Case: Le Tour de France as an event in Utrecht

Le tour de France is one of the three biggest cycling events in the world. It takes place mostly in France, but starts at a different city every year. This year the grand départ came back to Holland for the sixth time; a record! Utrecht was the elected city to host the event. How did the city of Utrecht get this event to take place in their city and how can you prepare for an event this big? I went to a press presentation where I got all these questions answered.

TDF Utrecht - normal_jpg_6176

It wasn’t easy to get the event to take place in Utrecht. It took the city 13 years; from the first idea written on a beer coaster to the actual event the beginning of July 2015. With a few setbacks, it wasn’t until a few years back it became clear Utrecht would be the host of the grand départ 2015. It wasn’t a coincidence that they chose the year 2015. It’s the perfect year to do this: there are no Olympics, World or European Championships. Everyone is focused on the tour as the biggest sport event of the year. It makes for maximum publicity.

Schermafbeelding 2015-09-20 om 12.47.30100 days of festivities
To get most out of the event Utrecht decided to expand the festivities from 3 to 100 days. Because, why not? All kinds of smaller events are organised that are in line with the cycling event. Think of sport days with primary schools and local cycle contests.

Doing it together
The scale of this event is enormous. Beforehand they expected 300,000 people, newspapers reported after the event that 350,000 people came to watch the grand départ. That’s a lot for a small city that is only used to events, for example King’s day, with 100,000 visitors. Together with local business owners, inhabitants and volunteers the city of Utrecht organised the event. Every little detail is taken care of: from enough water taps to garbage disposal to age bracelets to prevent underage drinking.

#IMEX15 recap

I hope that you all are fully recovered from the awesome and exciting days in Frankfurt. It feels like the trade show is getting bigger and better every year, doesn’t it? Back at Holland I am flicking through all the cool pictures, with old and new friends. Since you all contributed to this unique experience, I want to share my favourite memories with you. Here are the best pictures of IMEX Frankfurt 2015.

King’s Day 2015 – Dordrecht

On Monday the 27th it’s one of the happiest days of the year in Holland: King’s Day! Remember the tourist review I did with lucky price winner Daise? You still have time to participate in the biggest orange party of the year! This year the King and Queen will visit Dordrecht, a city in the western part of the country. What can we expect during this day? Find out in this blog!

King and Queen

The Royal family visits Dordrecht
Every year the King and Queen (and others of the Royal family) visit one or several places in the country to celebrate together with the nation. This year they will visit beautiful Dordrecht. Between 11:00 and 13:15 they walk a route between Groothoofd, via the Great Church, Scheffersplein and the Court to Statenplein. After the visit of the royal family is done, there is still much to do in town.

At several places you can find live music, dj’s and amateur street musicians. And of course there is a flee market and lots of nice food stands!

Didnt get the memo


You can’t really miss King’s day. Well… maybe only if you missed last year’s memo that Queen’s day turned into King’s day and is held on a different date from now on. Whoops…

The rest of Holland
Wherever you are.. There are local celebrations everywhere! Visit the big flea market in the Vondelpark early on in the day. Or even better.. start celebrating the night before King’s Day during one of the more famous music festivals in The Hague.

What is King’s Day and why the orange?
A lot of people ask me these questions. What is up with the colour orange? And what do we celebrate during King’s Day? Check out this page full with interesting facts and information about our Royal family, the colour orange and more fun stuff to do this Monday.

I can’t wait! Will I see you in orange this King’s Day?

Site visit: time to explore the North of Holland!

Holland may be a small country in size, but we are big in what we can offer meeting planners. The northern part of Holland is for many visitors new territory. The area covers the beautiful Dutch provinces of Friesland and Groningen. About time I share all my knowledge, facts and tips about this great part of my country with you!


Some facts:

  • Two big conference cities: Groningen and Leeuwarden
  • Venue spaces up to 2,500 people
  • Extensive experience in organising big and small international conventions
  • Great diversity of venues for meetings, incentives, conferences and events
  • Great diversity of landscapes – in the city, in the woods, in the heath fields, by the lake or on an island.
  • Schiphol Airport Amsterdam at 90 minutes from Leeuwarden and 120 minutes from Groningen
  • Compared with the big conference cities in the West, the North is 30-35% cheaper
  • Both the Wadden Sea and the Woudagemaal are Unesco World Heritage sites

Groningen is the largest city in the northern part of the Netherlands. It fulfills a central function in the region and is easily accessible via Groningen Airport Eelde (10 minutes from Groningen and 40 minutes from Leeuwarden). The city of Groningen has had a rich history. Many architectural highlights from the past can still be seen in the centre, such as the old city walls and the ancient harbours surrounded by historic warehouses and authentic freight ships. These ancient facades stand in the city centre side by side with contemporary architecture and buildings. Because Groningen has never been shy about taking on daring projects. The Groninger Museum, designed by a group of different architects and designers, is a work of art in its own right. As the second-oldest university city in the Netherlands, Groningen is home to about 40,000 students, approximately 4,000 of which come from abroad.

You can find over 3,600 beds in and near Groningen. And there are many special venues. Whether you are looking for something modern and grand or small and full of history, Groningen has it. Check my hidden secret page for special venues in and around Groningen.

