Executive Board report


RAI Amsterdam realised 443 events in 2017, which attracted a combined total of over 1.6 million visitors.

The RAI hosted a wide range of inspiring events for professionals and consumers.

Nine successful RAI-organised exhibitions were exported to other continents.

RAI Amsterdam focuses on eco-friendly content at trade and consumer events in order to stimulate ‘green’ innovation. We contribute to 13 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

Three categories of event can be distinguished based on the role played in them by RAI Amsterdam:

  • 421 events were organised by our clients in the Convention Centre in Amsterdam with RAI Amsterdam playing a facilitating role. Together these events accounted for nearly 1,124,000 visitors;
  • Thirteen events were organised by the RAI itself in the Convention Centre in Amsterdam with RAI Amsterdam having an organising and facilitating role. Some 375,000 visitors were welcomed to these events;
  • The remaining nine events were organised by the RAI abroad; RAI Amsterdam only had an organising role here. Around 126,000 visitors attended these events.

facilitating and/or organising

Events in Amsterdam

The tables below show the largest events that took place at the Convention Centre in Amsterdam during the reporting year per type of event. Please see the websites provided for more information about each event.

Trade exhibitions in RAI Amsterdam

Exhibitions with 10,000 visitors or more, listed alphabetically

Trade exhibitions in RAI Amsterdam
Event sector / field of interest website
Aquatech Amsterdam Water technology https://www.aquatechtrade.com/
Building Holland Construction https://www.buildingholland.nl/
European Utility Week Energy https://www.european-utility-week.com/
Horecava Hositality & catering https://www.horecava.nl/
IBC Media, entertainment & technlogy https://www.ibc.org/
ISEurope Audiovisual systems https://www.iseurope.org/
MARKET by kleine fabriek (2*) Fashion & lifestyle http://www.marketbykleinefabriek.nl/
Metstrade Maritime equipment https://www.metstrade.com/
Modefabriek (2*) Fashion & clothing https://www.modefabriek.nl/en/
Offshore Energy Energy https://www.offshore-energy.biz/
Passenger Terminal Expo Airports & aviation http://www.passengerterminal-expo.com/
PLMA Production private label https://www.plmainternational.com/
Provada Real estate https://www.provada.nl/
Wine Professional Wine http://www.wine-professional.nl/

Consumer exhibitions in RAI Amsterdam

Exhibitions with 10,000 visitors or more, listed alphabetically

Consumer exhibitions in RAI Amsterdam
Event sector / field of interest website
Comic Con Entertainment related to comics http://www.comiccon-europe.com/nl/amsterdam/
HISWA Watersports https://www.hiswarai.nl/
Huishoudbeurs Home & household https://www.huishoudbeurs.nl/
KunstRAI Art http://www.kunstrai.nl/
Masters of LXRY Luxury products https://lxry.nl/
Nationale Carrièrebeurs Work & career https://www.carrierebeurs.nl/
Negen Maandenbeurs  Pregnancy & young children https://www.negenmaandenbeurs.nl/
PAN Amsterdam Art http://www.pan.nl/
VT Wonen & Design beurs Living, interior & design https://www.vtwonen.nl/wonen-design-beurs/


Conferences with 2,500 visitors or more, listed alphabetically

Event sector / field of interest website
doTERRA Convention Oil sourcing https://www.doterra.com/
ECCO Cancer www.eccocongress.org/
European Academy of Neurology Congres Neurology https://www.ean.org
European Congress of Pathology Pathology http://www.esp-congress.org/
European Congress of Psychology Psychology https://psychologycongress.eu/2017/
EWMA Wound treatment http://ewma.org/nl/ewma-conference-dutch/2017-nl/
HR Tech World HR https://hrtechcongress.com/amsterdam/
International Conference on Magnet Technology Magnet technology http://www.mt-25.org/
International Liver Congress Liver disease https://ilc-congress.eu/
Jeunesse Regional Convention Youth https://www.jeunesseglobal.com
Microsoft Tech Summit IT https://www.microsoft.com/nl-nl/techsummit/
Radiodays Europe Radio & media https://www.radiodayseurope.com/
Salesforce Worldtour FY 18 IT https://www.radiodayseurope.com/
SAP Insider IT https://sapinsiderevents.com/
Summit EMEA IT https://www.summitemea.com/
Tattoo Expo NL Tattoos https://www.tattooexpo.eu/
WindEurope Conference & Exhibition 2017 Wind energy https://windeurope.org/confex2017/

Stage shows

Events in the RAI Theatre

Stage shows
Event sector / field of interest
Atif Aslam Bollywood Show Concert
Charlie Chaplin Musical
Checkpoint Entertainment show
Chippendales ! Best Night Ever Tour Entertainment show
Game Grumps and Jacksepticeye - Live Performance
Hamed Homayoun Concert Concert
JC Superstar Musical
Marthas Institute for Performing Arts Performance
Miranda Sings Stand-up show
Mohsen Yeganeh Concert Concert
Mr. Moein Concert Concert
Nieuwjaarsconcerten Concert
Revivo Project Benefit Concert Concert
Romeo & Juliet (Suzhou Ballet) Ballet
Shadmehr & Aref Concert Concert
Sleeping Beauty (Nat. Ballet Oekraïne) Performance
Tina de musical Musical
Zwanenmeer Musical

Other events

With over 2,500 visitors

Other events
Title sector / field of interest website
Amsterdamse Winterparade Outdoor event https://winterparade.amsterdam/
Disney on Ice Musical on ice https://www.rai.nl/nl/disney-on-ice/
Jumping Amsterdam Equestrian https://www.jumpingamsterdam.nl/
Kingsland Festival Festival http://kingslandfestival.nl/
Martin Garrix All Ages / Special DJ/music http://www.martingarrix.com/
Turkse Verkiezingen Election -
Valhalla Stand-up show http://www.valhallafestival.nl/

the Negenmaandenbeurs is the largest event in the Benelux region focused on pregnancy and babies. It offers young parents and parents to-be offers and products from around 200 exhibitors, masterclasses, workshops and fashion shows

How does the RAI stimulate the sustainable growth and development of people, markets and our local environment?

RAI Amsterdam aims to have all its events linked to the Sustainable Development Goals. By itemising the social challenges from the related sector/community for every exhibition, we stimulate the sustainable growth of people, markets and the local environment.


Innovation is one of the top three reasons why people visit an exhibition. RAI Amsterdam responded to this fact in 2015 by developing the InnovationLAB, a central platform for ideas, innovations and news to take shape on the exhibition floor and online. The fruit of cooperation with our external partners TNO, 3TU Federatie and Accenture Innovation Awards, the InnovationLAB ensures that new products and services have a clear and prominent place among RAI Amsterdam’s exhibition titles. A rich and interesting platform like the InnovationLAB enables RAI Amsterdam to stimulate exhibitors to showcase their innovations at exhibitions. Moreover, it offers knowledge centres, research institutes and innovation partners a platform to bring their innovations to the market, enriching RAI Amsterdam’s exhibitions. The InnovationLAB is a platform where visitors can see and experience innovations in their market online and in person. Furthermore, the platform can be used by the exhibition medium to distinguish and profile itself in this crucial perspective. The RAI’s InnovationLAB, creates a prominent place for sustainability and stimulates sectors and markets to work and innovate in a sustainable way.

generic concept that can be applied to any exhibition and stimulates sustainability and innovation

Minister Van Nieuwenhuizen at Intertraffic 2018

Stimulating the use of public transport

By offering public transport deals, the RAI stimulates the use of public transport. It also allows us to reduce congestion around the RAI during large events and minimise CO2 emissions.

