Find the best venue for your kick off meeting

Only a few weeks to go before the year 2013 comes to an end. Companies all over the world are planning kick-off events and christmas parties. Most of these events will take place in a special venue, away from the familiar office environment. When choosing a venue for your event, many factors play a role, like location, price, size and relationships with the suppliers. While all these factors are important, many planners forget another crucial aspect.

As the Dutch meeting planners Mike van der Vijver and Eric de Groot write in their book „Into the heart of meetings“, the venue you choose can have a substantial impact on the success of your meeting. The size and look of the room, a building and its surroundings influence, how we feel and behave: when you enter a church you act differently than when you visit a pub. Use the impact of your venue to support the goals of your kick-off event. Make yourself clear which message you want to bring across during the meeting and then choose your venue wisely. In this blogpost I share some tips for great venues when…

Blog Holland Venues Mill

… you look back on a very successful year:

You got the big project this year, you made more profits than all competitors or you celebrated a 10th anniversary. Big milestones in the history of your company deserve a special location. Historical venues often have an impressive and festive charisma and your guests will instinctively know, that this is a special event.

Hidden Secret: ‘Kyck over den Dyck’ is a 300-year old windmill close to Rotterdam. In contrast to deluxe meeting rooms, the mill has a warm and cosy atmosphere, which is perfect for small celebrations.

More venues: Holland has many great historical venues. Click here to view my favourites.

Blog Holland venues creative

… you search for new product ideas:

You want to use 2014 to come up with innovative products and services. Therefore, your employees need inspiration that brings their creative juices to flow. To stimulate their creative and imaginary brain cells, you must take them away from the familiar and common and show them something extraordinary.

Hidden Secret: The Playing circle in Amsterdam can help you get your employees out of their routine circle. Next to an old rubber factory, a concert hall and a theatre, this group can offer you a variety of stylish venues with a homely charme.
More venues: Since many Dutch people work in the creative industry, Holland has a variety of creative venues. Check my tips for inspiration.

Blog Holland venues industrial

… you need to cut costs.

Low budget for 2014? Or do you think that your company could work more efficiently? Your employees might have great ideas how to cut costs and save money but you need to bring them into the right mood. Industrial venues are a great place to talk about development and efficiency. Old factories remind us of the great productivity and thriving economy from earlier times and stimulate goal-oriented thinking.
Hidden Secret: Van Nelle in Rotterdam was a great coffee, tea and tobacco factory and its building is European Cultural Heritage. The spectacular views from the tea room will impress visitors.
More venues: Holland has many industrial venues that show off the new Dutch Realism Movement. Let me show you my favourites.

Blog Holland green

… you want to become more sustainable.

More and more companies are discovering the benefits of  sustainability. If you want to jump into this trend, you will need the support of the whole company. A natural, green venue in a beautiful place could help stimulate their green thinking.
Hidden Secret: The Glass House is a pleasant meeting place surrounded by peaceful gardens. Part of this venue was built in a former greenhouse.

More venues: Looking for a green venue in Holland? My digital venue finder can help you.

I hope that these tips help you find the right venue for your kick-off event. Do you have other suggestions for great venues? Please let me know.

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5 new ‘hidden secrets’ of Holland: venues and meeting spaces you will not easily find by yourself

Not all venues make the guides. You need to be told about these exclusive gems by insiders who know their way around Holland. Read about my latest discoveries.

1. MOBI Groningen

MOBI is an experimental mobile building, in which artists and creatives can organize presentations, exhibitions and workshops. The unconventional, temporary venue is located in the Groningen Ebbingekwartier area. Viewed from the street, MOBI resembles a terminal. The building consists of containers that have seen the world; in Groningen they are the building blocks for the space of artist initiative NP3.

Transshipment terminals are for goods, this place is a transfer of ideas and contemporary art. The building is energy neutral and can easily be disassembled to be rebuilt elsewhere, wholly or partly. All these aspects make MOBI a totally out-of-the-box location for your event. The surprising setting will certainly inspire your attendees, creating a lasting memory.

evenementenlocaties.depudding.nl

2. De Vloer (Creative campus Almere)

The Floor is a creative and inspiring meeting room, and you decide how you want to furnish the 140m² space. Thus, a comfortable setting is easily created for groups of 2-60 people. The luxury levels of catering that can be selected are ‘Concrete’, ‘Wood’ or ‘Marble’.

The space itself combines the industrial setting of this former water treatment building with a surprisingly light design interior. Everything is just a bit different, the bar is movable, there is a cozy open fire, and special armchairs conjure a smile on your face!

www.devloer.com

3. Lute

Lute in Ouderkerk, just outside Amsterdam, is widely known for its fantastic cuisine. The very inspiring and passionate owner-chef Peter Lute also offers two exclusive boardrooms, for 8 and 12 people, with a private entrance and outdoor area in his 17th-century former factory.

All facilities are available and the lovely  interior is an inspirational setting for your meetings. The “good news wall” is a nice touch that gets attendees in the right mood easily. Lute also has its own boat, for meetings and dinners on the river Amstel.

www.lute.nu

4. De Bossche Boardroom

Are you organizing confidential summit on neutral ground? Do you require a meeting room that offers tranquility and seclusion, yet all the high-tech features you require, and culinary delights?

