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Higher turnover and more visitors for RAI Amsterdam

RAI spin-off value calculated at half a billion euros.

With a turnover of 126.2 million euros and a 8.9 million euros operating profit, 2015 was a successful year for RAI Amsterdam. Based on the biennial event cycle, RAI Amsterdam had the best results in 2015 of all uneven years since 2007. Visitor numbers to the RAI Amsterdam Convention Centre rose to 1.75 million.

The operating profit of RAI Amsterdam in 2015 was 8.9 million euros, or 7.1 per cent of the turnover (in the similar year 2013, the figures were 7.1 million euros, 6.1 per cent of the turnover). The EBITDA margin was 22.7 in 2015 and the net result 4.2 million euros. These figures may not be as high as the exceptional year of 2014 (9.3 million euros), but they are significantly higher than the previous years with a similar event programme  this decade. The turnover increased by over 5% to 126.2 million euros.

Focus on innovation
A new feature in 2015 was the InnovationLAB. In partnership with TNO, 3TU Federatie and Accenture Innovation Awards, RAI Amsterdam developed a concept which makes ideas, innovations and news even more tangible on the exhibition floor and online. The InnovationLAB is now a fixed element of all RAI-organised exhibitions, and stimulates exhibitors to make their innovations more visible, while providing knowledge centres, research institutes, and innovators with a multimedia platform. Moreover, the setup of the InnovationLAB generates valuable content that helps maintain contact with the target group throughout the year.

International success
The financial successes of the year can largely be attributed to the international strategy adopted by RAI Amsterdam. “Twelve years ago, the RAI shifted its focus to large international multi-day events,” says CEO Hans Bakker, who is leaving RAI Amsterdam on 1 May 2016. “Some 70% of the events that will take place in the RAI in 2016 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 to acquire these major events.”

Powerful engine for business tourism
Research agency Ecorys calculated the economic importance of the RAI for the city and region in 2014. The study showed that the added value of activities at the RAI is characterised by a factor of seven. In other words, for every euro spent in the RAI, seven flow to the Amsterdam region (with a total value of 502 million euros). The RAI is a powerful engine for business tourism in Amsterdam. In total, the company represents 1.1% of the total economy of Amsterdam. In terms of employment, the RAI provides over 7,000 jobs.

Ready for the future
The multi-year investment programme of RAI Amsterdam was as good as completed in 2015. Some 180 million euros was invested over the course of more than a decade to ensure that the entire convention centre would be state of the art in terms of both technology and quality. In addition to these enhancements, the investments also led to structurally lower maintenance costs.

Amtrium in use, new multifunctional garage in preparation
In the reporting year, the new Amtrium multifunctional exhibition and conference building on the Scheldeplein was officially opened by Amsterdam mayor Eberhard Van der Laan. The most unique feature of the Breeam-Excellent-certified Amtrium is its vertical greenhouse for city farming. The Amtrium is the first project resulting from the RAI Spatial Future Vision agreement from 2011, in which the municipality of Amsterdam and RAI Amsterdam jointly determined the parameters for the RAI’s continued and sustainable development at its current location.

Within this framework, construction started on a new multifunctional parking garage for 1,000 cars in 2015. A unique feature of the new complex will be its first floor, which will be twice as high as the other storeys and available for use as an exhibition space during major events. The RAI parking building, which is being built in accordance with the latest sustainability standards, will be ready for use in the summer of 2016.

nhow Amsterdam RAI Hotel
The plans for the development of the RAI Hotel were finalised in 2015. Project developer COD and NH Hotel Group will operate the hotel under the name nhow Amsterdam RAI. The building of an onsite hotel fulfils a longstanding wish of RAI Amsterdam. With 650 rooms, the nhow Amsterdam RAI Hotel will be the largest hotel in the Benelux region. The iconic design by OMA (established by Rem Koolhaas) will make the new RAI hotel a genuine landmark in the Zuidas business district. The design was inspired by the distinctive advertising column het Signaal on the RAI site.

Meaningful encounters
All of these new facilities give RAI Amsterdam plenty of opportunities to maintain and expand its leading position. This allows it to focus in the coming years on its core mission of organising and facilitating meaningful encounters between people to create real added value.

Vicky Karantzavelou
Co-Founder & Chief Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network | Website

Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.

She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.