Public transport deals

Percentage of visitors with a combi-ticket for public transport and exhibition access

Public transport deals
  Current edition Edition -1 (previous) Edition -2 (second to last)    
Huishoudbeurs 5% 5% 5%    
HISWA 5% 9% 11%    
Horecava 19% 23% 25%    
METS 41% 39% 38%    
Aquatech 34% 31% 21%    
Rematec 37% 26% 16%    
Total 23% 22% 19%    

In the spotlight: Horecava

Horecava has been the inspiring and innovative platform of choice for professionals in the food service industry for sixty years. It provides professional visitors with a broad and comprehensive overview of industry products, services and trends. Horecava supports Strategic Development Goal 12 (responsible consumption and production). The following initiatives were prepared in 2017 for the Horecava 2018 event (which has already taken place):

  • Partnership with the Vegetarian Restaurant Week which takes place yearly in March. Our our communications called on chefs and food service professionals to participate and place extra focus on vegetarian recipes;
  • In partnership with a foundation (Stichting Verantwoorde Voeding Basisonderwijs), signatures were collected for a petition urging the government to invest in responsible food consumption in elementary schools. Horecava also hosted a press conference with a member of parliament and a university professor;
  • Innovation & TrendLAB: one of the themes was ‘circularity’. Various speakers at the seminar (including author and politician Jan Terlouw) discussed sustainable solutions. The TrendLAB also hosted various circular businesses and applications, including issues such as cradle-to-cradle work clothing, equipment for the longer preservation of cooked food, waste reduction (including La Place), the Worm Hotel (organic composting solutions), and making the city greener (urban gardens for food service companies);
  • AdviceLAB: consultants provided advice on sustainable solutions (energy, water, waste);
  • Innovation Award: the winner in the Sustainability category is a new cleaning agent without chemicals and based on natural minerals;
  • There were various sustainable pavilions at the exhibition:
  • Veggie & fruit market: stimulating the use of vegetables and fruit.
  • Source to Plate in the Netherlands: top chefs demonstrating the preparation of culinary dishes with local seasonal products from the region.

stimulating sustainability among professionals in the food service sector

Luuk Scholte, Food Exhibitions Director of the RAI, explains how Horecava 2017 contributes to sustainable development (in dutch)

Luuk Scholte, Food Exhibitions Director of the RAI, explains how Horecava 2017 contributes to sustainable development (in dutch)

In the spotlight: Aquatech

While water is now becoming a problem in some places in the world, this is already the case in many others. Sometimes there’s too little, sometimes there’s too much or the water is polluted. Aquatech Global Events comprises a series of trade exhibitions in the Netherlands (Amsterdam) and abroad (China and Mexico) where the global water industry comes together to resolve these issues. The exhibition programme features a complete overview of the most recent developments in the field of drinking water, waste water and process water. Aquatech is focused on professionals active in all aspects of the water industry and brings together policy makers, specialists, scientists, the industry and other relevant parties.

Floodex Europe, an event that takes place at the same time, is focused on professionals in flood prevention. Although floods have been a major issue in Europe for many years, the increasing awareness and proof of the impact of climate change has put flood management higher on the agenda of local and national governments.

Aquatech contributes to various Strategic Development Goal (SDGs). The core lies in solutions for water and sanitation (SDG 6) and generating energy via water treatment (SDG 7). Aquatech contributes to other goals as well. The exhibition stimulates constant, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, for instance, by providing the Young Water Professionals with their own pavilion to help them improve their knowledge and skills (SDG 8). Aquatech also focuses on improved water management and water quality, which in turn contributes to reducing inequality between countries, with several delegations from developing countries being invited to Aquatech and the AIWW (Amsterdam International Water Week) conference (SDG 10). The launch of Floodex Europe was themed around resilient and safe cities (SDG 11). The preservation and sustainable use of oceans, seas and maritime resources is one of the topics of the AIWW conference (SDG 14).

Moreover, Aquatech organised the Aquarun, the proceeds of which were donated to Aqua4all and AMREF Flying Doctors.

stimulating sustainable developments in the field of water

Aquatech Amsterdam

The Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte opens Aquatech 2017

The Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte opens Aquatech 2017

Contribution to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) or aimed to put an end to poverty, inequality and climate change by 2030.

The RAI exhibitions contribute to 13 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, as indicated in the tables below.

Contribution of RAI titles to SDGs

Contribution of RAI titles to SDGs
  Contributing RAI-event
1 No Poverty Huishoudbeurs
2 Zero hunger Greentech, Horecava
3 Good health and well-being Interclean, Negenmaandenbeurs
5 Gender equality Huishoudbeurs
6 Clean water and sanitation Aquatech, Interclean
7 Affordable and clean energy Greentech, Aquatec
9 Industrie, innovatie en infrastructuur Intertraffic, MobiliteitsRAI
11 Sustainable cities and communities Greentech, Intertraffic, Aquatech, Amsterdam Security
12 Responsible consumption and production Greentech, Horecava, Aquatech, Rematec
13 Climate action Greentech, Aquatech, Intertraffic, Rematec, Huishoudbeurs
14 Life below water Mets, Hiswa
16 Peace, justice and strong institutions Greentech, Aquatech
17 Partnerships for the goals Alle titels

Importance for city and society

RAI Amsterdam stimulates the economy in the city and region. Hotels, restaurants, museums, transport companies, suppliers and the airport benefit from the large number of exhibitors and visitors who visit the city due to the (many international) exhibitions, conferences and events. Business visitors who stay a few days also represent a boon for the city and the surrounding area. The fact that they spend the day at an exhibition or conference means that our city stays balanced, while their stay contributes to the local economy. The economic value of RAI Amsterdam to the Amsterdam metropolitan region was reassessed in late 2014, showing a further increase over previous years. RAI Amsterdam was found to generate a total turnover in the Amsterdam region of over 600 million euros as well as 7,000 jobs on a full time basis.

Events abroad

The RAI organises exhibitions abroad which are based on trade exhibitions that take place in Amsterdam.

In the spotlight: Aquatech China

Aquatech China is part of Aquatech Global Events. The Asian exhibition programme offers a comprehensive overview of the most recent developments in the field of water and wastewater treatment, transport & storage, process control & automation and Point of Use. The exhibition in China grew by approximately 20 per cent and attracted over 83,500 visitors and more than 1,200 exhibitors.

for the waste and drinking water industry

In the spotlight: IBEX

RAI Amsterdam purchased a 50 per cent share in the American exhibition IBEX (International Boatbuilders Exhibition and Conference) in 2016. This trade event for professionals in yachtbuilding is the American version of the RAI-organised exhibition METSTRADE.

acquisition of complementary event in the US

In the spotlight: Intertraffic Mexico

Intertraffic Mexico is the platform for professionals in the traffic industry seeking business opportunities or business continuity in Mexico. The 2017 event included 183 exhibitors and their products and services. The second edition, again in partnership with EJ Krause, attracted around 4,100 visitors and featured national and international companies showcasing solutions to some of the major traffic issues in Mexico.

for professionals in the traffic industry

RAI events abroad

RAI events abroad
Event Visitors  
Aquatech China 83,584  
Aquatech Mexico 6,460  
IBEX 3,475  
Intertraffic China 5,529  
Intertraffic Istanbul 4,747  
Intertraffic Mexico 4,057  
ISSA Interclean Istanbul 1,995  
ISSA Interclean Latin America 1,815  
WaterEx Beijing 14,138  
totaal 125,800  


Based on years of experience in meeting the most diverse requirements, RAI Amsterdam provides dedicated services to clients and visitors before, during and after events.

Various restaurants and catering points and a wide range of options for catering on the exhibition floor ensure a comfortable stay in RAI Amsterdam. The RAI has an ambitious culinary team with a drive to work locally and sustainably wherever possible.

By acting as an intermediary in hotel bookings, car rentals, transfers, excursions and flight bookings, the RAI guarantees capacity and availability during large-scale events.

Organiser Services

RAI Amsterdam provides know how and dedicated services which ensure that organisers’ events go as smoothly as possible. Our specialists provide advice and support to organisers on setting up the exhibition floor or preparing for their event. Expertise and networking are deployed to ensure that organisers make the most of the opportunities provided by the Netherlands, the city of Amsterdam and RAI Amsterdam and facilitate a successful event. Solutions are also offered in the field of ICT, registration, logistics, audio-visual and media. We work closely with clients to help them achieve the best possible ROI.

know-how and services to make an event run smoothly

RAI Amsterdam was the first private company in the Netherlands to be allowed to regulate and enforce various event-related licenses. This cooperation, now in its ninth year, has simplified and accelerated the license procedures.

