On 30 march 2023 RAI Amsterdam took home the prestigious prize for Best International Venue at the Exhibitions News Awards ceremony held in the ExCeL London centre. Widely regarded as ‘The Oscars’ of the global trade show sector, the Exhibition News Awards are conferred annually on businesses which make outstanding contributions to the industry.
RAI Amsterdam had been shortlisted in the ‘Best International Venue’ category where it faced stiff competition from nominees such as the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, Bruges Meeting & Convention Centre (BMCC), the Panama Convention Centre and the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. Its submission for the award included the successful resumption of activities and events in the spring of 2022 following the lifting of Covid restrictions, as well as the RAI’s efforts to support Ukrainian refugees in partnership with Amsterdam city council.
Challenge and privilege
“Winning this major prize is a wonderful recognition that our efforts have been noticed and are paying off,” says RAI-COO Maurits van der Sluis. “Our goal is always to support exhibition and conference organisers in making their event a success and a meaningful experience for exhibitors and visitors alike. We are honoured to have won this award after almost two years of lockdown, during which time RAI Amsterdam became the largest Covid-19 vaccination site in the Netherlands. It has been a challenge and a privilege to completely reopen our convention centre for events in 2022.
“Resuming all our business activities at full capacity enabled us to contribute to and become the annual home base again for leading trade exhibitions like IBC, Money2020 and PLMA’s World Private Label. We also welcome major scientific congresses to Amsterdam such as the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) and the Dutch Trauma Days medical conference. Being named Best International Venue is a tribute to all who have worked so hard to get the RAI back in business.”
RAI Amsterdam welcomes the world
The flexible configuration at RAI Amsterdam makes it possible to host every kind of event. Trade shows like the international B2B Offshore Energy exhibition and European Women in Tech are interspersed with smaller events, theatre and other shows such as the PAN art fair, the Masters Expo lifestyle event, the Winter Paradise festival and the Kingsland dance event on Kings Day. A further remarkable sign of the return of dynamic economic activities in 2022 is the fact that RAI Hotel Services department booked some five million euros of accommodation in the nhow Amsterdam RAI hotel located next to the convention centre.
Exhibition News is one of the leading trade magazines for the exhibition, conference and events industry. The category ‘Best International Venue’ was open to all large international exhibition venues with 10,000 sqm or more floor space that attract major international events. In addition to winning the Best International Venue award, it is noteworthy that we were also nominated for Best Company Culture.