10 surprising Green Social Programs to make your meetings more sustainable (part 2)

Last week I wrote this blogpost about “10 surprising Green Social Programs to make your meetings more sustainable (part 1)”. Well, here is part 2 with 5 more surprising Green Social Activities.

The footprint of your meetings and events may be reduced in many ways, e.g. the venue and hotels, transportation, and food & beverage. This time, I would like to share some great Dutch examples of an often overlooked part of the meeting when it comes to CSR: the Social Program.

Be inspired! And I would love to hear what your favourite program would be.

6. Netherlands Water Museum – Mirror Walk

Every company has to deal with processes that require insight and ideas. Through the Mirror Walks that the Netherlands Water Museum offers, people are challenged to get off the normal paths and away from established thinking patterns. By literally going into the forest, the coach shows you the forest is as changeable as an organization.

Learn from nature and mirror what you see in your organization. A unique experience and a great new perspective on your organization and yourself.

7. Nature through the eye of the photographer

Marco de Paauw is one of Holland’s top nature photographers. Under his expert guidance, you will experience the beauty, versatility and fragility of Dutch nature.

You will see and experience for yourself the inspiration for those beautiful pictures you normally only see in books and magazines

8. E-step (E-scooter)

Holland is a cycling country par excellence, but we are also home to the ‘step’, a type of man-powered scooter. A twist on this classic is the e-step, an electric powered type of scooter.

Especially great for exploring nature, as the e-scooters are motorized, yet have zero emission and are completely silent. Great to combine with gaming elements, such as GPS tours.

9. Sand castles

Holland is home to a unique institute, the World Sand Sculpting Academy. The academy transforms most children’s favorite beach activity into a real art. Amazing sculptures can be admired worldwide during festivals, and now you have the opportunity to use ‘the elements’ as the building blocks for your creation.

Sand and water are the perfect ingredients for an unforgettable team-building event.

10. Make your own cheese

The Dutch have a worldwide reputation when it comes to cheese. They gladly offer you a chance to discover the secret of making the best cheese.

Experience a step-by-step demonstration and workshop at a real cheese farm, and become an expert in converting fresh cow milk into cheese.

Do you have any suggestions?

Of course this only a small selection of all the possibilities. Do you have any suggestions? Please comment below!

Add Some Orange at #IMEX12 : I would love to take a picture of you!

Only 2 weeks to go untill IMEX America in Las Vegas! As I wrote in my post last week, I am really excited to meet so many friends from the meetings industry in real life at IMEX America. And appearently I am not the only one excited by that idea:

Of course I will be wearing my bright orange suit. And I will bring my camera to take picture of you! Do you want to help me build a collage with as many friends as possible?

Please post a comment or tweet about whether you will be at IMEX America and when we you will be able to pay me a visit. If you are not attending IMEX, don’t worry: I will be present at EIBTM in Barcelona too. So we will meet anyhow somewhere in the next weeks!

10 surprising Green Social Programs to make your meetings more sustainable (part 1)

When organizing your meeting in Holland, rest assured that providers will do their utmost to assist you with a meeting that has no larger ecological and ethical footprint than absolutely necessary.

The footprint may be reduced in many aspects of the meeting or event you are organizing, e.g. the venue and hotels, transportation, and food & beverage. This time, I would like to share some great Dutch examples of an often overlooked part of the meeting when it comes to CSR: the Social Program.

Holland is fortunate to have an abundance of water, wind and earth (sand) to make use of for your event. Many suppliers have created environmentally-friendly programs for you and your groups, whether for team building, excursions, spouse programs or any other activity. They have made use of the elements to create both energetic and less active tailor-made and unforgettable events.

Below I have listed the first 5 inspirational ideas for you, some examples of the virtually unlimited possibilities.

1. Farmers’ Golf

A lot of the Dutch heritage is derived from farming and some 18% of the country is currently farmland. Dutch farmer Peter Weenink created a new sport in 1999, farmers’ golf. An everyman’s twist to the real golf, placed in the backdrop of the farmland and utilizing whatever is available on the land to create an alternative to sand bunkers.