The Bossche Boardroom is your venue. Located on the penthouse floor of the ICT Media building in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, the boardroom has an exclusive and private atmosphere, extensive audio-visual facilities, excellent cuisine, and a cozy bar. The design and materials are honest and warm. The space is both light and private, thanks to thoughtfully chosen colors and glass windows.

www.bosscheboardroom.nl

5. Het Klaslokaal Utrecht

A small but beautiful and unique venue, situated in a monumental public school that dates from 1881, right in the heart of Utrecht.

One of the former classrooms was converted into a spacious, quiet and very light work and residential area. This provides a very special and homely setting for your next conference, meeting or brainstorming session.

www.hetklaslokaal.nl

At which of these ‘hidden secrets’ would you like to organize a meeting? And why do you prefer this one? Let me know in the comments!

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.
www.deoverkant.com

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.
www.7am.nl/amersfoort.nl

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.
www.nieuweenergieleiden.nl

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.
www.ruimteutrecht.nl

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.
www.tollensfabriek.nl

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.
www.defabrique.nl

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.
www.stadsherstel.nl

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.
www.vnof.nl

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.
www.theindustrials.nl

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.
www.hierradiokootwijk.nl

5 new ‘hidden secrets’ of Holland: venues and meeting spaces you will not easily find by yourself

Not all venues make the guides. You need to be told about these exclusive gems by insiders who know their way around Holland. Read about my latest discoveries.

Harbour View Penthouse – The Hague

Literally a prime location with stunning views. Once you exit the elevator you enter an incredible space, overlooking the harbour, the city, dunes and sea. The glass outer walls create an overwhelming world of space and light! Harbour View Penthouse will make you and your guests feel pampered at the best spot in the fishing port of The Hague.

Suitable for all types of meetings and smaller events, the venue has all the facilities and amenities you require. In addition to the ‘living room’, board room for 20, and two break-out rooms, there is the rooftop terrace with sea views. A place so spectacular that your guests will regret that the meeting has ended.

www.harbourview.nl

Science Centre Delft

A meeting in the Faculty Room of the Science Centre Delft, part of the Delft University of Technology, is definitely an exclusive one. The room is located in the characteristic building of the faculty of Mining Engineering that dates back to 1911.

The Science Centre Delft offers an inspiring technical and scientific environment for meetings and
brainstorming sessions. The Faculty Room, the old lab, is one of the most surprisingly designed rooms at Delft University of Technology, and the Executive Board uses it for its meetings. The boardroom table in the form of a beautiful airplane, which seats a maximum of 24, has a particularly inspiring effect on the delegates, just as the wall of LED-lighted algorithms. And if you turn around for a look outside, you are drawn by the beautiful views of the Botanical Gardens of the Delft University of Technology. The venue has three additional workshop/break-out rooms for fifteen to 40 people. As an added bonus a visit the to the Science Centre Delft is included when using this meeting space.

www.sciencecentre.tudelft.nl 

Het Glazen Huis – Apeldoorn Area

Het Glazen Huis (The Glass House) is much more than just a pleasant meeting place in a beautiful location. With its focus as a centre for leadership and organization, the venue supports trainings, events, and meetings in whatever way they can to help the meetings reach their full potential. Het Glazen Huis wants everyone to feel at home as soon as they enter. Have you ever met in a living room that leads into a greenhouse? Part of this exclusive venue was built in a former greenhouse.

In addition to the characteristic rooms and enthusiastic support, the location has a special extra. During the ‘Span of Control’ programme, meeting participants learn to handle horses, in return for which these noble animals help increase participants’ self-knowledge and skills. The programme is not only very educational, it is also a relaxing way to enhance mutual contacts and realise a meaningful meeting for participants.

www.glazenhuis.nl

De Koperen Hoogte – Meeting in a former water tower in Zwolle

The ‘De Lichtmis’ (The Purification) former water tower has been a striking landmark in the Zwolle area since 1932. The building was saved from imminent demolition in 1993 and transformed into a unique hotel and meeting location.

De Koperen Hoogte (The Copper Height) literally offers top-level meetings in the luxury meeting rooms at the top of the water tower. Closer to the ground, the beautiful conservatory accommodates gatherings of up to 200 people, and the Herenzaal (Gentlemen’s Room) accommodates 170 for a meeting.

The many facilities include a 4-star hotel with sixteen rooms, two suites, and a private golf course. The combination of spectacular views and gastronomy provides a special touch when dining in the unique revolving La Tour restaurant. It is located at 50-plus meters high, and in just over three hours you will experience a 360 degree view of the surrounding landscape.

www.dekoperenhoogte.nl

La Caverne de Geulhem – The most stunning no-view-at-all

When looking for great views, this venue is the complete opposite of what you expect your search to unveil. Yet, your guests will never forget a meeting, dinner or event held at the Caverne de Geulhem (the Geulhem Caves,) in one of the southernmost parts of Holland.

