2018: a bumper year
Dear RAI stakeholders and readers of this report,
The Executive Board opened its foreword to this report by stating that “2018 was the most profitable year in the RAI’s history”. The Supervisory Board would like to emphasise this point because such an impressive result is not something that just happens on its own. In 2018, employees and management organised and facilitated an exceptional number of events. Almost all of the recurring events have shown growth, and customer satisfaction levels were excellent. The traditionally quiet summer break was very short in 2018 and the usual maintenance had to be carried out in-between the events. Everyone in the company did a great job and deserves a huge compliment.
Another thing that became clearer than ever in 2018 is that the partnership between the RAI and the city of Amsterdam is more than the sum of its parts. The combination of the two is appreciated by organisers, exhibitors and visitors – Dutch and international alike – as pleasant and unique.
A key development in 2018 was that the company drew up and implemented concrete plans which focused more on added value produced for the city and its inhabitants. A major example is the future vision plan for 2030, in which strengthening the connection with the urban fabric is a key principle. The Supervisory Board fully supports this development and feels that, no matter how much international success the RAI experiences, its operations cannot be balanced if they do not comprise real added value for the people of Amsterdam.
A development in 2018 that was not immediately visible to everyone were the many improvements made behind the scenes of the RAI organisation. Despite the hectic activity accompanying the many events, the company found the energy to continue building on its structural and cultural transformation started at the end of 2016. A strategy review was completed in the summer and a strategy adopted for the coming planning period.
In short, 2018 was a bumper year. As such, it is important to remember that it was exceptional – according to the most recent forecast, turnover in 2019 will simply correspond to the normal long-term trend. Nonetheless, the Supervisory Board remains confident about the future.
On behalf of the Supervisory Board,
Roelf de Boer, chair