Year in review 2021 MICE - Tackling challenges the Rotterdam Way

2021, what a year this has been! ´Challenging´ would be a good word, 'transformative' would be better. The global MICE industry has had to deal with the effects of the continuing pandemic, lockdowns and limited travel options. The same goes for the city and people of Rotterdam. Our venues, hotels, service providers and others have had to dig deep and come up with creative ways of dealing with lasting uncertainty. And so we did.

Rotterdam is a resilient city, energetic and always in motion. A city of frontrunners and pioneers with the courage and will to drive change. Our outlook is always towards improving our future:  sustainability, inclusivity and innovation are what motivate us and what our policies, programs and actions are based on. In Rotterdam, we do things together, and we like to think and act outside the box.

This year these ‘character traits’ have proved to be more important than ever, especially when it comes to hosting and organising congresses and events. We are in this together, the Rotterdam Way: by coming together, collaborating, including, ‘open source’ sharing, co-creating. The recovery of our industry must be a recovery for all.


Eurovision:  showcase of co-creation, innovation & digitalisation

How do you host one of the largest international festivals of the year if you are uncertain whether people will actually be able to physically participate? Now there´s a challenge… From 18-22 May the Eurovision Song Contest took place in Rotterdam, in an adapted form. The city used all available creativity to make this edition a unique, inclusive event in an innovative, safe and sustainable way. Many organisations, people, venues, innovators, artists and governmental bodies came together to co-create a special festival for everyone in highly unusual times, from which Rotterdam will continue to benefit many years from now. Want to know more? Check

The Rotterdam Experiment – The Future of Events 2030

Difficult times call for future focused solutions. With the entire world in transformation, with businesses being disrupted, exploring and experimenting with new event formats which seek creative solutions is required. But this is not enough. We have to look further into global trends that involve technology, organizational structures, generational shifts, learning, values, and leadership. And we have to collaborate in doing so. This is about co-creation and (open source) knowledge sharing as much as it is about formats and technologies.

In The Rotterdam Experiment, a series of hybrid collaboration experiments, innovative solutions within and outside the sector were explored, tested, and shared with the industry. The Rotterdam Experiment brought together Rotterdam’s innovative DNA and power of collaboration to create an environment for experimentation and the sharing of knowledge and expertise.

Find out about The Rotterdam Experiment in general in about its three editions about Mixed Reality, Gamification and Eurovision.

Future focus

In this turbulent year Rotterdam Partners (in close collaboration with many partners in the city and MICE industry) has stepped up efforts to acquire future congresses and events for Rotterdam. We are happy to share some congress win highlights with you.

Best wishes for 2022! ✨

All in all, 2021 has been an eventful year in other ways than we had envisioned beforehand. We are looking forward to (re)connecting with you and hopefully meeting you in person in the coming year. We wish you health, joy and all the best for 2022!

Photos and images on this page: Rotterdam Branding Toolkit, Ossip van Duivenbode, NPO/NOS/AVROTROS NATHAN REINDS, Paul Martens (aerial photo of Ahoy), Rotterdam Ahoy, De Doelen ICC, StudioVollaersZwart, Postillion Convention Centre WTC en RauwCC.

My favourite venues (0)