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Huge strides for a celebratory MECC

MECC Maastricht enjoys modest profite

MECC Maastricht can present a successful 2013 fiscal year to the Municipality of Maastricht. After suffering an 800,000 euro loss in 2012, they ended 2013 with a modest profit. This improvement is due in part to the stringent reorganisation in 2012 paired with significant sales growth in 2013.

This growth in revenues was achieved by focusing on higher margins, upselling and purchasing savings. Seceding from the Amsterdam RAI left the MECC with plenty of room to create a new corporate climate. This involved seizing new opportunities by entering into successful partnerships in the field of events and exhibitions and taking healthy entrepreneurial risks instead of adhering to a strict pricing policy. Their long-term strategy will focus on selling Maastricht as a key destination with the goal of attracting new business not only to the MECC but to all of Maastricht and the surrounding region.

Alderman John Aarts advocated a takeover of the MECC shares owned by the Amsterdam RAI. He is happy with the results for several reasons: “When we took over the MECC, most people expected it to be a financial black hole. With a positive end to the first fiscal year, it seems quite the opposite is true. The MECC is once again a true Maastricht company and Made in Maastricht. You can sense it in everything; in the positive energy and the momentum. The Maastricht community now knows the MECC is back in Maastricht to stay.

"It will take years of careful planning to attract new companies, conferences and trade shows to the city, but we’re working hard to achieve this. I’m convinced that our efforts will be reflected in solid numbers in the years to come. The entire city will benefit from the MECC thanks to new employment opportunities in the hospitality, retail and supply sectors. Along with the Maastricht Aachen Airport, the MECC is one of the region’s key economic drivers.” According to calculations by the Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions (NBTC), international multi-day conference-goers spend an average of 365 euros per day.

Continuity-focused acquisition
Event organisers choose the MECC and Maastricht for their proactive approach. Once in the MECC, clients are quickly convinced of the possibilities. Organisers of multi-day (inter-) national events are particularly drawn to Maastricht and the MECC. In all cases, the aim is to ensure continuity by achieving mutual success. This often requires sharing the associated business risks as well.

Record number of international conferences
In 2013, the MECC hosted a record number of international conferences, with a particularly sharp rise in the number of international multi-day medical conferences. The International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), one of the barometers for the conference field, ranked Maastricht as the third conference city in the Netherlands after Amsterdam and Rotterdam. The MECC and the city are striving to become the second conference city in the Netherlands. The MECC is also part of the Maastricht Health Campus and serves as its central meeting place and primary exam location. The MECC appointed a manager responsible for contact management and consultancy of all conference initiatives on behalf of the AZM and the university. The MECC is involved in all initiatives surrounding the development of the campus and Randwyck.

The MECC calendar is being steadily filled with old and new events, exhibitions and conferences. To enhance the connection with the city, special attention is being paid to accessible events like the Beetle Fest, the Trade Fair for Special Holidays, the Mega Flea Market, the Book Festival and various dance events. Duo X-Elle sold out two shows in the Auditorium last December and JIM returned to the MECC after several years of absence. Following the success of the November 2013 edition, JIM will be added to the MECC calendar in 2014 as well. In addition to the internationally acclaimed TEFAF, the MECC will also host several prestigious public and professional events. One such event is InterClassics & TopMobiel which, with some 28,000 visitors, has led to the creation of a new automotive fair: the International Speed Festival, which will open in September of this year. The new consumer fair Healthy & Vital Living will be organised in October. The well-known hospitality fair BBB, which will be hosted in conjunction with the international gastronomy fair Folie Culinair this October, is back with more visitors and exhibitors than last year.

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