Innovation Expo 2016

The Innovation Expo accelerates innovation, thus encouraging economic growth and quality of life in The Netherlands.

AGENCY: Event Consortium Innovation Expo (S.V.P. Sfeerbeheer, Obsession Evenementen, PINO Communicatie Evenementen Congressen, Livehouse Strategic Events and Team van Maanen Live Communicatie)

CUSTOMER: Ministry of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, Ministry of Interior and Kingdom Relations of the Netherlands

TECHNICAL SUPPLIER / LOCAL PRODUCTION: Livetime Productions & S.V.P. Sfeerbeheer

DATE: April 14th, 2016

The Innovation Expo accelerates innovation, thus encouraging economic growth and quality of life in The Netherlands. It consists of both the biennial event and the accompanying network of more than 4000 entrepreneurs, policy makers, academics and engaged citizens.


  • Connect government, business, educational & academic organisations, private initiatives and media
  • Connect goals by stimulating interaction regarding social issues
  • Stimulate cross-sectorial innovations that deliver solutions for social issues
  • Create opportunities for appointments, agreements and action
  • Focus on learned lessons and look back on former initiatives and solutions
  • Organise a day full of energy and a place to meet. A day where people can show their innovations, seek out cooperation and connect to inspiring initiatives. The Innovation Expo is about creativity, reflecting, presenting innovations, and providing a bridge to our future. The day offers opportunities for plenary sessions, exhibitions, workshops, speed dating, demonstrations and networking opportunities.
  • Organise this event in an innovative suburban area, preferably the Overhoeks area in the north of Amsterdam, next to the EYE Film museum.


The theme of the event was ‘Sustainable Urban Delta’ 

Megacities are the main drivers of economic growth. Though there is no such thing as a megacity in The Netherlands, we do have one big green, wetland and urban network. To be globally competitive, we need to focus on our economies of agglomeration and innovation. The knowledge we have built up as urban delta and the innovations we have developed are very valuable worldwide. Innovations provide solutions to urban and societal challenges. Moreover, innovation creates new jobs. What does the city of the future look like? "Sustainable Urban Deltas are sustainable, smart and socially inclusive.” On that we are in agreement at the EU level. The Innovation Expo took place during the Dutch presidency of the EU, on April 14th 2016. It demonstrated practical solutions to complex urban issues. The Innovation Expo is in line with the Dutch Urban Agenda. This enables the ambition of the Dutch urban network to to be truly first-rate on a global scale, both in terms of competitiveness and quality of life.

The client invited five handpicked event companies to pitch their ideas and budget for this project. The creative idea/insight arose during this meeting at the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, where all five event companies were present. Instead of losing energy and time to win the pitch for this project, the event companies proposed to work together. This idea literally came about during the meeting and was immediately presented to the client. By organising the event in this way, each event company could distinguish itself by doing what they do best. Every company has its qualities and specialities and it turned out that the agencies really complemented each other. It was a truly innovative way to organise the Innovation Expo.


5,500 visitors, 38 international EU ministers of Energy & Transport, 700 international guests, 200 innovation projects and 30 sessions with 110 speakers



Amsterdam North, Overhoeks area: EYE Fimmuseum, A-Lab, Tolhuistuin and the A’dam Tower plaza.


One of the biggest challenges was dealing with the situation in the Overhoeks Area. Besides being an open public zone with some main bike and pedestrian routes crossing the area, construction of the A’DAM Tower and the Paviljoen Overhoeks took place during the event. Due to construction delays our plans were constantly changing right until the weekend before the Innovation Expo.

Also the time of year was challenging: in April it rains and is windy very often. Therefore all activities had to take place in covered areas and shelter was needed for 5,500 visitors. Luckily it didn’t rain and the wind was ‘manageable'.

A full seminar programme was run on the fairground, with 110 national and international speakers (one of them the Dutch Prime Minister) presenting 30 different sessions.

Another challenge was the initiative to have 27 self-steering cars with 38 international ministers who wanted to visit and unveil the vehicles in the center of the event, at the terrace of the Eye Filmmuseum halfway during the program.

For registering 5,500 international participants and 200 exhibitors we used an online dashboard, developed by PINO. This innovative dashboard helped us to interact with all participants, exhibitors and the client.

Catering for all 5,700 attendees was free, and no queues were allowed.


Erika Koehler, project leader: “We asked for 1 agency, and we got 5! Although it was a risk we took, we’re overawed by the advisory power, the professionalism, the energy and the personal warmth of the key role representatives.”



"This event was unique because 1) it collected all the innovations in the Netherlands, especially regarding sustainability and transport; 2) It was an international event, with more than 38 EU ministers attending; and 3) it was very comfortable, not too formal, not too rigid, not too classy, really practical. And a big difference with a lot of other events, it wasn't boring and it was very interactive!", said the Prime Minister of the Netherlands


  • 9 months of preparation time
  • Exhibition space:  30.000 m2                                           
  • Vehicles: 40 exhibited cars / 500 visitors by car                                               
  • Show: 30 sessions with 110 speakers, 200 innovations exhibited                                          
  • Construction phase: 7 days of constructing, 4 days of deconstructing                 
  • Involved persons: 112 crew
  • Number of visitors: 5,500                


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