RAI Amsterdam provides event-related licenses directly

Exhibitor Services

RAI Amsterdam Exhibitor Services supports exhibitors in their preparations to make their event participation a success. They can order products and services for their stands via a special webshop, including shell scheme stands, hostess services, furniture, catering, flowers & plants, telecommunication & ICT facilities, parking tickets, and stand cleaning. There are now contracts in place with preferred suppliers.

broad range of services for exhibitors before, during and after events

RAI Insights

How can organisers ensure that an event actually does what it was initially intended to do? What can they do to offer visitors the best possible experience? How can they increase the success of their event? RAI Amsterdam has examined into these issues and others, taking the customer journey before, during and after an event as a guideline. Our findings are shared in the RAI Insights report, which is focused on increasing the impact of trade events.

knowledge sharing focused on increasing exhibitors’’ success

RAI Insights: customer journey

Visitor Services

RAI Amsterdam Visitor Services offers services to visitors designed to optimise their experience. This includes arranging hotels and transport, parking, courtesy lounge, help desk, work and meeting places, and visitor catering.

focus on the visitor experience


Catering is an important pillar of all RAI Amsterdam events and we work both independently and in partnership with specialist third parties. RAI Amsterdam remains responsible for quality control in all cases.

catering: self-catered or in partnership with third parties

catering concept at Aquatech 2017

RAI Amsterdam has five restaurants of its own - the Grand Café, First Floor Restaurant, Holland Restaurant, Café Amsterdam and the Amtrium restaurant - all of which are opened when required for an event or conference. There are another two restaurants in the Convention Centre which are operated by third parties: THE ROAST ROOM and Strandzuid (see report section on Facilities). In addition to the restaurants there are various catering points in each complex which are operated during exhibitions and conferences by cafés and eateries such as La Place, Sunday’s, Sushi Time and various other concepts.

5 restaurants, various catering points


The RAI’s culinary team is called Basement Chefs, a name intended to motivate colleagues to become more involved in what is happening in and around the kitchen. The Basement Chefs operate at the nexus of underground corridors and cellars where RAI Amsterdam’s kitchens are located. From gala dinner to catering for a conference or exhibition, the RAI’s chefs have the facilities, logistical capacity and flexibility to turn any event into a gastronomic success. There can be several hundred cooks active in the kitchen at a given time during large events.

the culinary team is made up of hundreds of cooks during large events

The ‘Heart-warming Amsterdam’ concept used in our kitchens reflects a deliberate choice made by RAI Amsterdam to work with regional products and remove vulnerable ingredients from the range. Where possible, the products have an added value for the region or society in general. Care farms for outings or education, small local farms, urban greenhouses and dairy farms in the region are seen both as suppliers and a key source of inspiration. This supports local producers, while offering the possibility to enjoy unusual products grown in the region and dependent on the season.

Heart-warming Amsterdam

RAI Amsterdam aims to expand each product group with a sustainable alternative and eventually provide sustainable products as standard. The inclusion of sustainable alternatives ranges from furniture, carpet, lighting and plants and modular stand construction to catering. The catering is not realised entirely by RAI Amsterdam itself; with a part being provided by sub-contractors. In addition to innovating in our own kitchens, we have therefore entered into a dialogue with suppliers about increasing their level of sustainability. As a result, all concession holders include as standard an organic product in their range at all events in which they are active.

Sustainable alternative

Heart-warming Amsterdam

The choices within the concept vary. The products should always have an added value for the society of region so that we can support vulnerable producers in our urbanised region. It also gives us the opportunity to use unusual products from the region and season. Moreover, limiting the route and distance between production and consumption minimises CO2 emissions.

Added value

Hotel Services

The ability to attract large international events to Amsterdam is strongly dependent on the availability of sufficient hotel rooms at attractive prices which are set long in advance. The increase in the number of rooms available in recent years to 36,000, along with good cooperation with hotels and Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, places RAI Amsterdam in a much better position to meet this requirement from international organisers.

meeting the demands of international organisers

RAI Hotel Services is the largest accommodation intermediary in Amsterdam and the surrounding region, and takes care of hotel reservations as well as additional services such as car rental, transfers, excursions and booking flights to and from Amsterdam for visitors of (mostly international) events. In 2017, over 33,000 reservations were processed, comprising 142,000 overnight stays (2016: 129,000).

Intermediary for 142,000 overnight stays

RAI Hotel Services only works with hotels that have the ‘I Amsterdam approved’ quality label. This is granted by Amsterdam Marketing to hotels that agree to reserve available rooms at a fixed rate for organisers, visitors and exhibitors during large city-wide events.

‘I Amsterdam Approved’ quality label


With its 23 hectares, the RAI Amsterdam Convention Centre provides all the facilities required for large modern events at the very heart of Amsterdam.

Entirely renovated, and as popular as ever: Strandzuid combines the pulse of the city and the buzz of the RAI with a relaxed beach vibe.

Once completed, its 650 rooms and 91 metres of height will make nhow Amsterdam RAI the largest hotel in the Benelux.

Convention Centre

The convention centre in Amsterdam is a sustainable high-end location for conferences, exhibitions, meetings, parties, theatre shows and every other event imaginable. Its 112,200 m² of floor space make the RAI the largest exhibition and conference centre in the Netherlands.

The spaces available for hire consist of 12 multifunctional halls, a conference and theatre room with 1,750 seats, a ballroom in the Elicium, 24 exclusive conference rooms, 46 meeting rooms and covered parking garages with a total of 4,000 parking spots.

All interior spaces are air-conditioned, highly flexible and multifunctional, and can be adapted to a wide range of needs. Furthermore, much of the outdoor areas is suitable for setting up temporary pavilions.

Sustainability is taken very seriously by RAI Amsterdam during the ongoing development of the convention centre as we invest each year in making our buildings, products and services more eco-friendly.

multifunctional complex, the largest in the Netherlands

the 23-hectare grounds


RAI Amsterdam Convention Centre with the Europa Hall in the foreground during the VidCon Conference 2017

Reopening of Strandzuid

Strandzuid reopened officially on Tuesday 9 May 2017. After 12 successful seasons, the wooden pavilions of the city beach were replaced with a new, permanent building. Inspired by Balinese architecture, the new location provides a beautiful spot to unwind for all Amsterdammers and visitors to the RAI. A joint initiative by RAI Amsterdam and Unlimited Label (operator of such Amsterdam landmarks as Vondelpark3 and Caffe Esprit), Strandzuid is located between RAI Amsterdam and the Beatrixpark.

The new and improved Strandzuid is suitable as an event location which can be used independently or in combination with RAI facilities. The restaurant, named simply The Restaurant and serving food à la carte, has a capacity of 300 places. The other establishments at Strandzuid are The Boat House, The Beach House, The Jetty Bar, The Beach Bar and the Playground.

Strandzuid is a perfect example of the public function the RAI wishes to add to its presence in the city. By offering services valued both by visitors to the complex itself and inhabitants of the city at large, the RAI wishes to make an even greater contribution to the urban community.

completely renovated location open to RAI visitors and Amsterdammers

as popular as ever: the new Strandzuid

beach for Amsterdammers and relaxing spot for visitors to the RAI

RAI Amsterdam Convention Centre facilities

RAI Amsterdam Convention Centre facilities
Eigenschap Faciliteiten
Total surface 112,200 m2
Congress centres 4
Halls 12 connected halls, option to extend with two semi-permanent halls
Rooms 2 auditoria, 1 large ballroom with 2,000 seats. 69 congress and meeting rooms. Space for 10 to 10,000 people per hall, with a total capacity of 250,000
Foyers en lounges multifunctional spaces for expositions, parties and events
Entrances 9 separate entrances: 1 dedicated entrance for every event
Restaurants en bars 9 restaurants, bars and lounges, from buffet to à la carte
Parking garages capacity of 4,000 places on the RAI premises
Harbour dedicated marina with direct connection to Amsterdam’s canals
Train and metro stations especially the Amsterdam RAI station, immediately adjacent to the Convention Centre

Sustainable venue

Traffic, accessibility and parking

The RAI has 4000 parking spots on its premises. The concentration of parking space on site strengthens RAI Amsterdam’s market position by boosting customer satisfaction, promoting traffic flows and reducing any nuisance to the surrounding neighbourhood.

