Hybrid events form a new chapter in the history of the Beurs. Our history demonstrates the power of physical gatherings, but we understand the need for a virtual option. The Beurs combines history with modern technology.
The Beurs knows better than anyone how visitors can fully experience your event. The right storyline forms the main theme, and this is even more important for a hybrid event. You are not going to impress online visitors with the magnificence of the building or live entertainment. You will only convince them with compelling content. So, all the choices you make for your event have to be based on your storyline. From the topics during the sessions, to the furnishing of the rooms and the design of the online platform. The history of the Beurs? Our long history has made us the hotspot that we have now become.
Whether you visit us physically or online, the Beurs exudes history. The building has been the scene of many memorable events. We take you back through time to some of these events.
During the late 19th century it was already clear that Amsterdam needed a new commodity exchange (Koopmansbeurs). Following a protracted design process the Beurs was officially opened in 1903. The dream of designer Berlage was a building in which art, culture, economy and society could come together under one roof. Initially, it was a place for trade, but as time passed Berlage’s dreams came to fruition.
From its opening, the Beurs housed the Commodity and Corn Exchanges and the Stock Exchange. This was later extended with the Insurance Exchange and the trade in foreign currencies. The Chamber of Commerce was located in an impressive boardroom with an equally impressive staircase. From 1913, an increasing number of financial organisations left the building, partly due to a new stock exchange building on Beursplein. Fortunately, the beautiful rooms remain intact, right through to the present day. The Agricultural futures market, the last financial activity in the Beurs, left in 1998.
In 1961, the Corn Exchange and Food Fair were replaced by a permanent exhibition of the Institute for Industrial Design. Architect Gerrit Rietveld and designer Kho Liang le converted the exhibition area for a continuous exhibition, that displayed various products from Dutch designers. The exhibition came to an end in 1976 as a result of financial problems.
Photo: archive photo De Arbeiderspers/DPG Media, stadsarchief Amsterdam file HVVA 00105000005.
The Beurs housed the first options exchange in Europe from 1978. The early years of the European Options Exchange were very difficult, because few investors dared to deal in options. Thanks to a flourishing economy and a promotion campaign the popularity of options grew during the 1980s. Together with call options on shares, put options were also traded, followed by options on the EOE-index: the current AEX. In 1987, the options exchange moved to its own building on Rokin, and following a merger with the stock exchange was finally located in a larger exchange room at Beursplein 5.
The Municipal Council of Amsterdam decided in the 1980s that the Beurs should be given a public-cultural function. From then on, the building housed among others the Dutch Philharmonic Orchestra, a regular performer at the Royal Concertgebouw. In 1989, a special glass hall was designed for rehearsals: the Glass Music Hall. Because it was not permitted to affect the monumental stock exchange building, the hall was placed as a separate construction in the Graanzaal at the Beurs. When the orchestra left in 2012 and the Beurs wanted to make room for large conferences, the glass hall was purchased by the Municipal Council of Tilburg.
The Beurs van Berlage Foundation was founded in 1985. During the years that followed the main focus was on major exhibitions and events. For example, an exhibition about Citroën cars (1994), an extensive Rembrandt exhibition (2006) and a Banksy exhibition (2016). The Beurs also hosted dance events, an annual ‘Bokbier’ festival, the Heineken annual meeting and the arrival of Sinterklaas (St. Nicholas). The icing on the cake was a Royal marriage in 2002
In 2002, the Beurs was the scene of the Royal marriage between the then Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Maxima. The location was proposed by the Municipal Council of Amsterdam and could count on the couple’s consent. It was a memorable day, especially due to ‘the teardrop’ from Maxima. Our Queen could not suppress a tear when bandoneon musician Carel Kraayenhof played a piece of music from her native country Argentina.
In 2008, the Beurs became a limited partnership and started to focus more on congresses and events: national and international. This has resulted in several, annually recurring events such as EMERCE (since 2010), M&A Awards (since 2013), GoTo (since 2014), Phocuswright (since 2017), AIPIA (since 2017) and CES Unveiled (since 2018).
The Correspondent’s Dinner, for many years a well-known event in the United States, was brought to the Netherlands in 2016. The Beurs was the scene of a satirical speech by the Dutch Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, who made jokes about himself, the press and several well-known Dutch personalities. The TV broadcast attracted more than 2.7 million viewers.
During the Hearthstone Tour World Championship the best players of the online card game Hearthstone battled for a total of one million dollar in prize money. The choice for the Beurs was for no small part due to the excellent technical facilities, such as a high-speed Internet connection. This provides the perfect basis for an esport tournament.
There was still a lot of activity last year in the Beurs, such as the DNA Congress. The experts and panel members discussed the possibilities of online events. They were physically present in the Beurs, while all the participants connected via the virtual Beurs. The speakers, panel members and congress stands ensured that it was a complete online event.
If you are currently organising an event, you also expect a virtual component along with live possibilities. A hybrid event allows you to extend your physical event with the benefits of online. There is no longer a limit on the number of visitors, participants can take part when it suits them and connect from anywhere in the world. Furthermore, your guests can experience the magnificence of our building on our unique virtual platform. The latest technology and history come together!
Do you want to know more about the trends and possibilities of hybrid events? The success formula for a modern event is revealed in our information sheet. Download our report ‘The event of the future’ to read about the latest trends, and leave nothing to chance.
You probably still have unanswered questions. Such as “what are the options for my conference or event?", “What are the associated costs?" Or “what else can I do to make it a success?" Our specialists are happy to help you with these and all your other questions. We promise to turn your conference or event into an unforgettable experience and a guaranteed success!
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