A special clog-club is used to get the ball into the hole, a buried churn. A farmer’s common sense was solved the problem of the golf ball getting lost in high grass and cow manure: a bigger ball! A guaranteed sustainable experience and a game that everyone can play!

2. Making responsible pasta – Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen

Fifteen Amsterdam was the first restaurant to adopt Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen concept. Since 2004, fifteen to 20 disadvantaged, but highly motivated, young people at a time have been given the opportunity to become chefs and reintegrate into the community, through a sixteen-month training program. At the moment, 80% of all candidates are still successfully employed!

Join the Chef and his unique team for a popular pasta workshop. Work with only fresh, local and seasonal products, and immerse yourself in an exclusive experience. Preparing and cooking a meal together creates a special bond, especially if the ‘creations’ are jointly consumed.

3. Water bikes

Combining two of Holland’s icons – water and bikes – is a truly sustainable way to discover the city by ‘power of men (and women)’. Our water bikes are a great way to get a different perspective on the cities of Amsterdam, Utrecht, Delft and Zwolle.

You can either ‘just bike’ or organize a ‘company rally mystery tour’.

4. Kiting on the beach

It is a great feeling to steer your kite in the wind and prevent it from falling mercy to the wind. The Dutch twist is to jointly build and operate your own mega-flyer.

A special team project in which group effort and communication are key. Each team builds a part of the 3D kite, which parts will be merged into a mega kite. The whole group puts it to the test when launching the kite together on the beach. Will it stay up in the air?

5. Eco-art workshop

Ever created a painting without paint? Well, this eco-art workshop uses nothing but (clean) waste as your ingredients for your painting or work of art. Inspired by the Save the Beaches hotel project by German artist HA Schult, paper, wood, plastic, rope, textiles and whatever waste you can think of, is destined for a second life in the artwork your group will create in this environment-friendly workshop.

If your company has its own waste from the production process, this may be an inspiration for your own ‘company art’ program.

Looking for more?

Do you like these ideas? Next week I will post part 2 of this post, giving you 5 more tips for Green Social Activities.

3 of my favourite events around the #IMEX12 showfloor: #eventprofs Tweetup, EURO Party and meeting with you!

A little more then 3 weeks to go before the international meetings industry will gather in Las Vegas for IMEX America 2012. In the past week the pre-show excitement really gained some momentum, as more and more people join the converstation via #IMEX12. In this post I would like to draw your attention to 3 special events at the IMEX showfloor where I would love to meet you in person!

1. #eventprofs Tweetup

Personally I love staying connected with my friends in the meetings industry via Social Media like Twitter and Facebook. This gets even better when we get the chance to meet each other ‘in real life’! At IMEX Frankfurt I was a proud host of the #EUventprofs Tweetup. And currently plans are being made to have a tweetup with the #Eventprofs at IMEX again. So please join us by filling in this RSVP: http://imexlasvegastweetup.eventbrite.com

In case we do not manage to pick a date that fits us all, we could always turn this into a daily event. Like a ‘campfire’ where we share our coolest findings of the tradeshow. I’ll bring some ‘stroopwafels’, delicious with a cup of coffee or tea!

2. EURO Party for hosted buyers

The European CVB’s and Tourism offices join forces and are pleased to invite hosted buyers to the EURO Party at IMEX America on October 10th at 4:30 pm in the European section on the show floor. Back by popular demand, the “EURO Party” will give you the chance to relax, enjoy a bite to eat, have a drink, and mingle with European destination representatives and their partners. Be sure to take a walk around the area to get stamps for your “EURO Passport” and to discover some typical food and drink, unique performances and other surprises from Germany, Holland, France, Greece, Monaco Switzerland, Turkey, and many more!

