Utrecht region sees sharp increase in international scientific conferences

The number of conferences and conference visitors in Utrecht is rising sharply. In order to be able to cater for and channel this growth effectively, the Utrecht Convention Bureau (UCB, part of Utrecht Marketing) has set up a structure for regional cooperation on the conference market. Today it is publishing its revised manual, Congresses in Utrecht.

Regional cooperation
Mayor Jan van Zanen of Utrecht will be the first to receive a copy of the manual. Regional cooperation is essential on the international conference market, stresses Rijk van Ark, Director of Utrecht Marketing. ‘We need it for visibility between all the major international locations that we compete with. Cooperation also enables us to offer a more diverse range of conference sites: from the large Jaarbeurs convention centre to magnificent country estates.’ Moreover, cooperation will result in better distribution of business visitors, thereby ensuring that the region attracts more visitors while keeping the hustle and bustle in the city to a manageable level.

Utrecht growing fast as a conference destination
As one of Europe’s most competitive regions, Utrecht is proving highly popular as a conference destination, registering a considerable increase in the number of conferences between 2012 and 2016. The UCB saw the number of conference participants triple over this period (from 18,576 in 2012 to 55,000 in 2016). Hence the economic importance of international conferences has grown significantly, with revenues rising from 6.4 million euros in 2012 to 23 million euros – almost four times as much – in 2016, according to the UCB’s calculations.

Manual Congresses in Utrecht
The revised conference manual provides an integrated overview of the conference sites in Utrecht city and region. It is intended in particular for scientists, ambassadors of knowledge institutions and their supporters who are keen to organise an international conference in Utrecht but do not know where to start. They can use the handbook to get their bearings and gauge whether Utrecht will be a suitable location for their conference.

The Utrecht Convention Bureau
The Utrecht Convention Bureau is a partner to anyone keen on organising a scientific conference in Utrecht. It provides free, no-obligation assistance in drawing up a bid book, finding a suitable site and formulating the conference’s story. It also issues advice on other aspects entailed in organising a conference.

The online version of the Congresses in Utrecht handbook
can be found at: