Sustainable meetings: Why we should walk the green mile

Although my favourite colour is orange, I can see how green is the colour of the future of our industry. As a consequence of the increased attention for environmental problems, most industrial sectors aim for more eco-friendly and sustainable products. Needless to say that the meeting industry is affected by this development too. Green meetings are events that incorporate environmental considerations. What are these considerations? And how could green meetings be beneficial to the industry?

Blog Holland Green Meetings Meeting

How do meetings affect the environment?

When people come together for a congress or an event there will necessarily be travel and garbage. Both can have a great impact on the environment.

Travel and transport

Participants of a meeting have to travel to the destination by car, by train or by plane. This costs fossil burning and causes CO2 emissions. You can add the emissions for the transportation of all goods required for the meeting. All these emissions contribute to the greenhouse effects. Therefore green meetings aim to achieve more climate-friendly travel and transport.


Human beings need to eat. The origin and quality of the food you offer them can make a great difference. We are well aware of the bad reputation of factory farming, pesticides and fishing. The catering provided by green meetings should contribute to more animal welfare and eco-friendly farming.


Wherever people come and go they produce waste – and frequently they produce it in huge amounts. Meetings often lead to much extra garbage in the form of paper and plastic wrappings. Another objective for green meetings is to keep waste production to a minimum to reduce air and water pollution.

No show

It is one of the most annoying things that could happen to your meeting. Participants, who accept and confirm your invitation only to cancel it last-minute. All materials and provision you prepared for them can be thrown away – unused. Green meetings attempt to prevent no show and the wasting of resources as much as possible.

Benefits of green meetings

Moral obligations and social pressure might be reasons to aim for green meetings. But there are more advantages to sustainability:

Blog Holland Green Meetings economical benefits

Good for your purse

Green meetings can have economical benefits for the event planner. It is a simple calculation: if you save natural resources you also save money. Invited guests who cancel their participantion on time prevent costs for the event planner and waste of material. Many requisites can be reused for following meetings or sold to other event planners. Both options reduce costs and waste.

Good for your image

Being eco-friendly can give a great boost to your good reputation as a company or event planner. Showing responsibility for the environmant is probably the best PR you can wish for. Therefore, going green also automatically provides planners with a competitive advantage by opening up the eco-friendly target market.

How to turn this into action?

I can only hope you share my views on the importance of greener and more sustainable meetings. In case you want to take a next step, you might want to take a look at the “Green Meetings” section of my website.You will find practical tips, a green venue finder and a Carbon Foorprint Calculator for your next meeting or event.

Orange glow in Switzerland at #EMEC13

The European Meetings and Event Conference in Montreux belongs to the leading educational events of the European meeting industry. It brings together meeting planners, academics, business owners, executives and managers to explore the latest research and event strategies. Therefore the programme includes various master classes, educational sessions and networking opportunities.

Facebook Holland MPI EMEC 2013

As one of the biggest groups at EMEC13 we bring some orange glow to Switzerland. With 26 participants we rank right behind the United Kingdom, Switzerland and the United States. During the programme there will be ten Dutch speakers. Here is a preview of what you can expect:

Ruud Janssen & Mike van de Vijver: The Solution Room

A highly interactive session to learn about your co-participants and yourself. Explore your comfort zone on issues relevant to you; and extract valuable input.

Blog Holland EMEC13_ruud

David Nieborg: Gamification

Learn how to implement game mechanics and structures in non-game environments with an expert on social media, games and gamification.

Blog Holland EMEC13_david

Jitske Kramer: Cultural Rhythm Worlds

Connecting people through their differences is crucial in our globalized business world. The challenge of meeting professionals is to orchestrate meetings in which all feel included.

Blog Holland EMEC13_jitske

Monic Buhrs and Elisa de Groot: Women In Business

The founders of In Touch and designers of Stratego® for Women showcase their ground-breaking strategy workshops for women in business.

Blog Holland EMEC13 Monic

Ruud Janssen: Hybrid Events

Ruud Janssen – Techniques for creating remarkable Hybrid Events
This session will reveal key insights gained from the MPI study on hybrid meetings.

Blog Holland EMEC13_ruud

Philip Walkate & Huib Hudig: Speak To Inspire

Huib & Philip will introduce you to the essentials of writing an inspiring speech by using fundamental truths, analyzing problems, offering solutions and creating a vision that matters.

Blog Holland EMEC13_Huib

Gerrit Heijkoop & Donald Roos: How Can I Be Social?

The “How Can I Be Social” duo will show you how to apply new social technologies when organising your next meeting or event.

Blog Holland EMEC13_hcibs


Let’s meet in Montreux!

Let’s meet at the I amsterdam MICExperience 2013 tomorrow!