Are you a hosted buyer? Let us know your joining the party and RSVP at Linkedin: http://linkd.in/RmEBg3

 3. Meeting with you at the Holland Booth (212)

And finally I am really looking forward to meeting you in real life at the booth of the Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions (212). I can answer all your questions about organizing meetings and conferences in my country, we can take a picture together and I can introduce you to the partners who came along to Vegas.

To make an appointment you have to be logged in at the IMEX America website and then follow this link: Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions, Booth number 212. At the booth you can make personal appointments with:

Accor Hotels The Netherlands
Accor, the world’s leading hotel operator and market leader in Europe, is present in 92 countries with more than 4,400 hotels and 530,000 rooms.

Amsterdam RAI Convention Centre
With more than 110 years of experience, Amsterdam RAI is the main convention center in The Netherlands.

Apollo Hotels Amsterdam
Ramada Apollo Amsterdam Centre Guestrooms: 446 Number of Meeting Rooms: 8 (2,395 square feet) Largest Meeting room: 200 people.

Hotel Okura Amsterdam
Hotel Okura Amsterdam is the most complete five-star luxury hotel that you will find in The Netherlands and exclusive member of ‘The Leading Hotels of the world’.

HOTELS VAN ORANJE, The Beach of Amsterdam
The Hotels van Oranje a combination of a 4 and 5 star hotel located at the Beach of Amsterdam 20 minutes from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.

Mövenpick Hotel Amsterdam City Centre
The Mövenpick Hotel Amsterdam City Centre is located in the Eastern Docklands in between the Muziekgebouw and the Passenger Terminal Amsterdam.

Looking forward to see you in Vegas! Please let me know if I will meet you there.

Looking for special meeting venues? Check Holland’s 10 finest industrial venues

Over the past hundred years or so, Holland has developed from a manufacturing society into a service society. Literally hundreds of beautiful buildings are left as a reminder of a once thriving industrial economy. This rich heritage has now been given a second life, as many of these architectural marvels are converted into meeting and event spaces. Immediately upon entering, you will feel privileged to be a part of this rich history, even if it is only for a little while.

Of course I recognize that each meetings’ preferences are different, and therefore I share my fine and out-of-the-ordinary selection of industrial venues in Holland.

10. De overkant – Amsterdam

Opposite Amsterdam Central Station, across the IJ river, a new event venue is one of the city’s new creative hotspots. De Overkant (‘The Other Side’) is a former Stork machine factory. In a central location of  this complex lies the Kromhout Hall, a raw, light, grand, impressive, authentic, industrial, versatile event venue on the bank of the IJ in Amsterdam North. With a 20-meter-high glass ceiling, steel structures, cranes and total length of 150 meters, the hall gives a unique look and feel to each event, small or large, modern or authentic.

9. Veerensmederij – Amersfoort

The Veerensmederij dates back to 1904, when the Dutch Iron Railway company opened its central workshop in Amersfoort. The springs of the bogeys for the train wagons were forged here. During an extensive renovation process, many characteristic parts were restored, creating a spectacular setting for meeting and events.

8. Nieuwe energie – Leiden

New Energy is located in the monumental spinning mill of the former textile factory Clos & Leembruggen. The characteristic building boasts a large production hall with long facades and large windows, surrounded by several side rooms and a monumental entrance. After being used by an energy provider for the past years, the building was recently transformed into an inspiring conference venue. The three state-of-the-art meeting rooms have retained their authentic character and can accommodate up to 150 people.

7. Ruim Utrecht

Located in Utrecht’s former inner harbor, servicing the fruit and vegetable auction, these three former sand and gravel hoppers were completely refurbished. An inspirational and creative setting for small meetings.

6. Tollensfabriek – Rotterdam

The Tollensfabriek is an old Dutch paint factory, built in 1933. The architectural style is known as ‘New Dutch Realism’. The great open space with its high ceilings and raw industrial look was a great canvas to transform 250m² of this building. It can now be rented for inspiring meetings for up to 60 people. The open space is an example of the flexible new realistic way of working. Within one large industrially designed space, there are five areas for traditional or informal meetings and workshops.

