3 major public events going on in Holland this week: Floriade 2012, Heritage Day & World Port Days Rotterdam

Have you ever thought of pairing up your meeting or conference with a large local event in your destination? Let me show you 3 major public events going on in Holland this week: the World Horticultural Expo “Floriade” in Venlo, the World Port Days in Rotterdam and the   European Heritage Day.

Don’t worry if you have to miss them: the Floriade lasts untill October 7th and the other 2 events take place every year around this time.

1. World Horticultural Expo “Floriade”

The Floriade is a world horticultural expo organized in the Netherlands every 10 years. Floriade will acquaint you with more than 100 gardens and pavilions with unique flowers and plants from all around the world. Facts & figures Floriade 2012.

The Floriade park is 66 hectares in size and consists of 5 unique themed worlds, Relax & Heal, Green Engine, Education & Innovation, Environment, and World Show Stage, separated from one another by woods. Each world has its own decor, programme and activities.

An amazing show will be staged every day, such as the Floriade Harvest Show. This spectacle of acrobatics and world music performed by artists from distant lands is the trump card of the Floriade. All events and culture.


2. World Port Days Rotterdam

For 35 years Rotterdam shows the ins and outs of Europe’s largest port during the World Port Days. A large variety of port companies give youa glimpse behind the scenes of their daily operations. In the city centre along the river Maas and quaysides you will find a wide range of companies, vessels, activities and industrial material.

Apart from this the World Port Days offer you the opportunity to visit different companies by boat, bus or train. These excursions are truly one of a kind; usually you’ll never be given the chance to visit the Port’s industrial areas!

This year’s theme is all about Music: The Port of Rotterdam sounds like music! Not only will there be fascinating musical shows on the water during the weekend, special music venues on the quays will bring an abundance of musical performances every day, all day long. On Saturday afternoon the Rotterdam Philharmonic Gergiev Festival will have about 20 unique concerts on the Wilhelminapier, all for free, click here for details. The city center will also harbor various performances along the maritime route from central station to the event area.


3. European Heritage Days in the Netherlands

The Open Monumentendag (Heritage Day) is designed to bring people into contact with the historic environment and to encourage interest in and understanding of historical monuments and the need for their preservation.

During Open Monumentendag – every second weekend of September – thousands of historical buildings and sites (about 4.000) are open to the public free of charge. Besides opening their doors, many locations also organize on-site activities like exhibitions, musical performances and guided tours. Each year around 80 to 85 percent of Dutch municipalities participate in the Open Monumentendag, organized by local committees. In recent years around 900,000 visitors have participated annually, making the Open Monumentendag one of the Netherlands’ premier cultural events.


My 3 favourite sessions of #HSMAIMEET : what are yours?

Last week I explained in my post why I am reviewing the agendas of our industry’s events. So this week I will take a look at the HSMAI Meet National on Wednesday and Thursday in Washington. Organized by the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI), the event aims to attract 1,800 planning professionals from organizations of every size, plus 250 exhibitors. Also, this year the event has a new name: “the evolution of Affordable Meetings”

I am looking forward to following their stream via the hash-tag #HSMAIMEET. And of course, I started browsing the programme and asked myself: what would have been my ‘must attend’ sessions if I could have been there?

These are my top picks. Please let me know what your favourite educational sessions are, were or would have been!

1. FREE Technology to Manage Your Events Easier, Better at Lower Cost and with Greater ROI

Why favourite?
You might be aware that the Dutch are very cost-effective. So if there is anything for ‘free’, I want to know more about it! And seriously, the internet offers so many great free utilities to make your meeting planning job easier. You should definitely also check out our ‘Holland ‘Venue finder‘, our ‘Meeting deals‘ and our free ‘Meeting CO2 calculator‘.

Session description:
That’s right !  Free software. This program will introduce you to a half dozen free conference and expo management software programs and apps that can help you do your job quicker, easier and at little or no cost to your program. Read more.

Speaker: Michael Hatch, President HATCH Marketing & Consulting LLC
When: Wednesday, September 5, 2012, 9:45 – 10:15 AM (GMT -5hours)

2. Get the Most Out of Your e-RFP

Why favourite?
Maybe you have noticed already, but we are collecting e-RFI’s and e-RFP’s as well (click on this link and you will find our submission form). Although me and my team manage to return these requests quickly and complete, of course we would love to learn about tips to do this smarter. How are you dealing with your RFP’s by the way?

Session description:
To get the most out of your eRFP, you have to include the rest of the alphabet.  Think a-to-zRFP if you really want to see the results that your hard work deserves.The fact is, most hotels have seen a 300% increase in their lead volume over the last 5 years while the close rates on RFPs have plummeted. At the same time, meeting planners are experiencing an unprecedented decline in hotel responsiveness to their RFPs, where late or incomplete bids are now the norm. Read more.

Speaker: Mike Mason, ZEO Zentila.com
When: Wednesday, September 5, 2012, 10:30 – 11: AM (GMT -5hours)

3. A Quick Look at the Future of Meetings Through the Eyes of Stakeholders

Why favourite?
As I explained in my earlier post, the whole purpose of following all these industry events is to get a grasp of what the future will bring. So this session should definitely be of value in determining just that!

Session description:
Maritz Research conducted a comprehensive study of meetings stakeholders to gather their views on the future of meetings in four key areas: meetings technology, social media, meetings venues, and meetings design. Dr. Rick Garlick, Senior Director of Strategic Consulting from Maritz, will share the key observations of this study provided by over 1600 respondents including meeting planners, suppliers, speakers, and attendees.   Included in the research topics are the emerging role of technology in virtual and face-to-face meetings, new ways of thinking about meeting design, social media and its multi-faceted role, and future expectations of venues. Read more.

Speaker: Rick Garlick, Director of Consulting & Strategic Implementation Maritz Research
When: Thursday, September 6, 2012, 10:30 – 11:00 AM (GMT -5hours)

What is your favourite pick?

Would love to hear in the comments if you agree or disagree with my favourites. Or please add your own personal favourite too!