Holland Moves ibtm world 2016 – and me

ibtm world in Barcelona has always been one of my favourite industry events of the year. And the 2016 edition will hold an extra special place in my orange heart as it was the last event I attended as Mr Holland. Needless to say that it was a bitter sweet visit to Barcelona this time around. I showed eventprofs from around the world that Holland Moves, we shared many fond memories and I had the most fantastic farewell I could have wished for. Let’s reminisce a bit, shall we?

Team Holland at ibtm world 2016

Team Holland at ibtm world 2016This year, 34 Dutch suppliers represented Team Holland at the Holland stand at ibtm world. Together, we showed eventprofs from all over the world how Holland Moves your meeting to the next level. And of course one thing that could not miss this year was our renowned Postillion Happy Hour.

For more pictures from on and around the Holland stand head on over to my ibtm world photo album on Facebook.

Win a trip to Holland

I couldn’t attend my last industry event without giving away one final, amazing trip to Holland! Did we take a Holland Moves picture together? Then you have until Monday, December 12, 2016 (noon, CET) to tag, like and share our photo. The photo with the most likes wins the trip to Holland so you can experience first hand how Holland moves you! The prize includes:

– economy class return flight with KLM Air France

in Amsterdam
– 1 night at Pulitzer Hotel Amsterdam, incl. breakfast
– lunch (incl. guided tour) at Amsterdam Conference Centre Beurs van Berlage
– 2 iAmsterdam city cards (48 hrs)

in Rotterdam
– 1 night at Inntel Hotels Rotterdam City Centre, incl. breakfast
– lunch (incl. guided tour) at Postillion Convention Centre WTC Rotterdam
– Markthal Experience, offered to you by Co Solo DMC

Head on over to my Facebook page to find, tag, like & share our Holland Moves photo. Here are the photos from Tuesday and here the photos from Wednesday.

[update December 13, 2016: Jane from Russia won the trip. Team Holland is excited to welcome her to Holland soon!]

ibtm holland moves winner Jane

ibtm world #HollandMoves winner Jane

Rendezvous at ibtm world 2016

This year, NBTC Holland Marketing partnered with ibtm world and Meetings Professional International (MPI) Foundation to launch Rendezvous at ibtm world 2016.

What can I say other than Rendezvous surely was a night to remember! Thank you to each and everyone of you for celebrating a night of orange fun with Team Holland and myself. For me personally it was bitter-sweet, since Rendezvous also marked my very last performance as Mr Holland. As of now, I will go through life as The Artist Formerly Known as Mr Holland. But, we will always have the wonderful memories.

And by the way, all proceeds of the event will be invested in the MPI Foundation, which funds scholarships, grants and pan-industry research. What a better way for me to say goodbye to the events industry!

Orange carpet photo call

All pictures from the Rendezvous Orange Carpet photo call are now up on my Facebook page. Feel free to tag yourself and share your Orange Carpet moment.

Rendezvous event pics

Did you hope that what happens at Opium, stays at Opium? No such luck!

(Rendezvous image credit:  © Edward Hill | http://www.edwardhill.com)

Take a look at all the Rendezvous event pictures on my Facebook page. Don’t forget to tag yourself!

Team Holland takes over

One of my last duties as (The Artist Formerly Known As) Mr Holland was to officially pass on the Holland ambassador torch to my friends from Team Holland. And I did it the Dutch way, of course: by adding some (more) orange to each and every single one of them. Mission accomplished, don’t you think? 😉

adding some (more) orange to Team Holland

The hardest godbye of them all – farewell Team Holland

We’ve known each other for a while now, so I feel I can be honest with you. In the events industry we see people come and go quite often. However, there was one farewell that hit me a bit harder than I was anticipating: saying goodbye to ‘my’ Team Holland.

ibtm world 2016’s Team Holland represented a much bigger Team Holland, of course. Throughout the years I had the pleasure of working together with so many inspiring and driven suppliers from the Duch meetings and events industry. And it wouldn’t do them justice not to give each and everyone of them a shoutout at this moment. You all know who you are!

The only consolation was that apparently I wasn’t the only one having a hard time letting go, quite literally 😉

But, alas, the moment had to come after all. So without further ado, here is one more immensely huge THANK YOU TEAM HOLLAND (yes, I capitalized that). And thank you for the memories. It’s been an honor representing you and our beautiful small country across the world.

Farewell Team Holland

Farewell Team Holland

Goodbye ibtm world, goodbye eventprofs

And at last, I couldn’t postpone the final goodbye anymore. After all, I had a plane to catch 😉  But it’s like they say: all good things must come to an end. And so my final walk out of the Grand Fira in Barcelona was a very symbolic one. Thank you ibtm world and thank you eventprofs from all over the world. I hope you agree with me when I say we’ve had an amazing 5 years together. So farewell, dear friends. Until we meet again – hopefully in Holland! 😉

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(Almost) Time to say good-bye

In Holland we have a saying that freely translates into the following: you should leave when the going is good. And let me tell you, I do feel like the going is good right now. And still, or possibly that’s exactly why, my Dutch heart was very heavy when we announced that I will be stepping down as Holland ambassador by the end of the year:

Holland Moves – including myself!

Five years ago, the Netherlands Board of Tourism & Convention was looking for a new, unique and fun way to show the international meetings and conventions industry just how suitable our small country is for international events. And why! Somehow along the way our paths crossed at the right time and in the right moment and the rest has become history.

It has been an honor and a privilege to get international eventprofs around the world not only acquainted with but even more so excited about the destination Holland. Our diversity, approachability and openness. Our oustanding infrastructure and state-of-the-art meeting venues. Our approach to business, creativity and thinking in chances not in barriers. Our charisma, enthusiam and open mind. All that is what makes Holland move. That is also how Holland moves your meeting to the next level. And that is how Holland moves people. Including myself.