Leeuwarden was elected to be European Capital of Culture 2018. All the more reason to visit! Leeuwarden is the dynamic capital of the beautiful province of Friesland, and functions as the start and finish line for the world famous ‘Eleven cities’ ice-skating tour. The city is surrounded by countryside and water, with lakes and other leisure areas and amenities close at hand. The Frisian capital has a compact and clear city centre. Yet what it offers is as comprehensive as it is diverse. In the centre you can find numerous national monuments, a range of delightful and surprising shops and inviting café terraces. The city is one of modern paradoxes; a city that respects its past, whilst looking to the future by investing in research, development and ICT.


Almost all its conference accommodation, certainly its ‘happening’ nightlife and many of its hotels (around 1,500 beds in and near Leeuwarden) are located within an easy walking two kilometre radius of the city centre. This city will certainly host your conference or event with pride!

Doesn’t that sound great?
Yes, I thought so! MICE Holland North, the joint venture of the MICE organisations from the province of Groningen and Friesland, invite you to join them for a two-day tour in the north of Holland on 30 & 31 January 2015. An excellent idea for meeting planners to get to know the north and learn all about the area, venues, accommodations and activities. You can sign up for the site visit on the website of Holland North.

The programme of the two day site visit:

Thursday 29 January in Groningen
17.00                          Arrival in Groningen
17.30                          Welcome in the Schimmelpenninckhuys
19.00 – 22.00             Dinner in Groningen

Friday 30 January in Groningen & Friesland
09.00 -16.15                A city walk passing by new and inspiring meeting locations in
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx  Groningen for instance: the Watertoren, the Infoversum, het
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx  Kasteel, Groninger Museum, the Oosterpoort and MartinaPlaza
16.15                           Departure by bus to Friesland
17.15                           Arrival in Leeuwarden, check-in
17.40 – 18.30               Presentation of the European Capital of Culture 2018 in the
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx  Cultural Quarter of Leeuwarden
18.30 – 19.30               Time to refresh
19.30 – 22.00               Dinner at Eleve (Michelin star restaurant)
22.15                           Drink at the hotelbar or in one of the pubs

Saturday 31 January
09.00 – 12.00               Site program “Meet Friesland”
12.00 – 13.30               Walking lunch at Landgoed Lauswolt
13.30 – 14.00               Sightseeing through the Frisian landscape to Sneek
14.00 – 15.00                Site program “Taste Friesland”
15.00 – 16.30               Bustour to Lemmer
15.30 – 16.30               Visit to the Woudagemaal, Unesco World Heritage
16.30                           Say goodbye

Subscribe for this site visit on the website of Holland North or call +31(0)50-3168876 or send a mail to

The #IMEX14 recap: enter the competition and win a dream trip to Holland

Wow, Las Vegas, you were amazing! Only one week ago we were meeting, singing, taking pictures in bed and having a great trade fair during IMEX Las Vegas. I hope that you all are fully recovered of the awesome and exciting days. Back home I am flicking through all the cool pictures, with old and new friends. Since you all contributed to this unique experience, I want to share my favourite memories with you. Here are my favourite pictures of IMEX Las Vegas 2014.

Don’t forget to tag & like your photo!
Are you one of the hosted buyers, who took a picture in bed with me at the Holland booth? Then you should visit my Facebook Page to tag yourself in our picture and participate in my photo contest. Call your friends to collect as many ‘Likes’ as you can. If your photo has the most ‘Likes’ you win a dream trip to Holland visiting both Amsterdam and Noordwijk. #DreamingofHolland

The trip includes:
– Return flight with KLM
– 2 night stay incl. breakfast at Hotel Okura Amsterdam
– Lunch and guided tour at the Beurs van Berlage Amsterdam
– Dinner at the Amsterdam Marriott Hotel
– Evening at the SkyLounge of the DoubleTree by Hilton Amsterdam Centraal Station
– 1 night incl. welcome Champagne and breakfast in Grand Hotel Huis ter Duin
– Dinner at Hotels van Oranje

For instructions check the terms & conditions of this contest.

Holland, your dream destination

According to Forbes event planner is one of the most stressful jobs in the world in 2014. According to the Dutch: it doesn’t have to be!

When is the last time you lay wide awake at night? Stressing about finding that perfect destination that has inspirational venues, style and easy access. Holland offers exactly what you dream of as a professional event manager:

  • Cities with international allure and great heritage: such as Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Groningen and Utrecht.
  • Countless options in small to large venues and hotels.
  • World renowned museums, ground breaking architecture and rich culture.
  • Easy accessibility thanks to Amsterdam International Airport and small distances.
  • The average Dutch person speaks fluent English and is very punctual.

Let’s start #DreamingofHolland!

dreaming of holland

Win a dream trip to Holland during IMEX Las Vegas

At the Holland booth #2216 you’ll discover why Holland is your next dream destination. We will make sure your meeting is a succes, so your rest is assured too -collect your limited edition Holland head in the cloud neck cushion.. Have your dream picture taken at the Holland booth, share it on Facebook and collect as many likes as you can. It might win you a dream trip to Holland! See you at #IMEX14!