The Hague – the Netherlands

Our MD, Antony Waite, had the pleasure of visiting The Hague recently. We asked him a couple of questions about his trip:

Amsterdam/The Hague enjoy strong appeal within the UK m&IT market, but what are their key strengths? 
Accessibility and flight frequency make Amsterdam a popular choice with our clients. Given the superb transport links, the Hague also benefits from great infrastructure. The World Forum as a venue is a truly world-class conference product. Couple this with an increasing portfolio of good quality hotels – makes these destinations a strong proposition. The added benefit is that all the suppliers are very used to working with the UK market and demonstrate a strong understanding of our business and working practices.

Do these geographically-close destinations complement each other – are they suited to particular groups and events?
In our experience, Amsterdam and The Hague are often considered independently for conference business. Geographically, Rotterdam lends itself well to dovetailing a programme with the Hague, whether that be for overflow accommodation or an external dinner function. For an incentive programme, Amsterdam and The Hague can be combined successfully to give a really good account of Holland as a destination.

Nowhere is perfect – what could they improve on as destinations?
In the Hague, we experienced challenges with obtaining larger bedroom blocks. The classic battle of group business versus existing corporate agreements which limit hotel availability. The knock-on effect meant smaller blocks over more hotels, which impacted management time and resource. Sourcing an external dinner venue with a natural “wow” factor for larger groups also proved testing when compared to other destinations across Europe. Choices felt limited and the end solution required creative thinking.

You’ve recently staged a Fintech conference in The Hague – what was it about the destination and venues that helped it be a success?
From conception to completion, collaboration was key to the success of our event. The support offered by the Hague Convention Bureau was central to the effort to bring the business to the Hague. The Bureau, World Forum and surrounding hotels understand the importance of working collectively to bring the business to the Hague, knowing that by doing so, it is mutually beneficial for all involved. This added value for the client, streamlined the organisation of the event and ultimately, made for a great end-user experience.