Good annual results for RAI Amsterdam are foundation for sustainable growth

More turnover and higher profits in 2017

With a turnover of 123.3 million euros in 2017 and an operating result of 9.6 million, RAI Amsterdam surpassed its turnover and profit of 2016. This was a particularly impressive performance as the cancellation of the AutoRAI and BedrijfsautoRAI events had meant that the prospects for 2017 were only moderately positive. In addition to the good results, the RAI worked hard during 2017 on renewing its organisation and the RAI 2030 spatial development plan. 

Read the annual report 2017.

The 2017 operating result of RAI Amsterdam was €9.6 million, or 7.8% of turnover (2016: €9.4 million/7.9%). The EBITDA in 2017 was at 24.0 and the net result totalled €5.3 million (2016: €5.0 million). 

Focus on acquisition and growth of events
Over 1.6 million people visited the 443 events organised and/or facilitated by RAI Amsterdam in Amsterdam or abroad. “In addition to the 73 international and 29 national exhibitions and conferences, we accommodated 48 stage shows and 293 other events,” says RAI CEO Paul Riemens. “Our strong focus on acquisition enabled us to attract various new events, which – combined with the growth of existing events – allowed us to fully make up for the lost turnover from the AutoRAI and BedrijfsautoRAI. This is a fine achievement.” 

Innovating to maintain competitive position
The RAI’s strategy will remain fixed on increasing the ‘value of meetings’, with a special focus on innovation. “Besides our commercial efforts, we invested lots of time and energy in renewing the structure and culture of the RAI,” continues Riemens. “All in all, these programmes should help further increase customer satisfaction and strengthen our innovative strength. The latter is crucial to maintaining our competitive position in the future.” 

Stimulating sustainable innovation
The RAI’s strategy and business model are aimed at finding a healthy balance between social (people), ecological (planet) and economic (profit) value creation. In addition to stimulating sustainability and corporate social responsibility in its own operations, the RAI mapped out the ways in which the various RAI events contributed to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals in 2017. RAI Amsterdam aims to target the sharing of sustainable content and stimulate sustainable innovation within the programming of events.

Meeting place for everyone
The RAI is also seeking an even greater connection to the city and residents of Amsterdam. The RAI 2030 spatial development plan features initiatives to improve the ambience on and around the Europaplein, reduce the number of logistics movements and increase the links with the city. 

Riemens: “The impact that the RAI has is significant. In addition to economic value, we create employment for some 7,000 people while our business contributes knowledge and innovation to the city. At the same time, we are a major fixture within the neighbourhood. To me, it is essential that the social costs and benefits remain in balance. I look forward to meeting parties to transform the RAI into an more open meeting place in the future; a place where exhibition and conference visitors as well as neighbourhood residents, local entrepreneurs, students, start-ups and other groups enjoy spending their time and getting together.” 

The year 2017 also saw the reopening of the fully renovated Strandzuid city beach, which is a popular venue for business people and local residents alike. The opening of the North/South metro line this summer and the iconic headquarter hotel nhow Amsterdam RAI hotel in 2019, will further strengthen the position of the RAI Amsterdam Convention Centre as a centrally located exhibition, conference and event location. “We are successfully offering added value to Amsterdam in many ways while safeguarding our own continuity,” concludes Riemens. 

Almost all events experienced growth in 2017, a development that is expected to continue in 2018. There is also a well-filled order portfolio for 2018. 


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