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AMSTERDAM CONFERENCE TRENDS: 

What Defines the Ideal Conference City? 

What attracts people to a city for a conference—and keeps them coming back for more? 

It may not sound sexy, but the first requirement is clear: great infrastructure. It’s the thing that makes life physically comfortable for the large numbers of people who live there—and for the people who flock to conferences.

So, on a clear day in early autumn, we set out to get a professional opinion of Amsterdam. Luckily enough, we found a group of Mexican-American Civil Engineers from Houston, Texas. We asked them to measure Amsterdam against the infrastructure checklist, from the roads and waterways to the city’s traffic. 

Our experts, Rodrigo, Pedro, and Raul, were about to wrap up their stay in Amsterdam. Here are the excerpts of our talk: 

On Amsterdam’s accessibility:
Rodrigo: “The transportation in Amsterdam is so easy. They have of lot of ways to travel here—trains, trams, bicycles, cars....”

Raul: “Yeah, it’s not like in Houston, where everybody has a car.”

Pedro: “I agree. I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of people in Amsterdam didn’t even know how to drive. You don’t need to.”

On Amsterdam’s (lack of) traffic:
Rodrigo: “It’s not like in Houston—you don’t see traffic jams here. And not that many cars. It feels like there are a lot of pedestrian areas.”

We asked for one criticism of the city’s infrastructure, and all the engineers could come up with is signage. Pedro: “You really have to remember to look both ways so you don’t get hit by a bike!”

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