Hosting more international conferences

Due to a significant increase of the number of international congresses held in the city in 2014, Amsterdam climbed four spots and now ranks 8th on the list of most successful congress cities in the world. In 2014, the ICCA – the International Congress and Convention Association – counted 133 international conferences in Amsterdam. The number of international congresses taking place in Amsterdam has been on the increase for a while. In particular the number of large medical conferences and events involving information technology and energy, such as the ESC and the IBC, has increased. 

Record year for Amsterdam RAI

This general increase has resulted in a record number of exhibitors at the Amsterdam RAI congress and convention centre. Last year, more than 18,500 exhibitors took part in events in and by Amsterdam RAI. In total, the RAI complex hosted 544 events, which attracted over 1.6 million visitors. In a release, Amsterdam RAI’s CEO Hans Bakker points out: “In 2015, 70% of the events taking place in the RAI will have an international character. In addition to our own international B2B events, this also includes letting space to external convention and exhibition organisers such as IBC, ISE and PLMA. We worked very closely together with Amsterdam Marketing and NBTC portfolio to acquire these major events.”

‘I amsterdam Approved’

Since the congress sector and the hotel sector are closely related, the city’s provision of hotel rooms has also increased significantly in recent years. In 2013, an agreement was reached with the hotel industry to the effect that for each convention in Amsterdam, 16,000 certified hotel rooms are readily available, all bearing the ‘I amsterdam Approved’ hallmark.

International association congresses

The ICCA annually compiles an inventory of all international association congresses held around the world. The ICCA only includes conventions organised by associations listed in its statistics and applies fixed criteria when defining an international congress. In order to be included in the ranking, a congress must have at least 50 participants, be hosted at multiple locations and rotate around at least three countries. The number of conventions being held each year is increasing despite the economic downturn. This is due to the fact that the associations are legally obliged to organise an annual conference for their members.