Utrecht zet vol in op aantrekken van internationale topcongressen

Utrecht fully committed to attracting leading international congresses

Utrecht, 13 May 2024 – Putting Utrecht on the map as the city and region to organise leading international conferences and trade shows. This is the goal of the Utrecht Congress Alliance of public and private partners. It will focus on attracting events which fit the positioning of the city as ‘Utrecht, Heart of Health’, and are in line with the regional themes of Life Sciences & Health, New Digital Society and Smart Sustainability. This will be the foundation of a targeted acquisition strategy over the coming years.

Utrecht region aims for more top international events
The targeted acquisition strategy is the first major achievement of the Utrecht Congress Alliance in which the Municipality of Utrecht, the Province of Utrecht, ROM Utrecht Region, the HOST foundation of Utrecht hoteliers, Utrecht University, Royal Jaarbeurs, Utrecht Marketing (with its Utrecht Convention Bureau) and others have joined forces. The joint goal of the parties is to increase the number of visits by business people to leading congresses on a multi-year basis. 

“Business events and conferences are crucial for the Utrecht region,” comments Daniel Kusse, head of marketing and communications at Utrecht Marketing. “In addition to their intrinsic economic impact and boost to employment, congresses are an important link in the knowledge economy and also contribute to further showcasing the key attributes of our region. The 'Utrecht, Heart of Health' initiative profiles the region’s enormous contribution to a healthy society and it is excellent to work with partners from various sectors who are all committed to investing in this shared ambition. A good current example is the broad representation of the Utrecht Congress Alliance at this week’s IMEX trade show for the global events industry in Frankfurt.”

Utrecht, Heart of Health
Having again been recently ranked Europe’s most competitive region by the EU’s Regional Competitiveness Index, Utrecht is dedicated to making a major contribution to a healthy, sustainable society. This commitment has been translated into the 'Utrecht, Heart of Health' initiative and the targeted joint acquisition strategy for congresses should ensure that the positioning is further strengthened on the international stage. The emphasis is on events by professional and trade associations such as the international WHO European Healthy Cities Network conference which attracted more than 350 participants to Royal Jaarbeurs in Utrecht last November. Another good example is the Future Green City World Congress in September, where over 4,000 experts will share their passion for and knowledge of liveable cities. 

International ambitions
As Royal Jaarbeurs CEO Jeroen van Hooff explains, there is broad support in the Utrecht region for business-related visits and international conferences. “The new acquisition strategy seamlessly matches our strategy of focusing on exhibitions and events in the field of health & life sciences. Royal Jaarbeurs was voted by the public in 2023 as the ‘Best Conference Location‘ in the Netherlands for the second time in a row due to the personal way we help organisers of events and meetings as well as our central location in the country. Our ambition is to position Royal Jaarbeurs internationally as the conference location of the Netherlands with a focus on health & life sciences. It is of considerable value therefore for us to work with our Utrecht partners in placing this innovative region even more strongly on the global map.”

Meanwhile, an ever-increasing number of municipalities and other parties in the Utrecht region are looking to join the partnership aimed at encouraging and welcoming business visitors.

About Utrecht, Heart of Health
The ‘Utrecht, Heart of Health’ initiative represents a region in which everyone is committed to achieving a healthier and more sustainable future. Solutions and innovations are developed that enable people to live healthier lives physically, mentally and socially in an environment that contributes to all three. It is more important than ever that we live sustainably and climate-friendly lives, paying close attention to nature and biodiversity. Companies, government bodies and knowledge institutions in the Utrecht region are working together in all these areas to create a healthy society worldwide.