4000 parking spots

Multifunctional parking garage

The latest expansion in the number of parking places available on site took place in 2016 with the opening of a new parking garage with 1000 spots. This sustainable multifunctional parking garage is on the section of the RAI’s premises closest to the motorway, between halls 8 and 10.

The ground floor of this building has ample ceiling height, which makes it suitable for use as an extension hall. When adapted for such a purpose, it can expand the floor capacity of adjoining exhibition halls by up to 2,800 m². Thanks to its height, the ground floor can also be used as a buffer space for trucks during the build-up and breakdown of events. In addition, the height of the parking decks is 3.60 metres on the other floors, allowing vans and small trucks to park alongside passenger cars. The extra height means that the parking garage can even be converted to alternative purposes such as office space if so required in the future. Finally, a pavilion can be placed on the roof to create even more exhibition space. In other words, this parking garage exemplifies the flexibility for which the RAI strives in all its activities.

the latest parking garage is the epitome of multifunctional use

the multifunctional parking garage

the ground floor of the multifunctional parking garage can be used for exhibitions or events

North/South Line

The North/South Line is a new line of the Amsterdam metro which will open in 2018. It will run from Amsterdam Zuid station (itself within walking distance of the RAI), via the new metro station Europaplein (located right in front of the RAI), under the city centre, through the central station and across the IJ waterway to Amsterdam North. This new connection will enable RAI visitors to get from the entrance lobby of the Convention Centre to the central station in less than 10 minutes – and the metro will run every six minutes.

new metro line in 2018

Park and ride

RAI Amsterdam is a designated P+R location for the municipality of Amsterdam. On days when there is little or no event-related traffic, drivers can park their cars in the garages on the RAI’s premises. This reduces traffic pressure in the city centre. The RAI welcomed its 100,000th P+R user in 2017.

Once the North/South Line is operational, it will be faster to get to the city centre via the RAI’s parking and public transport than with a car directly. This will make the P+R route via RAI Amsterdam even more competitive with respect to driving, increasing the popularity of the RAI’s P+R facility.

the RAI’s P+R location enables people to reach the city centre more easily

Reducing excessive traffic

RAI Amsterdam deploys various measures to reduce periods of excessive car traffic around the complex:

  • To encourage people to use public transport, RAI Amsterdam offers customers alternatives to driving. Deals that combine tickets to exhibitions and transport, offered in partnership with the public transport companies NS and GVB, are both convenient and cheaper for visitors;
  • Use of neighbourhood traffic controllers to ensure that only residents park in local streets on busy days;
  • Partnerships with NS, GVB and Taxicentrale Amsterdam;
  • Facilitating electric transport: RAI Amsterdam now has 38 charging stations for electric cars;
  • During exhibitions for which busy build-up and/or breakdown periods are expected, external premises in Westpoort (outside the Amsterdam ring motorway) are used as a buffer zone. Incoming traffic is directed to this area, where the vehicles are registered and then invited to drive through to RAI Amsterdam in an orderly fashion. This significantly reduces lorry traffic around the RAI;
  • Using the boat services of Mokum Maritiem to transport waste over the canals as an environmentally friendly alternative to trucks. This decreases road use, reduces transport movements around the RAI and lowers air and noise pollution in the city centre. The barge sails twice a week and when it is full, each trip – including the bringing of return cargo – eliminates 10 to 12 trips by lorry.

Promoting public and electric transport

ITS certificate

Following a series of structural adaptations to RAI Amsterdam over recent years, the complex has now received official ITS certification. Previously, only the RAI Theatre had satisfied the requirements of this standard. A multiannual investment programme was completed in June 2017 to comply with the ITS norms and make the whole RAI complex accessible for visitors with disabilities. The certificate reflects the specifications of the Americans with Disability Act (ADA), which defines what constitutes proper accessibility in buildings, especially for visitors with disabilities. RAI Amsterdam is the first company of its size to achieve this certification.

easy accessibility for visitors with disabilities

Information and communication technology

High-value IT facilities are an increasingly important factor for the success of an event and sound business operations. The rapid growth of virtual applications on and around the exhibition floor, and the need for exhibitors, visitors and RAI staff to be connected 24/7, requires continuous attention. RAI Amsterdam therefore prioritises the renewal and further development of its ICT services and service provision, with an emphasis on three key areas: data, connectivity and indoor navigation.

high-value IT

Safety & Security

A range of security-related project have been completed, including placing cameras at all strategic and overview locations. By mapping all access points to the RAI, we can always monitor what is happening in and around the complex during large events, the build-up and breakdown period, and at quieter moments. Another project involved the purchase of a new system with accompanying software that enables us to map the escape behaviour from the RAI during events, and will even help us predict visitor behaviour in general. Finally, in 2017 we also introduced a quick scan for all our events and prepared for the arrival of the North/South line in cooperation with various municipal services.

completion of a range of projects

Sustainable use of natural resources

Energy consumption and CO2 emissions

Energy consumption

The total energy consumption of the convention centre increased from 123 TJ (terajoule) in 2016 to 134 TJ in 2017.

We deliver the power that our customers ask for so in that sense cannot directly influence total consumption. What we can do is ensure that we help our organisers and exhibitors in the most sustainable way possible.

Electricity consumption
For the cooling of our buildings, we have gradually been switching from gas absorption machines to electric cooling since 2014. The RAI no longer needs natural gas for cooling purposes, making the process at least eight times as efficient as before.

We offer our customers a sustainable and energy-efficient range of products such as LED lighting, and tackle unnecessary consumption with smart meters and presence sensors. We also offer day and night connections, which means that stands no longer need to be powered continuously: the electricity is switched off in the evening after the exhibition closes, except for exhibitors who have specifically ordered night power. This saves a great deal of unnecessary standby consumption at stands, which is beneficial for the environment and cost effective for exhibitors.

dealing with energy in a responsible way

All the power consumed in the RAI is green power without a CO2 footprint.

The RAI uses 1806 solar panels, of which 174 on the Amtrium building and 1632 on hall 8. Hall 8 measures 12,000 m² and more than 60% of its roof surface is covered in panels – the maximum proportion allowed given its structure and use. The RAI’s solar panels produced more than 1482 GJ in 2017 (the corresponding figure for 2016 was 1665 GJ).

It was agreed in 2016 that 2500 solar panels would be fitted on the Holland Complex for use by the nhow Amsterdam RAI hotel. This expansion is expected to be carried out during 2018.

solar panels on the roof provide some 1500 GJ of energy

Gas consumption
Gas consumption has dropped abruptly in the past few years: in 2017 it was just four per cent of the figure in 2013 when the RAI started switching over to more sustainable district heating. NUON’s mains have a capacity of up to 18 MWh, which is sufficient for the RAI to switch entirely to district heating in the future.

CO2 footprint
Switching from gas to district heating has led to a major reduction in our CO2 footprint. District heating is a more sustainable energy source than natural gas, based on the residual heat produced during industrial processes, power generation and/or waste separation.

Water consumption

RAI Amsterdam used 62,336 m3 of water in 2017, with the corresponding figure for 2016 being 55,765 m3. This represents an increase of 11%. The number of visitors rose by 7% over the same period.

Water consumption


Waste is one of the priorities within RAI Amsterdam’s CSR policy. We aim to be among the leaders in terms of waste management in the global conference and events industry.

