Event Park Amsterdam is Available, Accessible and Affordable. Three strong points that characterize the area between Amsterdam, Leiden and Haarlem. But there is so much more! Board member Michiel Smilde of Convention Bureau Event Park Amsterdam and partner Marleen Meis of SugarCity Events are happy to talk tell us more.
Right next to Amsterdam is the municipality of Haarlemmermeer, a very versatile and green area. Why is this area special?
“Because it’s below sea level, to start with”, Michiel Smilde says, laughing. “In Haarlemmermeer you’re on average six metres below the Amsterdam Ordnance Datum. Dutch people find this normal, but guests from abroad can hardly believe it.”
“For the most part, the Netherlands is actually ‘water land’. The Haarlemmermeer region also used to be water. It was only between 1849 and 1852 that the area was drained and reclaimed with the aid of three steam pumping stations, in order to protect the historic cities of Amsterdam and Leiden from the water. Today, this area of some 18,500 hectares is characterized by beautiful landscapes and 31 urban centres, all of which have their own identity.”
“Also special is that the national airport of the Netherlands is located in the Haarlemmermeer. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol connects Event Park Amsterdam directly with the whole world. Check it out: from 326 worldwide destinations over 100 airlines land weekly in our beautiful polder.”
“From Schiphol you can travel by train or bus in 5 to 10 minutes to all hotels and hotspots in Haarlemmermeer. In addition, Schiphol has an important economic significance for the region. More than 65,000 people work at the airport and more than 500 different companies are located in this area. In the field of MICE, this means, among other things, that many aviation and logistics related meetings and events feel very much at home in Event Park Amsterdam.”
Advantages of a large city
As a conference destination, Haarlemmermeer is an excellent alternative to busy and crowded Amsterdam.
Smilde: “Haarlemmermeer is part of the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area: you have all the advantages of the big city, but with lots of extras. The hotels and venues in the Haarlemmermeer, for example, are easily accessible, available and affordable.”
“Almost all international hotel chains are represented in Haarlemmermeer, with a total of 8,000 hotel rooms. This number is growing steadily.”
“For a four-star hotel room, you pay about 140 euros on weekdays. This would be much more expensive in the city. This also applies to a large part of our event venues and supplier services. There is therefore considerable scope for savings across the entire breadth of a meeting and conference organisation.”
“Add to that the fact that Haarlemmermeer really is a beautiful green destination, which also has a wide range of beautiful venues, then planners: you know what to do!”
One of those special event venues is SugarCity Events, a former sugar factory from 1919. Part of the factory site has been transformed into the go-to international industrial event venue of today. Over the past five years companies like Google, Microsoft and Booking.com already found SugarCity Events as a destination for their business event.
“SugarCity Events is suitable for any type of event,” says Account Manager Marleen Meis. “Presentations, product launches, car launches, conferences, meetings, dinners… everything can be celebrated and organized here.”
“We have three unpolished factory spaces, totalling 21,000 square metres, which can be used in a variety of ways. Cars and even buses can be driven in. We also have 300 free parking spaces and a train station right in front of us.”
What also makes SugarCity Events unique, according to Meis, is that the spaces can be arranged and decorated according to your own wishes. Meis: “Nothing is fixed and really anything is possible.”
More special locations
Event Park Amsterdam is home to many more locations that appeal to the imagination. Expo Haarlemmermeer for example.
In the middle of a quiet area is the site where the Floriade was held in 2002. Here you will find a striking glass exhibition building with a surface area of 24,000 square meters, including an auditorium. Nice detail: next year Expo Haarlemmermeer will be home to the International Broadcast Centre (IBC) of the European Football Championships.
The Olmenhorst Estate is a farmhouse dating from 1854, surrounded by 18 hectares of organic apple and pear orchards. The estate offers many special opportunities for extraordinary business events, such as meetings in between the apple trees.
The Arendshoeve│Garden or Amsterdam is also an attractive venue. Imagine: a large authentic greenhouse full of man-sized plants. In this setting, where it seems as if the guests are outside instead of inside, meetings and conferences can be held for up to 1,000 people.
Haarlemmermeer is a region that is in the spotlight. Convention Bureau Event Park Amsterdam is the One-Stop-Shop for meeting and conference planners who want to go off the beaten track.
Meis: “Convention Bureau Event Park Amsterdam is an enterprising and decisive club that helps our clients where necessary. They assist with bid procedures, advise and support in the choice of hotels, venues and suppliers, help with the planning and organization, organize site inspections and much more. There are no extra costs involved.”
“In short: in Event Park Amsterdam we are ready for organizers who dare to go ‘below sea level’!”