The authentic quarry, 30 feet underground, boasts all the modern facilities for a memorable meeting. The three caves can each accommodate up to 50 people U-shape, or more than 100 people theatre-style. Combined, they offer a spectacular backdrop for sit-down dinners. And you do not have to worry about cold feet as the entire venue is equipped with under-floor heating.

www.caverne.nl

At which of these ‘hidden secrets’ would you like to organize a meeting? And why do you prefer this one? Let me know in the comments!

6 new ‘hidden secrets’ of Holland: venues and meeting spaces you will not easily find by yourself

Not all venues make the guides. You need to be told about these exclusive gems by insiders who know their way around Holland. Read about my latest discoveries.

Landgoed Te Werve, Rijswijk

Situated on a 6-acre-large estate, the Te Werve Mansion dates back many centuries. Earlier excavations discovered remains dating back to around 1000 AC, but the oldest parts of the present building originate in the 15th century.

The venue will complete a major refurbishment this month, offering a majestic and stylish setting for meetings of up to 50. The historic building offers all modern facilities for meetings and first-rate service. On sunny days, the terrace offers a spectacular view of the pond and the estate.

www.tewerve.nl

Lijm & Cultuur, Delft

Built in 1885, the Glue and Gelatine Factory at one time offered jobs to some 1,000 people and was a major exponent of the industrial revolution in Delft. After the collapse of the US market in 2002 the factory closed its doors permanently after 117 years.

After a thorough renovation, the former factory is now an extremely versatile and characteristic venue for a broad range of events, with both an outdoor and indoor facility. If you prefer high ceilings and an industrial setting, Lijm & Cultuur is a gem to be discovered.

www.lijmencultuur.nl

Het Nut, Beesd

An 18th-century building, rich in history, can be exclusively yours if you book your meeting at ‘Het Nut’ (‘The Purpose’). Het Nut is interested in the welfare of individuals and the community. Schools and banks were founded and in 1862 the building first became a bank. The vault is still there. Later on it housed  a kindergarten/school.

Renovated with respect for the historical elements, the trendy design is a wonderful combination of luxury and contemporary facilities in a relaxed setting. An inspiring and creative environment for almost any type of meeting.

www.hetnut.nl

Loft, Boksum

Loft, in the Friesian village of Boksum, is a former church, converted into a beautiful and inspiring venue for your next meeting. Surprising and tasteful, Loft excites the senses with fragrance, colour and taste. Image a meeting room with fresh green grass carpeting.

There is hardly anything that reminds you of a typical meeting set-up. This creative space is an invite for a ‘different’ approach to your meeting. Or how about the creative dream space in the church’s attic with rainbow tables and soft dream pillows. A setting that guarantees out-of-the-box thinking!

www.loftboksum.nl

Palace Hotel, Noordwijk – Winner Dutch Hotel Award 2012

Sometimes even Mr Holland needs a trigger to be reminded of all the beautiful venues his country has to offer. Just recently the stunning luxury 4-star Palace Hotel Noordwijk was announced the winner of the 2012 Dutch Hotel Award (DHA).

A dedicated team that demonstrates its enthusiasm and passion for hospitality, 120 exclusive rooms and suites and eleven meeting rooms are the ingredients for a successful meeting.

www.palacehotel.nl

Landgoed De Holtweijde, Lattrop – Winner Innovation Award

Another venue – De Holtweijde Estate in the eastern part of Holland – was presented with an innovation award for its biomass heating system. The system operates on woodchips and  provides heating for the hotel, pool and hot tap water. The system saves 75% on fossil fuel and guarantees a comfortable temperature in your meeting rooms for up to 200.

Another innovation is that you can start your meeting in a special, fully-equipped meeting coach that makes the commute from the airport to the venue easy, convenient, green and effective!

www.holtweijde.nl

At which of these ‘hidden secrets’ would you like to organize a meeting? And why do you prefer this one? Let me know in the comments!

Selection of top venues in Rotterdam

Need an original place to stay for your meeting? Or just a big venue? We’ve selected 6 of the many top venues in Rotterdam:

1. Hotel New York:

it’s one of the oldest places to stay when people needed to wait for their departure to New York… by boat! I know my girlfriends love a high tea over there and that they also have an excellent dinner menu. I can smell the sea already!

2. De Kuip:

one of the largest football stadiums in Holland would be perfect to plan a meeting at! You can plan a guided tour of the stadium as well. Manchester United fan? Watch Guidetti play with Feyenoord.

3. Ahoy:

it’s one of the largest venues in the Netherlands, but even though you may have a small convention, you can use this place for intimate meetings as well! Located in Rotterdam very well.

4. Novotel Rotterdam Brain Park:

Not only does this hotel have a 4 star rating, it’s also been reviewed very favourably! Located close to nature but also very central in Rotterdam. Tip!

5. SS Rotterdam:

you know Holland is closely connected to water, so why not use this in a meeting? Plan your meeting on a large boat!

6. De Maassilo:

when Rotterdam imported large amounts of grain they stored it here. When this was not needed anymore they transformed it into an events hall. Also good for clubbing for youngsters.