The principles underlying the RAI’s waste management for the period 2013-2017 were formulated as follows:

  • RAI Amsterdam’s waste management is among the global best within the industry;
  • The polluter pays;
  • The separation percentage for all waste is improved by 10% in five years (it was 57% in 2017);
  • The recycling percentage is higher than 99.0% (zero waste);
  • Waste management process in the entire chain is clear and transparent;
  • Yearly innovation;
  • Making the most of waste.

waste management: 'best in class', zero waste

Together with its waste processing partner Renewi, RAI Amsterdam recycles 100% of its waste. Zero waste is the basic principle. Seeing waste as material looking for a new use, we try to recycle into new end products as much as possible and do our best to reuse the products ourselves, turning waste to art, clothing or biofuel. In this process, we involve the entire product chain so as to inspire as many people as possible to reduce, reuse and recycle. Waste separation at the RAI’s facilities was 62% in 2017 compared to 58% in 2016.

zero waste: 100% recycling. 62% waste separation at the source

Waste streams

Waste management


We try to prevent excessive noise as much as possible by using a so-called acoustic map. This enables RAI Amsterdam to predict when we need to apply for a noise exemption permit – four such permits are allowed per year. This way, we monitor the standards and can take preventive measures when necessary.

We made use of the noise map eight times is in 2017. Noise exemption permits were required for four music events, for which we eventually received 23 complaints. All other events were within the noise standards of the RAI environmental permit and caused no disturbances to our neighbours.


four noise exemptions to RAI environmental licence requested, careful monitoring of noise standard

On-site hotel

RAI Amsterdam had for many years wished to have a four-star hotel on its premises that would allow us to offer tailored accommodation to conference and exhibition visitors. With the development and realisation of the nhow Amsterdam RAI hotel, this wish is becoming a reality.

A hotel on the RAI site with 650 rooms and parking for around 200 cars is a strategic addition to RAI Amsterdam’s core activities. Responding to the needs of the market by creating a nearby ‘headquarters hotel’ where event organisers and important exhibitors, speakers & visitors can all stay thoroughly strengthens the international position of RAI Amsterdam.

The construction officially started in late October 2016. The basement was completed and the sheet pile wall removed from the ground at the end of 2017. The construction has been rising ever since.

The developers COD and Being Development have sold the nhow Amsterdam RAI hotel to the investor AXA Investment Managers – Real Assets. The building will largely be leased by the NH Hotel Group and the restaurant unit on the ground floor by a catering business. A 20-year lease agreement was made with the RAI for the operation of the parking garage.

The hotel is located in the triangle between the RAI complex, the Europaboulevard and the A10 motorway. This site is highly strategic thanks to the proximity of the railway station Amsterdam RAI (which allows quick connections to key places such as Schiphol airport), the metro stations and the A10 junction.

The hotel is slated for delivery in 2019.

construction of conference hotel continues

impression of the nhow Amsterdam RAI hotel

RAI 2030: building on the future

We have started a new spatial planning as part of the RAI 2030 plan, including goals such as:

  • anticipating the expected future growth of large events. As the RAI can expand on its existing site in phases, it can increase available exhibition space. Our larger events increasingly require the installation of temporary exhibition halls. For the largest ones, we are even reaching the limit of available space.
  • improving the quality of the public space around the plinth (outer contours of the ground floor) of the RAI.
  • improving the sustainability of the organising and facilitating of events, including reducing the nuisance caused by logistical movements around the RAI, particularly in the build-up and breakdown period of large exhibitions. Optimising the in & outflows and logistical processes minimises the inconvenience caused by freight traffic.

temporary halls in the RAI’s front courtyard provide extra exhibition space during large events

Importance for city and society

The RAI aims to contribute to the prosperity of Amsterdam and its hinterland, and to society as a whole. While the events obviously bring revenue into the city, RAI Amsterdam would like to be involved in other ways as well: by attracting local suppliers and offering opportunities to local residents with a disadvantage on the labour market; by limiting the impact of large events on daily life in the city wherever possible; and by having an active dialogue with all our stakeholders. In all these ways, we aim to ensure that RAI Amsterdam continues to provide a valuable contribution to society.


Bringing people together, connecting and inspiring them is the core of our mission.

The RAI strategy is aimed at increasing the value of meetings.

We aim to do business in a responsible way, and hope to stimulate and inspire visitors by providing a major platform for sustainable innovations during events.

The RAI Roadmap provides a guideline both for our brand and for the implementation of our strategy.

In 2017 RAI Amsterdam worked on enriching its mission and strategy, which will be presented in the summer of 2018. Below is an overview of the mission and strategy as they relate to the reporting year.


The mission of RAI Amsterdam is as follows: RAI Amsterdam brings people together, connecting and inspiring them by organising and facilitating meaningful meetings. In short, our driving force can be formulated as, 'inspiring people'.

RAI Amsterdam achieves this by developing communities, organising high-quality events and making use of a modern and sustainable exhibition and conference venue in a prime location.

driving force: Inspiring people


RAI Amsterdam’s strategy can be summarised in a single sentence: we increase the value of meetings. We have formulated five supporting statements to fully reflect the breadth of the concept of ‘meeting’ in all its aspects.

increasing the value of meetings

...in terms of quality and quantity
RAI Amsterdam does not only focus on the number of visitors and meetings, but also (naturally) on their quality as well. Visitor and customer satisfaction are decisive for the success of our activities and regularly surveyed.

...physical and virtual
In addition to organising physical meetings in a conference centre, RAI Amsterdam also stimulates virtual meetings in online communities. Creating a platform which inspires visitors and lets them maintain a dialogue both before and after the exhibition further boosts the value of an event. Interested parties who cannot take part in an event physically can follow parts on the event website instead.

...at the event location and elsewhere
The contacts in the communities which arise around an event are not limited to the location of the event. Even in faraway corners of the globe, RAI Amsterdam brings people together to share knowledge regarding specific exhibitions and the disciplines in which they operate. These contacts increase the visitors’ networks and their interest in an event.

… in revenues and costs
This dimension emphasises a structural focus on how things can be approached in a more efficient way and how costs can be cut for our organisers, our exhibitors and ourselves.

… during events and throughout the year
Visitors to an exhibition or conference also increasingly meet each other outside the period in which the event takes place, RAI Amsterdam aims to provide added value for the target groups of its exhibitions throughout the year. The internet portal of each exhibition and the activities organised through it can extend the usefulness of an event in time and can even become a permanent medium for added value.

Corporate Social Responsibility

People & society
We want people to perform to their best, serve as a safe place to meet and generate social return in order to stimulate the growth and development of those with whom our business interacts.

Sustainable organisation & facilitation
RAI Amsterdam and its clients and suppliers make a positive contribution to prosperity by organising and facilitating events in a sustainable way. In doing so we carefully weigh the interests of the stakeholders involved while aiming for multiple value creation. While realised at all levels, it can be categorised in two types of approach:

  • We stimulate the use of public transport by selling combined tickets for our consumer events that include public transport tickets.
  • While keeping a constant eye on the professional quality expected by our clients, we involve local suppliers and initiatives who strive for a better world in our operations wherever possible. We make a special effort to give a chance to initiatives we believe need it most.
  • We purchase environmentally friendly products when possible and try to offer clients a sustainable alternative to the products they traditionally order.
  • We are creative in trying to prevent waste and see it as a sport to reduce our waste to zero.
  • We try to use natural resources as sustainably as possible. Not only does the RAI use green power and have one of the largest solar roofs in Amsterdam, we also literally closed the gas pipeline for heating and cooling, and now only use some 4% gas compared to five years ago thanks to our switch to district heating. This has also led to a reduction in our CO2 emissions. We will always supply power when our clients need it and, in that sense, cannot influence the total consumption. What we can do, however, is ensure that all the facilities for our organisers and exhibitors are as sustainable as possible.
  • The same applies to waste. Via optimal separation, RAI Amsterdam and its waste partner ICOVA have been realising 100% recycling (zero landfill) for years. In addition, waste is removed from the premises by boat to reduce pressure on the roads around the Convention Centre. We also advise our clients about waste at the ’start’ of the process because we believe that preventing waste is always better than recycling it.
  • Both the RAI itself and our employees contribute to a better world by supporting charities and charitable institutions.

