New Rotterdam Association Symposium a formula for success

The first Rotterdam Association Symposium, held this Thursday in culture and conference centre Podium O 950, was a resounding success. In total, 45 organisers from the scientific and medical sector and the association world met to exchange knowledge in an open setting on all the aspects involved in organising and recruiting national and international congresses in Rotterdam. The attendees appreciated the symposium’s programme, consisting of a rollicking session parodying popular Dutch talk show ‘De Wereld Draait Door’, an inspiring ‘tablecloth workshop’ and an informal networking lunch. Rotterdam Marketing/Rotterdam Convention Bureau plans to turn the symposium into a recurring annual event.

New platform to promote knowledge-sharing

The Rotterdam Association Symposium is a new addition in a series of activities that Rotterdam Marketing organises several times a year. These occasions give business event organisers an opportunity to find out more about Rotterdam as a conference and event city. “However, the scientific sector and the association world lacked a good platform for exchanging and compiling knowledge, experience and information,” says Vivi de Regt, account manager at Rotterdam Marketing for the association market. “We saw a need in that market for more cooperation and coordination between the various parties. The Rotterdam Association Symposium turned out to be an ideal tool for discussing specific issues and meeting that need.”

Effective interactive approach

Organising a conference involves arranging many different aspects. On the one hand, the symposium emphasises practical matters. What can you do yourself, and what should you outsource? How should you sort out schedules and budgets, location choices and social programmes, promotions and logistics? On the other hand, the symposium looked at the added value of bringing a conference to Rotterdam and offers tips on putting together a bid book. In collaboration with Aaaaha! the Actor Factory, which has years of experience in running interactive sessions and workshops, all these issues were incorporated into a session parodying “De Wereld Draait Door”, a provocative Dutch talk show.
“The main goal is to create a common bond between people who all have experience in this market. Experiences generally contain lessons that people can benefit from and be inspired by,” explains Erik Peekel, who chaired the symposium. “Tips and real-life examples kick off the thinking process and get the discussion going.” The attendees had time to discuss the relevant issues at length in 3 table sessions of 25 minutes each, which were also attended by various representatives from Rotterdam hotels and conference locations. The symposium closed with a lunch where everyone had time to network.

Participants praised the event

The first Rotterdam Association Symposium was positively received by the people who took part; it was an inspiring, surprising and educational event for many. “The day went so quickly,” remarked Ms Meeuwisse van het Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication. “It was an intensive session that constantly provided fun triggers to keep us on track. It was a useful source of information that gave me a number of good ideas.” Ms Smits from VU University Amsterdam concurs. “We recently worked with Rotterdam Marketing to win the bid for ICPC 2010 [International Conference on Phosphorus Chemistry). We are currently busy organising that event, which makes even more interesting to hear experiences from other people now, but also to see how a bit of creativity makes it possible to achieve a great deal, even on a limited budget.” Ms Nooijen, who works at the Daniel Den Hoed Clinic at Erasmus MC, primarily describes the symposium as a surprisingly educational morning. “I already know that I will have a fresh new perspective when I look at new locations.”
The first Rotterdam Association Symposium was made possible

The first Rotterdam Association Symposium was made possible in part by:
- Ahoy Rotterdam
- Arjan van Dijk Groep
- Beurs-WTC Congress & Event Center
- Concert Hall and Conference Centre De Doelen
- Het Congresbureau, the conference bureau of Erasmus MC
- Inntel Hotels Rotterdam Centre
- Kuiters idee & organisatie

About Rotterdam Marketing

Rotterdam Marketing is a foundation established for the purpose of enhancing the business and leisure economy of Rotterdam. The organisation offers information and customised advice to current and potential visitors, the travel trade, congress organisers and the press. Partnerships with various Rotterdam institutions, including congress locations, museums, attractions and hotels, are an important part of its activities. Rotterdam Marketing works with 170 partners in the city. In addition, Rotterdam Marketing is responsible for providing informative resources, such as the Rotterdam City Map,, the Rotterdam mobile application, and the RZine, with the latest information on attractions, restaurants, museums, hotels and shops in the city.

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