This year’s PROVADA at the RAI Amsterdam was another successful affair with more than 21,000 visitors to the three day event demonstrating that the Netherlands’ real estate industry still has plenty to offer to domestic and international parties alike. With big Dutch-based names from Multi Development to Redevco, ING Real Estate to MAB Development in support, Commercial Director Peter Scheuter explains exactly what the fair had to offer in a time of crisis, and what this says about the future of Dutch real estate...
This year’s PROVADAwas out to prove something: that the Netherlands is still firmly on the map as far as domestic and international real estate investors are concerned. And prove that they did as 21,000 visitors showed up to talk about the local market and forge partnerships for international operations.
The European real estate industry is clearly still suffering from the real estate crisis which has plagued domestic and international markets alike for the past 18 months, but in spite of that – or perhaps, because of it – events like PROVADA remain crucial. “We are still in the grip of a difficult market; 21,000 visitors confirmed that networking opportunities are more important than ever. In the Netherlands there are some huge international groups in any case like ING Real Estate and Multi Development who still believe strongly in the Dutch market so PROVADA is not only about smaller or less international enterprises.”
Despite its continuing centrality as a catalyst for the Dutch real estate market, PROVADA once again showed that it has room for growth with some imaginative new elements for 2010. “We also introduced some new forums this year, the Green Forum and the Healthcare Forum,” explains Mr. Scheuter. “Each year, we look for new concepts, to try and support developing trends; sustainability is a very hot subject at the moment. We started really addressing it two or three years ago, and it now has a big place in the fair. Healthcare, too, is a huge growth area involving the real estate industry. The PROVADA Healthcare Forum tried to bring together some important players; changing legislation means that its going to become an interesting area for some of our older clients who haven’t previously thought of looking into it. We also has a retail discussion which was well received; we’re been listening to the market and its needs, and just tried to facilitate that.” PROVADA'sRetail Debate, in fact, saw a panel of seven Dutch retail specialists (retailers, developers, investors) discussing various topics regarding the retail future of the Netherlands, but also the international role of Dutch retailers in the rest of Europe and Turkey. Asking ‘Is the retail market flexible enough to change, in order to meet the changing consumer demands in a market which is effected by the economic crisis and the effect of more internet retailers than ever before?’ the conclusions drawn suggested that today’s shopping centre and high street retailers must show the capacity to evolve, but they’re far from risking extinction in this exciting, changing climate.
Looking forward, Mr. Scheuter and his colleagues are already thinking about planning 2011’s event , whilst keeping an eye on the developing international situation. “There are still many tricky fundamentals in property at the moment. However, some areas are suffering less than others. We believe that real estate is back in business; the industry is back on a level playing field and that can only be good for everyone concerned,” he says. And with a raft of key European and sector-focussed events coming up in the autumn, particularly in the shape of Expo Real and MAPIC, it seems that opportunities to meet up, research the markets and network can only continue.