Organising and facilitating events has a positive impact on the prosperity of the local area, creates economic spin-offs and stimulates employment in the region. It is also a polluting activity, however: the transport movements, accommodation and consumption of visitors impact the environment and liveability in the surroundings, as do the build-up and breakdown of the event itself. RAI Amsterdam aims to reduce this impact as much as possible and has structural meetings with stakeholders to discuss the issue.


A major platform for sustainable innovations: stimulating and inspiring visitors

RAI Amsterdam has a large reach, and uses this where possible to stimulate the sustainable growth and development of people, markets and our local environment. The world’s largest trade exhibitions in their sector, such as Aquatech (water technology) and Intertraffic (traffic technology), are examples of events in which the RAI can make the difference by providing a platform for sustainable innovations. We programme topics that stimulate and inspire participants to develop new innovations. To address global priorities, the RAI has aligned itself to the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations for various exhibitions. The Events section of this report discusses this further and provides various examples.

contributing to future innovations, focus on sustainable developments

Brand values

RAI Amsterdam has the following six brand values.


At RAI Amsterdam you will be received personally, professionally and, above all, with a warm welcome. Our doors are always open, whoever you may be and whatever drives you. RAI Amsterdam is for everyone. Whether joining us at our Convention Centre in Amsterdam or at one of our events elsewhere in the world, or taking part via virtual channels, you will feel welcome at RAI Amsterdam.

the RAI is for everyone


RAI Amsterdam appreciates who you are and what you need. Any challenges are dealt with as smoothly as possible. Whether you are an organiser, exhibitor or visitor, we aim to respond to your needs before you even ask. We gladly offer you a complete solution. We think along with you, look ahead and are dedicated to being of service so that you feel supported.

focused on service, including total solutions


RAI Amsterdam is a stage for creativity and innovation. Through our concepts, products and services, RAI Amsterdam ignites new ideas. In a modern and innovative setting, we enhance the experience of your physical or virtual presence. We can push the window of innovation in a significant way because our applications are widely applicable. This ensures that you get ahead.

driving sustainable innovation


The quality of our location, concepts, products, facilities, services and people ensures that you encounter all the elements of success at RAI Amsterdam. You can rely on an enterprising organisation that has the experience required to create the ideal conditions for achieving maximum added value for every customer. RAI is ready to make the most of every opportunity, thinks along with you, offers its partnership and actively contributes to your success.

creating the perfect conditions for success


RAI Amsterdam understands like no other that the quality of an event depends on solid preparation and sticking to agreements. Our goals are ambitious yet realistic. Forecasts and commitments are based on a responsible realisation. We carefully manage expectations and offer you peace of mind.

a deal is a deal


RAI Amsterdam is embedded in the community, committed to sustainability and takes seriously its responsibility towards people, our city and the world. The passion and emotional involvement of our employees and all the other stakeholders determine our success. We ensure that everyone is heard and feels connected.

connected to society

Our driving force: 'inspiring people

The power of connection

Personnel and organisation

We are able to ensure the highest standard of hospitality thanks to the synergy between the talents and energy of our employees and our company’s objectives.

The RAI’s management and employees went through an intensive cultural transformation in 2017. The division into departments was replaced by a reorganisation of the company’s activities around the three main processes of event, innovation and management.    

The RAI deploys a sustainable HR policy designed to improve the well-being, fitness and lifestyle of its staff.

There has been a further reduction of 2.5% in the number of sick days taken this year compared to the last.

Our employees

RAI Amsterdam is a company for people, by people. Our employees are the outward face of the RAI and function as hosts during events. The RAI realises its company goals in large part by empowering its employees with responsibilities, streamlining their tasks and enabling them to make the most of their talents.

‘for people, by people’

Employee satisfaction is a crucial yardstick and an important instrument for the continuous improvement of our company. The RAI undertakes a large-scale survey of employee satisfaction every two years: the last time this took place was in November 2016. The goal was to identify the most important areas that could be improved and understand the effects of the personnel policy. After already reaching a relatively high 7.9 in 2014, the overall score was even higher in 2016, arriving at 8.2. The evaluation of specific topics such as activities, colleagues and managers was also equal to or higher than in 2014. There was one aspect which only received an overall mark of 5.9 in 2016, however: satisfaction with how well RAI Amsterdam is organised. We have subsequently worked hard on this theme, tackling it in terms of both culture and structure. The level of pressure at work was considered to be satisfactory by 71% of the respondents, compared with 62% in 2014. At 80%, the response rate at the end of 2016 was higher than in 2014. A new employee satisfaction survey will be carried out at the end of 2018.

general employee satisfaction: 8.2. latest survey (end of 2016) confirms improvement

Cultural and structural transformation of the company

The RAI started transforming the way it is organised in the summer of 2016. A change to the corporate culture was seen as an important step in staying successful in the long term and continuing to innovate sufficiently to stay ahead of the competition. There were also several processes that were ripe for improvement and bottlenecks that could be removed. A structural change was initiated to achieve these improvements. The planned process involves changes to both the culture and structure of the company.The process chosen involved a parallel change in corporate culture. The transformation is based on the following principles:

  • What is our raison d'être?
    Over its more than 120 years of existence, RAI Amsterdam has organised first-rate events for millions of people. From concept and drawing board to collecting jackets at the cloakroom: together, we have made great things happen. But the world around us is changing rapidly. New players are turning markets upside down. Technological evolution is moving fast. Responding to this requires a different way of thinking and doing. To ensure we remain a market leader, the RAI therefore started to review and adapt its structure, culture and processes. We are continuously working towards a future-proof RAI which places flexibility, agility and innovation front and centre of its operations in order to respond to the changing needs of our customers in the fastest and smartest way possible.  
  • What are our starting points ?
    RAI Amsterdam:
    • is a single company with a core business that covers everything from organising to facilitating;
    • strives towards more synergy, less micromanagement and greater flexibility;
    • is organised around three main processes: event, innovation and management. Activities are organised primarily around event teams and processes, and the departments consist of recognised specialists responsible for their own development and innovation. The staff has a supportive role in these main processes.
  • When will we consider ourselves to have succeeded?
    • Once we have improved employee satisfaction (higher scores in particular for cooperation, fast decision-making, learning from each other, space for own initiatives);
    • Once we have improved customer satisfaction (through faster response times and better service provision);
    • Once we are innovating even more (a fast lead time improves the likelihood of success);
    • Once we are generating even more new business.

changes in culture and structure go

hand in hand

The sessions have led to an adaptation of the RAI’s management structure. In February 2017, the works council formally approved the proposed changes. A new management team structure was introduced at RAI Amsterdam on 1 April 2017, with the CEO and COO overseeing directors/managers within the focal areas Finance, HR, ICT, Legal, Hospitality and Venue (reporting to the CEO) and Marketing & Digital, Commercial, Clients and Operations (reporting to the COO).

adapting structure

left to right: Inge Vermeulen (Manager HR), Jan van den Bosch (Director Venue), Bret Baas (Manager IT), Bas Dalm (Director Commerce), Pauline Bottema-Sanders (General counsel & Company secretary), Paul Riemens (CEO), Menno Roodenburg (Director Finance), Martin van Nierop (Director Hospitality & Executive relations), Maurits van der Sluis (COO), Eline Deijs (Director Marketing & Digital), Bart van der Heijden (Director Clients) en Jules Broex (Director Operations)

Over the course of 2017, the new management team worked together with the RAI’s employees to move from a structure divided into the departments RAI Exhibitions and RAI Convention Centre toward a process-oriented structure.

from departments to processes

Each new organisational segment has its own responsibility with regards to the RAI’s three core processes:


  • Events are leading in all our activities;
  • Each department provides a contribution (direct or indirect) to events;
  • The organisation and the tasks are set up in a way that ensures that the interests of departments are subordinated to the event process;
  • The RAI works with a single uniform event process during both its own and third-party events.


