Amsterdam reopens as a conference city
Mayor of Amsterdam Femke Halsema and deputy mayor Victor Everhardt (Economic Affairs) kicked off the return of business events to the city at the RAI Amsterdam Convention Centre on Thursday August 26.
The mayor and deputy mayor were joined by RAI CEO Paul Riemens and Tracey Davies, President of Money 20/20, as they officially opened the 2021/2022 congress season in a press conference today. Welcoming multi-day international trade fairs and conferences back to Amsterdam, they clarified the latest measures with regard to business events and emphasised the impact business events such as Money20/20 have on their relevant sectors (FinTech and Health & Science).
View the recording of the full press conference here.
“I am very excited that business events will take place in our city again,” said mayor Halsema. “We are ready to receive, organise and facilitate international events in the city and the RAI.” Mayor Halsema also put emphasis on the level of safety in Amsterdam concerning Covid: “Schiphol, our hotel chains, RAI Amsterdam. They all have the protocols in place. In the last year and a half RAI Amsterdam has become a Covid-expert and is Covid-proof”.
About Amsterdam’s position in the global event sector the mayor says: “Amsterdam has been an international city for a long time. We have a tradition in welcoming guests from all over the world. We are proud of international trades, innovation and intellect. I think Money20/20 and a lot of the activities of RAI Amsterdam and other venues in our city are in the forefront of transforming our city. These visitors help our city become more of an innovative, curious city that we are proud of”.
Make people feel safe
Deputy mayor Everhardt continues: “Over the next four years, the municipality of Amsterdam will invest 3.7 million euros in attracting conferences that add value to our city. We aim to make Amsterdam one of the most important conference cities in Europe. Amsterdam is now ranked fourteenth on the list of most attractive congress destinations worldwide. Congresses provide income, employment and training, while strengthening local economic sectors.”
Until 2019, conferences at RAI Amsterdam alone were generating an annual turnover of approximately €690 million and employment of 6.300 FTEs. In general, a turnover of 1 euro added value for RAI Amsterdam is 7 euros added value for the region. With the Amsterdam conference sector shut down for a year and a half, the region of Amsterdam missed a revenue of approximately one billion euros.
“In close contact with clients, exhibitors and other relations, we have found the right mix to ensure events can take place safely and responsibly,” added RAI CEO Paul Riemens. “We are ready to start up in September with various influential events for all sectors, including the financial of which Money 20/20 is a great example.”
Riemens continues: “Our focus in the last year and a half was not only to organise safe events within the RAI. It was, and is, on the whole value chain. We support our visitors, exhibitors, suppliers and organisers in the total customer journey. Especially in these times, our organisation is focused on adding that value and making a difference not only in Amsterdam, but also internationally.”
Money20/20, the world's leading event for the payments, fintech and financial services industry, will be the first event to take place at RAI Amsterdam Convention Centre from 21 to 23 September 2021.