Utrecht a popular conference destination - © Renzo Gerritsen

The strength of Utrecht: continuous development

Utrecht is a popular conference destination both as a city and as a region, which is not surprising. The unique historic city centre with its monuments and the open and relaxed atmosphere makes everyone feel at home.

More and more organizers find their way to the city and the region of Utrecht. After a strenuous day at a conference, Utrecht offers a rich cultural life and many opportunities to relax. And…the Utrecht Convention Bureau (UCB) is always ready to help you make your conference a success.

The UCB focuses on organizers that want and expect more than a large hall and a large number of hotel rooms; the bureau aims for conferences that are sincerely looking for a connection with the city and the region. A city that has a lot to offer, is located in the heart of the Netherlands and is easily accessible by plane, train, car and boat.

Innovative climate

Utrecht has always looked to the future. Its innovative climate offers many opportunities for organizers of national and international conferences. Think of collaborating with leading knowledge institutes or creating a social programme that involves residents in conferences.

With the Utrecht Science Park as the beating heart of the knowledge economy, there are plenty of opportunities. Scientists, entrepreneurs, local authorities and citizens work together to create a green, healthier and smarter city. Renowned institutes such as the Hubrecht Institute for Developmental Biology and Stem Cell Research, Utrecht University and University Medical Center Utrecht are just three of the big names in Utrechts’ DNA. Fundamental, translational and applied research come together, and conference organizers can benefit from this knowledge as content or inspiration during their conferences.

Substantial expansion of hotel rooms

Utrecht remains in full development. This is also noticeable in the hotel offer, which will expand considerably in the coming years. Utrecht currently has 2,300 rooms. This number will rise to 3,500 in 2021. Some hotels are expanding their capacity, but there is also a lot of new construction and not just within the inner city. The offer – from intimate boutique hotels to business hotels with a large number of rooms – is varied, and this certainly applies to the conference locations as well.

The beautiful Beatrix Theater can accommodate 1,533 people, the impressive Grand Hotel Karel V offers space for smaller groups. With five different concert halls, the music palace TivoliVredenburg has the possibility to accommodate 7,500 participants. And if you want to organize an event in an authentic station building, check out the Railway Museum.

Terras aan de Oudegracht in Utrecht | © Ramon Mosterd
The unique historic city centre with its monuments and the open and relaxed atmosphere | Photographer Ramon Mosterd

Liveable city, green region

The UCB not only focuses on the city, it also focuses specifically on the region to organize a conference. You can also find excellent hotels and other accommodations in the region. This increases and diversifies what Utrecht has to offer and spreads the growing flow of visitors (both business and leisure).

A beautiful city like Amersfoort, but also areas like the Utrechtse Heuvelrug and the Kromme Rijnstreek offer a totally different experience than Utrecht-city. Just outside Utrecht, for example, you will find the Fort Voordorp event location. This is part of the New Dutch Waterline, which has been nominated for UNESCO World Heritage status. The Postillion Hotel in Bunnik is located within cycling distance of the city centre, where small and large groups are welcome for conferences and seminars. And in the woods near Zeist you will find the Woudschoten Hotel & Conference Centre and the KNVB (Dutch Football Association) Campus, where the green surroundings invite you to go outside.

Travelling is easy in the region because the distances are short and public transport is excellent. Most of the locations can also be reached by bike.

Visitors can use the unique Utrecht Region Pass to make things even easier. This allows international (business) visitors to easily use public transport in the Netherlands without having to worry about buying tickets. Pass holders can also visit the most popular destinations in the region.

Valuable connections

Organizing a conference requires a lot of preparation. The Utrecht Convention Bureau is happy to provide free and independent advice and also uses its network to create valuable connections, which offers almost endless possibilities.

The strength of Utrecht is cooperation; everyone wants to take the city and the region to the next level. This is extremely inspiring, both for the UCB and for conference organizers.