  • Innovation is a responsibility of the business;
  • The focus needs to shift to pioneering instead of merely improving;
  • It is crucial to increase the value of meetings;
  • Innovation specialists support the business and stimulate the process;
  • We focus on short cyclical steps by initiating small projects;
  • We work outside-in by bringing in external knowledge. To make this happen, we are continuously expanding our innovation ecosystem.

MANAGEMENT (including new business, HR, IT, etc.)

  • New business fills and manages the pipeline of new initiatives. In this context, the RAI aims to have an open partnership with third parties;
  • The new business process is managed and given substance by ‘tables’ around which departments and experts jointly make choices and bring together results;
  • Portfolio Management, Revenue Management and Capacity Management are active on a tactical level. Portfolio Management coordinates the event portfolio while Revenue Management optimises turnover and Capacity Management prevents bottlenecks;
  • RAI services ensure a smooth and efficient handling of demand;
  • The costs of RAI services (fixed and variable) are charged through to the relevant event;
  • We use a uniform reporting structure for all events.

drie kernprocessen vormen de rode draad

We have been working on translating these starting points into a new structure throughout 2017.

consequences of structural changes

The works council agreed to the proposed structural adaptations of the RAI on 10 November 2017. Consultations and information sessions with employees and managers were organised in November and December 2017.

approval by works council

Over two thirds of RAI employees saw no changes to their job description. Around one third have, however, experienced a modification of their place in the company. Around 10% of the 420 positions were even greatly modified. Some employees left the company due to this reorganisation.

changes for RAI employees

An intensive programme of cultural change for managers and employees was rolled out in 2017. In consultation with staff, it is based on a 'bottom up' approach. Several so-called fish bowls (employee meetings) were held in 2017 in which employees discussed the desired changes. Managers took part in a Change Leadership programme focused on personal leadership, allowing them to supervise the changes from their roles. In addition, there were several Leader Days. The employee input was used to define the following seven habits to help orientate the values of the company: I am curious; everyone counts; I am connected; I am entrepreneurial; everyone makes mistakes; you can count on me; hard on content, soft on relations.

The cultural change programme will be continued in 2018 with more fish bowls with employees, various team sessions and a follow-up to the Change Leadership modules. The cultural values will also be defined in further detail.

start of intensive cultural change programme

The new organisational configuration of the RAI went live on 1 February 2018. The new process organisation will, however, not apply to events taking place within three months of this date. This will ensure a smooth, gradual introduction of the new event process.

switching over to event process

The company reorganisation involved scores of internal moves, which took place over February 2018. This was preceded by an adaptation of the Elicium (floors 6-9) and Amtrium (floors 3-4).

Training and education

An extensive training and education plan was implemented based on the findings and improvement proposals from the work floor. Employees and managers participated in job and/or discipline-specific training, especially in the period from December 2017 to February 2018. There was also a simulation game which considered several situations in the new event process. A basic Finance course will take place in 2018 focusing on the management process, an Innovation Bootcamp targeting the innovation process, a training in modern project management, and a range of inspiration sessions looking at the innovation and new business process.

extensive training and education plan deployed


RAI Amsterdam aims to promote the vitality of its employees so that they can all be fit, energetic and healthy at work. A dedicated programme initiates, facilitates and promotes vitality campaigns among employees. A variety of possibilities were offered within this framework in 2017, which help employees in the field of health & fitness, work enjoyment & work-life balance, and stress & absenteeism prevention. RAI Amsterdam was supported in these activities by a sustainable employment subsidy from the European Social Fund.

initiating, facilitating and promoting fitness campaigns


RAI Amsterdam strives to ensure the diversity of its departments in terms of age, experience, gender and competencies. RAI Amsterdam is convinced that diverse teams lead to more positive results. With 53% women and 47% men, RAI Amsterdam has a balanced staff. The objective in the field of gender diversity as described in the Talent to the Top charter has been amply achieved: the share of women in the group directors and executive key personnel is 35%.

diverse teams; target for Talent to the Top charter achieved

Personnel composition

Below are some cross-sections of the composition of personnel at RAI Amsterdam.


At the end of the year

    2016   2015  
Male 181 44% 185 46%  
Female 228 56% 219 54%  
Total 409 100% 404 100%  
Male 178.2 47% 182.3 49%  
Female 197.9 53% 188.4 51%  
Total 376.1 100% 370.7 100%  

Personnel by age

Percentage/FTE (at the end of the year)

Personnel by age
  2017 2016      
BY AGE          
25 and under 2% 2%      
26 to 35 26% 26%      
36 to 45 34% 35%      
46 to 55 24% 25%      
56+ 13% 12%      
Total 100% 100%      

Personnel by discipline

Percentage/FTE (at the end of the year)

Personnel by discipline
  2017 2016      
Commercial 53% 51%      
Operational 35% 36%      
Financial/staff 12% 13%      
Total 100% 100%      

Absence due to illness

Absence due to illness, an important variable for the RAI, was 2.5% in 2017, a further improvement over the already low figures of 2.9% in 2016 and 3.2% in 2015.

further decrease, to 2.5%

Absence due to illness


Absence due to illness
  2017 2016 2015 2014 2013
Total 2.5% 2.9% 3.2% 3.4% 3.6%

Social engagement

The HR policy related to social engagement reflects an aim to generate more social return for the city of Amsterdam. In 2017, RAI Amsterdam cooperated in a range of major initiatives to create better opportunities for unemployed youth (work agreement for tackling youth unemployment) and young people with occupational disabilities.

more opportunities for unemployed youth and young people with occupational disabilities

RAI Amsterdam has been participating in the work agreement for tackling youth unemployment since 2015, creating better opportunities for unemployed youth in the following ways:

  • Deployment and training of around 3,000 flexible workers: opportunities include participating in hospitality training or obtaining a certificate as traffic controller;
  • Tours: some 300 students from various schools visit the RAI each year to learn about possible work environments;
  • 90 internships: a dedicated traineeship office attracts students from the intermediate and higher vocational (MBO and HBO) levels to participate in BBL (vocational learning track), BOL (vocational training) and combined work/education. They are trained in issues such as job applications, personal branding, time management and Office skills. We organise a RAI Discovery at the start of the traineeship as well, allowing the students to explore the entire company. Later on, the trainees can participate in DiscoverRAI and spend a day in different departments to gain knowledge and expand their skillset.

more opportunities for youthful unemployes

RAI Amsterdam has been active as a recognised work training company for people with a distance to the labour market since October 2015. To find places for the RAI students, we have worked closely with the Employee Insurance Administration (UWV), the ROC College in Amsterdam and WSP Groot-Amsterdam since 2015.  The youngsters work three days a week and go to school one day a week to be trained as ‘hospitality and service employees’ based on an internal company training course custom-made for RAI Amsterdam by ROC Amsterdam. The trainees are supported by a job coach, and a work supervisor from the department in which they are active. RAI Amsterdam aims to use the experiences from this project to provide suitable work opportunities for the target group of the Participation Act on a structural basis in the future.

In the summer of 2017 four students obtained their MBO-1 diploma. Two students continued on to MBO-2 Hospitality, and one student was included in our permanent pool of flexible workers.

recognised work training company

RAI Amsterdam’s and its employees’ social involvement are also illustrated by the charities they support


Cooperation with the RAI works council

There was frequent and constructive dialogue with the works council in 2017. In addition to the structural changes in the company and the cultural evolution that accompanied them, the diverse topics discussed included the financial results, construction developments, consent requests, innovation & new business, and working conditions. In addition to these formal consultations, the dialogue continued in a number of subcommittees, such as the HRM Committee, the Financial Committee, the Working Conditions Committee, the Terms of Employment Committee, the Pensions Committee and the Temps Committee.

frequent and constructive dialogue

Shareholder equity and loan capital

RAI Amsterdam is transparent in the way it combines social value and stakeholder value.

A dividend payment of € 2.293 million to be paid in 2018 is proposed for 2017.

The RAI has a small portfolio of long-term financing and current accounts of which the club deal financing agreement with Deutsche Bank and Rabobank Amsterdam is the largest. This finances the RAI at an interest rate of 3.24% until 2020.

