can meet and do business in Amsterdam, visit iamsterdam.com.