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Major growth in international visitors to Amsterdam RAI

The number of visitors to international exhibitions and conferences in the RAI has continued to increase. For the first time, Amsterdam RAI is expecting to attract over 400,000 international visitors to Amsterdam in 2013. This is part of a highly impressive increase of 30 percent over the past five years, which was largely due to medical conferences and events involving information technology and energy. This week the RAI is serving as the European platform for ISTH 2013, bringing together 10,000 thrombosis and haemostasis specialists from around the world.  

“Our focus on international multi-day market-leading events that bring maximum added value to the city of Amsterdam is paying off,” says Maurits van de Sluis, Commercial Director Convention Centre. “Every euro spent in the RAI is equivalent to four euros spent in the city, and this multiplier is even larger for international events. As a result, the RAI has a considerable economic value for Amsterdam.”  

Face-to-face meetings continue to be a powerful form of communication, even in these economically challenging times. The European ISTH 2013 conference on thrombosis and haemostasis (clotting disorders) taking place this week features an interesting new form of communication: The normal authentic posters have been replaced by e-posters on 74 large LCD screens on which participants present their research. According to the organisers, this digital and sustainable solution has never been used on this scale in the international conference world.

Medical conferences

In addition to ISTH2013 and the European Association of Liver Studies (EALS) earlier this year, Amsterdam RAI is looking forward to a very positive conference year. In early September it will welcome the European Congress of Cardiology (ESC), the largest medical conference in Europe with over 30,000 cardiologists from 150 countries. The RAI is also hosting the European Cancer Congress (ECC) and the European Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgeons (ESCRS) this autumn. Bookings for 2014 include the EADV European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (EADV).  

Attracting the IT and energy sectors

Organisers in the field of information technology are also drawn to Amsterdam RAI. At the end of 2012 the RAI welcomed Microsoft TechEd, while Blackberry Jam 2013 (February) and SAP TechEd 2013 (November) are two of the main B2B events in Amsterdam this year. On the energy front, the RAI has already hosted the SPE/IADC Drilling Conference in March and the annual European Utility Week will take place in October. In 2014 major energy events such as the Conference & Technical Exhibition of the European Association of Geoscientists (June) and the SPE Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition (October) are on the agenda.    

“I am delighted that so many international organisers find their way to Amsterdam and the RAI,” adds Van der Sluis. “We do everything in our power to make each event as successful as possible and provide exhibitors and visitors with an optimal experience. Amsterdam RAI aims to be a place that people look forward to returning to.”  

The RAI will have further opportunities to put this into practice in the year ahead with a well-filled calendar that includes returning large-scale events such as the IBC (International Broadcasting Convention) with 50,000 visitors, IS Europe, PLMA, and renowned RAI titles such as METS and Aquatech.

Start of new construction
This autumn will see Amsterdam RAI start a new project on the city side of its complex designed to further increase the RAI’s appeal to international multi/day events. In October construction will get underway on a new exhibition, conference and office centre, including a quality restaurant. The new multifunctional building is due to be delivered on 1 May 2015.

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