Why attending the NMC is good
The mathematical community in The Netherlands is very diverse; it ranges from very pure, concentrating on fundamental mathematical problems, to very applied, with applications leading, but with new mathematics as the driving force.
The Netherlands Mathematical Congress (NMC) aims at all mathematicians, from pure to applied, and from junior to senior (from PhD student to chief technology officer, from high-school teacher to full professor).
Developments in research, teaching and policy making
NMC is a once-in-a-year event to learn about other areas in mathematics, potentially leading to new ideas for your own research, or to new collaborations. NMC offers a much wider view of mathematics than normally encountered at conferences. This can be very rewarding.
Besides the technical content, NMC is also very useful to learn and discuss about general developments relevant to all of us; about acquisition of research funding, recruitment of mathematics talent, teaching, publishing, and more.
Recent years, Platform Wiskunde Nederland has been active in writing vision documents, which, with the help of many, resulted in the Sector Plan Beta, which has led to many new staff positions. The latter was needed given the strong increase in mathematics student numbers over the past years. Hopefully, many of us already experience a somewhat lower teaching workload and hence more time for research.