Already for many years, the National STD *HIV* Sex Congress is organized on 1 December, World Aids Day, in the Beurs van Berlage. More than 500 professionals and representatives from different target groups are gathered all day to be informed and inspired about (the latest developments regarding) STDs, HIV and healthy sex.
Projectleider Nationaal Congres Soa*Hiv*Seks, Soa Aids Nederland & Aidsfonds
The cooperation with the Beurs van Berlage is excellent and is getting even better by the year. The employees of the Beurs know our wishes and expectations well. It is a great pleasure to welcome participants from all over the country in a building that exudes grandeur, professionalism, warmth and intimacy. Usually we start a day in advance with the construction and layout of the rooms. On the day itself, very early in the morning coffee and croissants are ready for our team and the volunteers. The congress consists of two plenary sessions, two workshop rounds, a warm lunch, coffee breaks and a final drink. In addition, there is a large information market, exhibitions and video screenings. All this requires a lot of logistics, flexibility, speed and organization and the Beurs van Berlage puts down a very successful event every year.
A big surprise in 2018 was that mayor Halsema of Amsterdam issued a royal decoration to an unsuspecting visitor, who was then sung to by Gerben Grimmius with the song ‘Een goed gesprek’ ('A good conversation'). This song is about his life with HIV. It was quiet in the big hall and it was great to see that participants then started the workshops with a positive, energetic vibe. In 2017 comedian Johan Goossens performed with a short show about dating, sex and STDs and Minister Kaag of Foreign Trade & Development Cooperation spoke to the audience.
These are all unforgettable moments that I like to tell family and friends. The networking session at the end of the day is a warm ending and we were regularly told that it was too short. The evaluation also shows that every year participants find the Beurs van Berlage a very nice location. Last year was the 22nd edition of the National Congress STD *HIV* Sex and we love to come again many times. Never change a winning team: that is what the Beurs van Berlage and we are together!
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