5. DeFabrique – Maarssen

Shortly after WWI, the Ulbe Twijnstra oil mill was built in centrally located Maarssen, to supply linseed oil for the manufacturing of paint, soap and margarine. In 1996 the plant was closed and a local couple rejuvenated it as an event location under the name of DeFabrique. They took great pride in maintaining the historical and industrial character of the building as much as possible. DeFabrique is now a successful, well-equipped venue for meetings and events from 50 to 3,500 people.

4. Museum Shipyard ‘t Kromhout – Amsterdam

The historic ‘t Kromhout shipyard is robust and industrial, surrounded by old ships. The venue exudes the maritime history of Amsterdam, and was fortunately saved from demolition in 1975. It currently is a unique meeting and event venue, taking you back to the old days of traditional craftsmanship.

3. Van Nelle Ontwerpfabriek – Rotterdam

The former Van Nelle coffee, tea and tobacco factory is considered the most prominent building in the architectural ‘New Dutch Realism’ movement.
The building is European Cultural Heritage, and now houses companies engaged in communication, design, architecture and media. Twelve small and large rooms are available for corporate events, fairs, meetings and conferences. The spectacular views from the tearoom will impress visitor.

2. The Industrials (Fokker terminal, Norfolk, Remise, Ketelhuis, RAC Hallen), The Hague

Five beautiful and unique venues in The Hague joined forces, making it easy for bookers to get information and make reservations. The Fokker Terminal, the former Anthony Fokker school, is most suitable for meetings as it offers fifteen break outs (former classrooms), situated around the former aircraft terminal. In De Remise, a former tram depot, now home to the Hague Public Transport Museum, your groups can meet in de historical trams and buses or the hall itself. The Caballero Factory is a former cigarette factory, and a business center for innovative, creative and cultural enterprises, with its  meeting areas, business rooms, and a living room and lounge are.

1.Radio Kootwijk- Apeldoorn

Only recently a true gem has become available to the meeting market. Radio Kootwijk is the former radio telegraph transmitter, which connected Holland by phone to the Dutch East Indies since 1923, and other parts of the world later on. The silence and space around the station was necessary for undisturbed connections, but also resulted in free development of nature.
After the transmitter finally went off the air in 1998, the dromedary-shaped building stood empty for many years. In recent years, it was restored to its former glory and now it is an exceptionally beautiful and inspiring venue for exclusive meetings and conferences in a stunning environment.

Don’t forget to meet the Dutch at #IMEX12 America

The inaugural IMEX America last year proved its value to both meeting planners and exhibitors. North America had long been looking for a trade show of this caliber. Now in its second year, the show will be at least 23% bigger, with even more educational sessions to attend and exhibitors to meet.

An excellent opportunity for meeting planners to become acquainted with accommodations and destinations, to place orders, request quotes, find new ideas, to network and learn.

Meet and network with the Dutch

What would an international trade show be without an opportunity to meet the Dutch? Rest assured, I have already booked travel and accommodations for myself and a fine selection of Dutch conference centers and meeting hotels.

The Dutch representatives will all gladly share the latest ‘Holland meeting news’, and help to create the perfect solution for your meeting. Source these great, surprising and original venues and ideas for your next meeting, event, incentive or exhibition.

The Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions (NBTC) and all Dutch partners will be represented at the Holland Stand 212. Please go to our IMEX America page for a complete overview of participating companies.

Take a photo with me, Mr. Holland

You probably already heard about or even met me, Mr. Holland, the personification of Holland and the Dutch: creative, open-minded, charming and efficient. I will be your host at the Holland Stand and tell you all about “my” destination.

Thinking about attending?

If you are considering coming to Las Vegas for IMEX America in October, please visit the IMEX website to find out about all the benefits for attendees. To be sure of an appointment, please use the IMEX appointments system to book your time. If you have already registered you can simply schedule an appointment through your online diary. If you have not registered yet, click here for your free admission.