Bringing an international congress to the Netherlands can generate international attention, enhance your authority in your field, and give you a stronger influence on the international research agenda. More international visibility can also help to boost research and development budgets.
The Netherlands has excellent accessibility and a well-established congress infrastructure. We have a reputation for being good organisers and a rich history of hosting congresses. Learn about why the Netherlands is an attractive destination for international congresses here.Read more easons why to consider the Netherlands
The Local Organising Committee (LOC) is the group of people who take the initiative to organise the congress in the Netherlands. They serve as the face of the congress. They do not have to do everything themselves and can also outsource tasks to specialised sub-committees and professionals, such as a PCO (Professional Congress Organiser).
A bid book is a written proposal that presents the Netherlands as the host country for the upcoming congress. The international association typically determines what should be included in the bid book. It usually includes the following:
- invitation to the board and members of the international association;
- reasons why the congress should take place in the Netherlands;
- reasons why the proposed city and venue were chosen;
- accessibility of the Netherlands, the proposed city and the venue;
- the draft programme;
- the draft budget;
- venue suggestions for the social programme;
- suggestions for activities, such as cultural activities, outside the congress;
- letters of recommendation from government and affiliated institutions/companies.
The NBTC is happy to help you put together a bid book.
Organisers of international, multi-day congresses in the Netherlands can limit their financial risks with the VGF Pre-Financing and Guarantee Fund.
The VGF offers two separate schemes:
• Pre-financing: an interest-free loan to finance the start-up costs of the congress;
• Guarantee: a free congress insurance that offers a high level of financial security.
Yes! A good tip is to register the congress with Air France KLM Global Meetings & Events. The congress will then receive a booking code that delegates can use to benefit from discounts of up to 15% on airline tickets. As a local organising committee, you can also save for free airline tickets to fly in speakers, for example.
A Professional Congress Organiser (PCO) is an independent company that specialises in the professional organisation of international congresses and meetings.
A PCO can take care of all the practical aspects of organising a congress, from the bidding procedure to post-congress communications. Key tasks include:
• Set up: bid support, venue selection, programme and script development;
• Marketing and promotion of the congress: congress website, invitations, press contacts, advertisements;
• Logistics: participant registration, hotel reservations, transport, catering, audio-visual support;
• Content support: abstract management, communication with speakers, accreditation;
• Organisation of social programme: dinners, receptions and excursions.
It is important to note that while a PCO takes on the practical organisation of a congress, the ultimate financial responsibility for the congress and the programme’s content always remains with the organiser.
When deciding whether or not to engage a PCO (Professional Congress Organiser), there are several factors to consider:
• the size of the congress;
• the available budget;
• the available manpower and time;
• the expertise you have in-house.
NBTC advises you to always work with a PCO for larger congresses, especially since organising a congress is not something you do every day and is often something you have to do in addition to your other work. A good Professional Congress Organiser pays for itself by taking work off your hands and saving on costs.
When considering working with a PCO, it is important to keep in mind that it’s often a long-term and quite intensive collaboration. Therefore, it’s important that you take the time to select a PCO that is right for you. Also check if the PCO has experience with similar congresses.
1. Determine what you want from a PCO and use this as the basis for drawing up a 'tender' or a request for a quotation. Be sure to include key details such as the number of attendees, days, abstracts, speakers and the desired services.
2. Make a preliminary selection and contact these PCOs. Limit the tender to two or three PCOs that seem suitable.
3. Compare the quotes received. When choosing, consider not only the services and the price, but also which PCO you feel you have the best ‘click’ with.
4. Request references from the eligible PCOs.
5. Invite the PCOs to give a personal presentation. Ask who your contact person will be and make sure they are present at the presentation.
6. Choose the PCO that best meets all your needs and with whom you think you will feel most comfortable working.
If you need assistance with drawing up the tender or making the preliminary selection, NBTC can help. We will work with you to select two or three PCOs for an intake interview, after which you can make your decision.
Some of the PCOs introduce themselves on this website.
NBTC can help you bring an international congress to the Netherlands. We support your candidacy with tools and advice, right down to the actual presentation.
We will also put you in touch with our network of reliable and experienced partners for the practical aspects of organising your congress.
No. NBTC's advice, tools and guidance are completely free of charge.
Yes, we are happy to do that. We can collaborate with you to create the bid book and even finance its production. If you prefer, the city congress bureau or the PCO can also take care of this for you.
We can also provide templates to help you create your bid presentation. If you need to present your bid abroad, we can offer you a flight ticket in collaboration with Air France/KLM.