All financing ratios were easily met.

Value for stakeholders and society

RAI Amsterdam combines its financial and social objectives. The starting point for the formulation of the business model is therefore to create a proper long-term balance between social value and shareholder value. RAI Amsterdam applies the following two goals to achieve this:

1. Creating shareholder value by maximising a durable financial result, in combination with reaching the financial result in the short term and in conformity with the annual budget, with an EBITDA greater than 15% and a minimum net result of €3 million. This goal safeguards the financial continuity of the RAI.

shareholder performance

2. Creating as much economic spin-off as possible for the city and region from which RAI Amsterdam receives its ‘licence to operate’.

social performance for city and region

If the (projected) net annual results are below €3 million, realising the shareholder value takes precedence. In all other cases the goal is to create a balance between the two starting points. In both cases, the RAI will do its utmost to realise the business operations as sustainably as possible and stimulate the relevant sectors and communities in sustainable innovation via its events.


Dividend policy

The current dividend policy applies to the period 2013-2018. It determines that RAI Holding B.V. will pay its shareholders a fixed dividend of €2.24 million a year (price level 2014; annual revaluation will be based on the consumer price index determined by Statistics Netherlands). In case of an insufficient net result, the dividend will not exceed this net result, and the shortfall will be added to next year’s dividend inasmuch as the net result in that year allows for it. The cumulative dividend owed over previous accounting years will never exceed the (indexed) fixed dividend of the latest accounting year.

€2.24 million per year to be indexed


A dividend payment of € 2.293 million is proposed for 2017.

The dividend over 2016 at an amount of € 2.284 million was paid in the reporting year. The second part of the one-time interim dividend over 2015 was also paid.

Shareholder Municipality of Amsterdam

In 2016 the Municipality of Amsterdam, which owns 25% of the shares in RAI Amsterdam, decided to start selling its partial interest to a third party under specific conditions. These conditions aim to guarantee the continuity of RAI Amsterdam and the cooperation between the Municipality of Amsterdam and the RAI with regard to the acquisition of international conferences, accessibility and the organisation of events. The RAI facilitated the Municipality in this process in the reporting year.

Municipality of Amsterdam started selling its 25% interest in 2016


RAI Amsterdam entered a club deal for financing with Deutsche Bank and Rabobank Amsterdam in 2013. The banks participated on equal terms in the new financing scheme; the new bank financing is founded on two identical credit agreements with these banks, with the exact same rates, covenants and standard conditions. The ratio between the two banks is decided by means of an intercreditor agreement.

equal club deal, ratio determined via intercreditor agreement

A long-term loan agreement for €26 million has been made with each bank, along with an agreement for a current account facility of €15 million (each). In 2016 this was complemented with an additional credit facility of US$3.35 million in connection with the acquisition of a stake in IBEX (International Boatbuilders Exhibition and Conference). The overview below shows the features of the facilities.

three facilities: long-term loan and current account credits

Financing scheme

Financing scheme
Facility A (€) Facility B (€) Facility C (US$)
• long-term loan
• principal amount € 52 million
• ends in 2020
• Repayment:
- 2017: none
- from 2018: € 4,0 million per year
• rate: 3M Euribor +1.70% surcharge
• current account credit
• amount € 30 million
• ends in 2020
• increase 2017 + € 2,5 million
• reduction 2018 - € 2,5 million
• rate 1M Euribor +1.00% surcharge
• Facility Fee 0.25% per year
• current account credit
• amount US$ 6.7 milion
• ends in 2020
• rate 1M Libor +1.30% surcharge
• Facility Fee 0.25% over unused portion

Two credit agreements for solar panels were concluded in 2014: one with Triodos Bank and one with the Amsterdam Investment Fund of the Municipality of Amsterdam. The amount of both loans together is less than € 0.5 million.

An interest swap agreement was concluded with the Rabobank and Deutsche Bank in late 2013. Based on this, RAI Amsterdam pays interest of 1.54% over Facility A, with a surcharge of 1.70%. On balance, this means that RAI Amsterdam is financed at a fixed interest of 3.24% up until and including 2020.

interest swap: interest fixed at 3.24%

Financial covenants and conditions

The following table provides an overview of the financial covenants. The second table shows the conditions and securities linked to the financing.

Financing scheme

Financing scheme
Convenant 2017 2018 2019 2019
senior Next Debt/ EBITDA <4.5 <4.0 <3.5 <3.0
solvency >30% >30% >30% >30%
EBITDA € 1 million* >17.5 >17.5 >17.5 >17.5

* Reviewed annually. reference date 31 December

Financing conditions

Conditions and securities

Financing conditions
Conditions Securities
• No expansion of loan capital
• Change of Ownership
• Biennial reassessment of RAI buildings
• Max. Capex 12 million per year (excl. new construction)
• Max. dividend up to net profit in financial year
• Max. on intercompany loans against minority participations
• Insight over top 10 events/occupancy rate
• Mortgage on existing and new real estate

For more details on the financing positions, see the notes on the consolidated balance sheet in the financial statement (1.1.7 and 1.1.8).


Market and events
There are clear signs of growth in the market for international trade exhibitions and conferences. Although the revitalisation and development of national consumer events in the Netherlands still requires special attention, we have seen a number of positive changes during 2017. The year 2018 promises to be a very busy one for the RAI and, seen from an historical perspective, one with good financial prospects.

For the national exhibitions (both the trade events and those aimed at the general public), RAI Amsterdam expects modest growth with a significant increase in turnover and visitor numbers. While the national exhibitions continue to recover, all the signs are that the international events will again show strong growth figures. Sustainable innovations will play an increasingly important part in the content of events, and the RAI will further expand its contribution to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

RAI Amsterdam Convention Centre
During the course of 2018 we will continue to work on the RAI 2030 plan and the vision it showcases for the future development of the RAI Amsterdam Convention Centre and its Europaplein location. Key aspects include an increase in the surface area available for exhibitions within the contours of the RAI grounds, modern event logistics, and an even better integration of the RAI within the local district with regards to care functions and atmosphere, including when no events are being held.

Neighbourhood developments
The new North/South metro line will open in 2018, enabling people to travel from the Europaplein station in front of the main entrance of the RAI to the city centre and central train station in less than 10 minutes. We expect this brand-new connection to give an additional stimulus to the area around the Europaplein and the RAI, making it a livelier part of the city. RAI Amsterdam will also be able to make an even greater contribution to reducing traffic in the city as the new metro line is likely to further increase the popularity of our P&R facilities. While Amsterdam remains a very compact city compared to the other great European capitals, this extraordinarily short travel time will add to the attractions of the RAI Amsterdam Convention Centre, including for international events of shorter duration.

The construction of the adjacent conference hotel will become increasingly visible, transforming the skyline of the area around the RAI as the towers between the RAI and the A10 motorway reach new heights. The planning is that the largest hotel in the Benelux will open its doors in 2019.

Throughout 2017 we have been working on an update of the strategy for the period up to and including 2020, and the results will be presented this spring. While the foundations of the strategy remain the same, there will be changes in terms of priorities and management. Strengthening and accelerating innovation and developing new events are major spearheads in the new strategy. To stimulate this innovation, we will be seeking even greater cooperation with market parties.

In 2017 we invested a great deal of energy into the culture and structure of the organisation. We hope to be able to successfully implement our new approach in 2018 and, at the time of writing this report, have already made a good start. We will continue to work on the organisational culture throughout 2018, and gradually move from our previous programmatic approach to the new operational management structure.

RAI Amsterdam expects to see better financial results in 2018 compared to 2017.

In conclusion
As mentioned in the foreword, we thank all stakeholders for their efforts and commitment. We extend our special gratitude to the employees who delivered a stand-out operational performance in 2017 and are currently hard at work in the field of strategy, culture and structure in order to shape our future. The resulting ideas and energy give us great confidence in the years to come and make us very proud of our team.

Amsterdam, 22 March 2018

The Executive Board of RAI Holding B.V.,

P. (Paul) Riemens, CEO
M. (Maurits) van der Sluis, COO