Amsterdam – the orange metropolis at the Amstel river – is probably the most popular destination of Holland. In the next 2 days the Amsterdam Marketing organizes their annual I amsterdam MICExperience where meeting planners and event professionals are invited to experience the meeting facilities of the Dutch capital.

Networking carrousels

The networking carrousels on Thursday are like speed-dating for the events industry. Participants will engage in one-on-one conversations with professionals from the Amsterdam meeting and conference sector. By the way, I will also be there! You can meet me on Thursday evening during the carrousel in the Amsterdam ArenA. It would be fun to see you there. We will complete the day with the big MICE-party at the Renaissance Hotel (where I just might grab the microphone and sing for you).

Blog Holland I amsterdam MICExperience Networking Carroussel

Site inspections

During site inspections you can learn about the city of Amsterdam and its meeting facilities. Explore the opportunities of numerous hotels as the Amsterdam Mariott Hotel, the Mövenpick Hotel Amsterdam City Centre or Hotel Okura Amsterdam. Discover special venues as the versatile Amsterdam ArenA stadium, which has hosted a variety of events from soccer games to concerts and from corporate parties to big conferences. You can also pay a visit to Amsterdam RAI, the city’s largest conference venue and exhibition centre, which recently won the UFI Sustainable Development Award.

Blog Holland Amsterdam ArenA Stadium

Music and art

And after the event? There’s never a shortage of things to do in Amsterdam. You can visit the Amsterdam Museum to admire the rich collection of art and learn about the city’s history. Like music? At the recently opened North Sea Jazz Club you can enjoy live jazz music and related styles.

Blog Holland Amsterdam MICEexperience Amsterdam Museum

Will I meet you in Amsterdam this week?

Please reach out to me via a comment on this post, @MeetMrHolland on Twitter or /MeetMrHolland on Facebook if you are attending the I amsterdam MICExperience. It would be fun to meet up!

In case you cannot join us in Amsterdam this year, please connect with Amsterdam Marketing to be the first to learn about next year’s edition.

Where and when will I meet you this year? My event schedule for 2013

It was fun meeting all of you people in 2012. I hope to see you again this year. Check my event schedule for 2013 and pay me a vist in Frankfurt, London, Vegas or Barcelona. I am happy to welcome you at the Holland Meeting Point. Experience Dutch hospitality and get in touch with my Dutch partners. I can help you to find the right match for your own meetings.

27 – 29 January, MPI European Meetings & Events Conference

The Meetings & Events Conference (EMEC) in Montreux is MPI’s European conference for meeting and event professionals. EMEC provides participants with a successful combination of innovative business-focused education, inspirational ideas and exceptional networking opportunities. I will tag along with the MPI Netherlands chapter and will be participating on Monday.

Blog Holland MPI EMEC Logo 2013

21 – 23 May, IMEX Frankfurt

Whether you are from an agency, are a corporate or association buyer, organise events as part of your business travel or marketing remit – at IMEX all important players of the meeting industry come together. In times of economic change IMEX might offer you inspirational answers to critical questions within the meeting industry.

Blog Mr Holland Event Schedule IMEX Frankfurt

9 – 11 July, The Meetings Show UK

The Meetings Show UK is a major new event for the UK meeting industry offering an unrivalled platform of inbound and outbound business and bringing together the heart of the meetings community. The hosted buyer programme will identify influential buyers, the education programme will be devised by a panel of leading industry figures. We can expect interesting content and great networking opportunities.

Blog Mr Holland Event Schedule Meetings Show UK

15 – 17 October, IMEX USA

IMEX America is America’s worldwide exhibition for incentive travel, meetings and events, backed by the experience and resources of the IMEX Group of exhibitions. The show runs the largest hosted buyer program ever held in North America with over 2,400 qualified buyers, including convention and visitor bureaus, national and regional tourist offices, major hotel groups, airlines, destination management companies, service providers, trade associations and more.

Blog Mr Holland Event Schedule IMEX America

19-21 November, EIBTM Barcelona

EIBTM is the leading international event in the European meetings and incentives industry and provides a valuable networking and business forum. On average, EIBTM attracts 5,000 industry buyers of which over 2,000 are top level decision makers bought to the event as part of its Hosted Buyer Programme. For anyone organising events, conferences or business travel, EIBTM allows them to meet over 2,500 exhibitors under one roof.

Blog Mr Holland Holland-stand-at-EIBTM

Please let me know…

…which of these events are you planning to attend this year?

New in Holland: Utrecht converts office building into hotel

The Papendorp business district in Utrecht is one of the most sought-after and most expensive office locations in Holland, as it the most centrally located spot in the country. Companies such as CapGemini, Mercedes-Benz, Siemens and KPN have offices here.

The former Maximus office building was converted into the recently opened 118-room-large Holiday Inn Express Hotel Utrecht, with a lounge, bar, breakfast room and meeting rooms. The hotel is located within walking distance of top meeting location Domus Medica.

Check for more info: