Hotels van Oranje: a presidential stay at the beach of Amsterdam

Why hold meetings in a busy, noisy, and distracting city, when you can enjoy a creative and inspirational site? It is proven that people are feeling happier after a day at the coast. The unique location of the Hotels van Oranje allows you to combine your business meeting or event with various great outdoor activities on the beach, at sea, and through the dunes.

Mr. Holland_Hotels van Oranje

Facts

  • The hotel is very well accessible via Amsterdam Schiphol Airport or Rotterdam The Hague airport.
  • The hotel is located at walking distance from the beach, dunes and forest.
  • The Noordwijk area is popular for it’s atmospheric ambiance throughout the year.

Kings, Presidents & CEO’s
The presidential hospitality of Hotels van Oranje is certainly not unknown in the world. Many Kings, Presidents and CEO’s have stayed at Hotels van Oranje in the past and in the present.

Before the Nuclear Security Summit took off in March 2014, Hotels van Oranje hosted the Sino-Dutch Economic Forum. Special guests: King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima, but also Chinese President Mr. Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan. The Chinese delegation stayed at the Hotels van Oranje during the entire NSS. While Mr. Xi Jinping attended the summit, his wife visited the beautiful Keukenhof. They really appreciated that the hotel showed flexibility and were able to create 24 suites for their delegation. And that is one of the specialties of Hotels van Oranje, they have the capacity of a conference hotel, but they keep holding on to the charm of a boutique hotel.Hotels van Oranje

Endless possibilities
There is an infinite number of possibilities, which can be custom made for the purpose of your meeting or event. The team of Hotels van Oranje has a lot of experience with small to large conventions. Their event managers can help you create a very successful event that nobody will forget any time soon. Hotels van Oranje is located in a city that is the second-ranked international convention venue of the Netherlands. And due to recent renovations through the entire hotel, there is a unique mix of warm charm and modern interior in all the meeting and hotel rooms.

hotels van oranje hotelkamer

Renovations
During the last few years the Hotels van Oranje have invested tremendously in the modernization of all hotel facilities. Most recently all the hotel rooms in Hotel Oranje have been completely renewed. At the beginning of 2014 the Superior Deluxe rooms were delivered including completely renovated bathrooms.  The Hotels van Oranje have also created 4 new, contemporary Executive Suites! These suites have a staggering dimension of 60 m2 and are an oasis of pure luxury. Next to the hotel rooms also the stylish Imperial Bar, Aqua Sauna Oranje, Beauty Oranje, meeting rooms and the hotel lobby are renewed.

Activities
Plan some breaks during or after your meeting and combine it with great activities such as power kiting, coast rafting, beach golf or perhaps even tug of war with or against your management team! But how about designing and making your own sand sculpture, discover the flower bulb area with a balanced Segway tour or an unforgettable Vespa lifestyle experience! And at night you will be dancing it off in the Hotels van Oranje very own Beachclub O. How cool is that?

I bet I made you curious. Check out the Pinterest album I made with several shots from Hotels van Oranje.

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The hottest meeting trends for 2014 – part 2

With a brand new year lying ahead, we are all looking for opportunities to improve our business and tackle challenges. Therefore it is important to be aware of recent developments and growing trends. In my last blogpost started to make a prediction about the most relevant trends for 2014. Here is part 2 of my conclusions.

Please let me know how you feel about this.

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Green meetings
Like hybrid events, sustainability has been a growing trend for years affecting all industries. Benefits like reduced costs and better PR have driven many companies to develop and implement a strategy for more eco-friendly and socially responsible businesses. Since meetings and events have a high pollution factor, planners and suppliers are forced to look for more sustainable alternatives. During the last years, many suppliers, including hotels, venues and caterers have made huge steps to provide greener meetings. This increases pressure on other parties: planners have to acknowledge and support these efforts by making sustainability a serious selection factor for suppliers.

WiFi for everyone
Compared to the US, European venues are a bit stingy with providing free, stable WiFi. However, planners and visitors will more frequently expect this service. Visitors want to share pictures and impressions of the event with the world outside. Planners want to support the sharing, since it is the best promotion they could dream of. Venues are still hesitating because they fear the high costs. Planners can help them to earn their investments back by making free WiFi an selection factor for venues.

Real time analytics
Even though the crisis seems to start fading out, ROI was still one of the most heard words this year. Meetings planners feel more and more pressure to report the effciency of every cent they invested. As a consequence, we are getting crazy about numbers. Any factor that can be measured is carefully monitored and analyzed. Thanks to modern technology, measuring goes better than ever. Like Julius Solaris writes in his blog, “Those startups that offer live analytics such as heat maps, preferences and check-in based analytics will make an impact in 2014.“

Crowdsharing
Like crowdsourcing becomes a popular method to gather ideas, crowdsharing will become the new way to spread them. Instead of promoting your event on your own channels exclusively, you let your own fans do the work. They can spread your message quicker and further, than your marketing could ever reach. Planners can use this trend by providing visitors with as much sharable content as possible. Provide special, funny or exciting experiences to get their phones with camera function out of their pockets and leave the rest to them. Crucial condition: free WiFi.

What do you think about these trends? I’d love to hear your opinion about them. All feedback is welcome, so don’t hesitate to leave a comment below.

The hottest meeting trends for 2014 – part 1

I hope you enjoyed your holidays and found some time to relax. A brand new year is waiting for us and we want to make it even better than the last one. I did a little research to make a prediction about what 2014 might hold for corporate events. Here is the first part of my results, the other one will follow next week.

130331 Blog Holland Hybrid events from local to global

Gone are the times when top managers and scholars determined the leading topics, which should be discussed during business meetings. Since people are getting more selective (where and how to send their spare time), content of meetings needs to be more appealing to the target group. But what does your target group want? Crowdsourcing is a process to collect opinions, ideas and content from a large group of people. It is a great method to determine relevant topics and questions within your target group, which helps you create an inspirational and informative program.

Conference and event apps

Just like Julius Solaris described in his Event App Bible, more and more meeting and event planners are searching for options to implement apps into their event. I expect this trend to grow in 2014. The app functions vary, from customized agendas, interactive tools and digital check-in. While the interest in this topic is big, the relevance of an app can still be discussed. Meeting planners have to ask themselves how their event and visitors would profit from an app. For many of them the cost/benefit ratio might not work out.

Hybrid meetings

Hybrid meetings have been a hot topic for a while and they are still moving on. With busier schedules and lower travel budgets, more multinational corporates will choose to connect their local meetings with each other digitally and more participants will follow the event from a distance. The technology for excellent audio and video streams is getting better. In the next step we need to improve the hospitality for online participants with exclusive content and services.

Audience engagement and networking

We are living in extremely noisy times and everybody suffers at least a bit from information overload. Nobody is waiting for another lecture during a meeting. Thanks to the worldwide web, knowledge is accessible for all of us, but since the stream of information never stops, no one is able to retain and apply it. Not only do meetings offer the opportunity to get away from the office environment, they also give us the chance to exchange with others. In conversation with like-minded people, we increase our learning capacities and improve our social networks. Therefore, networking will become a top priority, which brings meetings back to their essential elements: bringing people together.

What do you think about these trends? I’d love to hear your opinion about them. All feedback is welcome, so don’t hesitate to leave a comment below.

3 amazing Christmas Events in Holland

Just a few nights until Christmas Eve and I really feel the anticipation everywhere. During the last days I saw many beautifully decorated Christmas trees, delicious treats and cool gift ideas from all over the world. Since Dutch people always do things a little different than the rest of the world, we also have a different Christmas tradition.

The Christmas Man
Unlike in the US for instance, Christmas in Holland is not about Santa Claus and reindeer. In fact, we already celebrated ‘Sinterklaas’ (St. Nicholas Day) on December 5. This is the day where Dutch children get most excited about and where they receive the big presents. However, Santa Claus has found a way to edge into Dutch Christmas as Kerstman (The Christmas Man). Of course, kids are only too happy to accept two gift-giving old men.

Cosy atmosphere
Most of all, Christmas in Holland is about the ambiance. People buy Christmas trees and decorate them with Christmas wreath cookies, glass balls and white candles. The main square of every city has its own brightly lit Christmas tree and in the bigger cities there are lots of cool activities. Here some examples:

Blog Holland Christmas

Maastricht is a great place to enjoy ‘the good life’ at any time of the year but it’s even more magical during the holiday season. During this period, several Christmas markets themed “Magical Maastricht” are held throughout the city.

Blog Holland Amsterdam Light

During the Amsterdam Light Festival in December, the best light artists from Holland and abroad light up the city’s canals with their work. Every night you can see the beautiful works along the Amstel river or the old canals in the city centre.

Blog Holland Zwolle Ice

This winter will see Zwolle’s city centre dominated by the Grimm brothers and their famous fairytales. Dozens of Dutch and international ice artists will be creating ice sculptures on the Rodetorenplein square, showing off their personal interpretation of the Grimm tales.

What will you do on Christmas?
Will you celebrate it traditionally with friends and family? Or do you have an alternative way to spend the holidays? I’d love to hear about it.

A small etiquette guide for your office Christmas party

It’s the annual Christmas party of your company. Time to let your hair down, get drunk with your boss and speak your mind, right? You better don’t . Even if this event is called a party, you are still in a professional function and you should behave like that. Remember, that you’ll have to face your co-workers again after the holidays. Foolish behaviour can destroy your good reputation at this company like a sledgehammer. But this does not mean that you can’t have fun. With these tips you will make the best of the event.

Blog Holland Party

1.    Early birds

The most important function of an office Christmas party is to socialize and network with your colleagues. This works best during the early stage of a party, when the atmosphere is still relaxed. Grab your chance and chat with senior executives before it gets to hectic.

2.    Don’t be shy

You use to spend office parties in a corner with the people from your department? That’s not how you work on your career. Branch out, introduce yourself to co-workers you don’t know. You never know if you might profit from these new connections.

3.    Keep control

In case of alcohol, less is more.  Enjoy a drink or two but don’t lose control. Getting drunk at your office party will make you the target of nasty jokes at least until the next party. Besides, you might destroy all the good connections you built during the last year.

4.    Watch your tongue

Of course you can engage in more informal chats about family and hobbies and make an appropriate joke now and then. But no matter how much the atmosphere loosens up – be careful with your humour. Some jokes may offend people around you.

5.    Be nice to your boss

Maybe you had a rough year and you are frustrated about your job. Probably, you are annoyed by your boss. Whatever it is, keep it to yourself. Don’t hold forth about how bad your boss does his job and how you would run the company. Everybody would be grateful for your silence.

Last but not least: enjoy yourself. It still is a party. What was the biggest blunder you ever experienced during an office party? I’d love to share some funny stories.

Best shots from EIBTM 2013: get your ticket to Holland

I hope that you all are fully recovered from these awesome and exciting days in Barcelona. Now, when I’m adapted to the Dutch climate again I had time to sort out the many great pictures we made. Here is a collection of my favourite shots. Thank you all for contributing to this amazing experience. Special thanks go to Noordwijk Marketing for organising a really cool beach party.

Don’t forget to tag your photo!

Are you one of the hosted buyers, who took a picture with me at my Holland booth? Then you should visit my Facebook Page to tag yourself in our picture and participate in my photo contest. A trip to Holland is waiting for you!