Moving on and looking back

I don’t want to look back on these past five years just yet though – we’ll keep the best for last. But being Mr Holland has been an extraordinary journey. And meeting all these amazing eventprofs at events like The Meetings Show UK, IMEX Frankfurt, IMEX America and IBTM World – just to name a few – most certainly has been the highlight.

At this moment in time my journey is taking me on a slightly different path though as I will follow my passion and embark on a world tour with my band. The time has come to move on. And in Holland we think that is a good thing.

Time to celebrate at Rendezvous!

But rest assured, you have not seen the last of me quite yet. Join Team Holland and myself at IBTM World in Barcelona this year where we will show you how Holland moves your meeting to the next level. It will be three days of meeting new and old friends, celebrating and yes, sadly, saying good-bye. And we would not be Holland if we did not have a very special treat in store: We teamed up with IBTM World and MPI Foundation to light up the night orange with you on Wednesday, November 30. Join us at Rendezvous where we will not only have an amazing time, but also do good: MPI Foundation will invest all proceeds into Europe’s meeting and event industry through scholarships, grants and research.

I sincerely hope to see you there!

Let’s Rendezvous at IBTM World

Rendezvous at IBTM World

Buy your Rendezvous ticketIf you are a regular IBTM World (or former EIBTM) attendee, you surely know that Wednesday night is reserved for one of the meeting industry’s greatest happenings. Some people may recall the event as IBTM World’s Club Night at Opium and some people may even remember the equally iconic Holland House Event. The latter was before my time unfortunately, but I have been told many tales surrounding the infamous Dutch party – some of which could surely be labeled as ‘what happens in Barcelona, stays in Barcelona’!

Club Night becomes Rendezvous

This year, NBTC Holland Marketing is proud to partner with IBTM World and Meetings Professional International (MPI) Foundation to launch Rendezvous at IBTM World 2016. Rendezvous is MPI Foundation’s signature networking and fundraising event and will see its inaugural IBTM World edition on Wednesday, November 30 at Opium in Barcelona. All proceeds of the event will be invested in the MPI Foundation, which funds scholarships, grants and pan-industry research. Can you imagine a better way to secure the future success of the meetings and events industry than by having an unforgettable orange party?

Let Holland move you all night long

This means that on November 30 the night will light orange in Barcelona. Team Holland is ready to move you all night long and it will be a night full of orange surprises. Trust me on this one! And of course I will be there as well. So what are you waiting for? Buy your Rendezvous ticket now for a night full of orange fun and dancing.

Buy your Rendezvous ticket

 

The Meetings Show 2016 recap – the UK’s got talent!

The Meetings Show may be a bit smaller in size than the other established international meetings and event trade shows, but maybe that is exactly why Team Holland loves the event so much. As a small country with lots to offer we can certainly relate! So no surprise that Team Holland had a lovely time twisting the trade floor at the Meetings Show UK once again.

Team Holland at The Meetings Show UK 2016

Team Holland at The Meetings Show UK 2016

The Orange Twist – the UK’s got talent!

Well, to be fair, not only the UK has got talent. All event professionals at The Meetings Show 2016 showed a great deal of talent with the #OrangeTwist. And since in this case pictures say much more than my words, just have a look yourself:

 

Win a trip to Holland

Did we get a twisted photo together at The Meetings Show 2016? Then head over to my Facebook page to tag, like and share your photo.

‘And what’s in it for me?’ I hear you ask. Quite a bit actually! If our Orange Twist photo gets the most likes you will win a fantastic 4-day trip for 2 to Holland*. The trip includes:

in Amsterdam:
– 1 night at Park Plaza Hotel Amsterdam, incl. breakfast
– 2 IAmsterdam City Cards (24 hours)
– lunch incl guided tour at Beurs van Berlage Amsterdam
– lunch incl guided tour at RAI Amsterdam

in The Hague:
– 2 nights at Crowne Plaza Hotel The Hague, incl. breakfast
– 1,5 hours The Hague city tour with a The Hague Convention Bureau city guide
– lunch at one of The Hague’s top restaurants offered to you by Kuoni Destination Management

And a round-trip flight for two, of course.

Update: Michal’s Orange Twist was unbeatable and he is the lucky winner of the trip to Holland. Congratulations, Michal!

TMS16 Orange Twist winner Michal

The Meetings Show UK 2016 – a lovely experience all around

The thing I love most about a smaller trade show is that there is just a bit more time to network and (re)connect with new and old friends. And the Meetings Show is no exception. Just take a look at some of the great moments Team Holland and I shared with event professionals from all over the world:

Where you can meet Team Holland in 2016

If you weren’t able to meet Team Holland at The Meetings Show UK, no need to worry. In 2016 you can still meet us at IMEX America in Las Vegas and IBTM World in Barcelona. Hope to see you there!

And if you would like to find out more about the Orange Twist, feel free to visit my website www.meetmrholland.com.

*Terms & conditions apply

IMEX Frankfurt 2016 recap: Team Holland twisted the floor

Did you attend IMEX Frankfurt this year? Then I’m sure you are still recovering, just like me. What a fantastic event it was! Team Holland had the largest number of Dutch participants in IMEX history and each and every single one of them definitely rocked the floor. Let’s reminisce a bit!

Team Holland

This year Team Holland represented no less than 39 suppliers from the Dutch meetings industry. That is a whole lot of bundled Dutchness! But see for yourself (I didn’t even fit in the frame!):

Team Holland at IMEX Frankfurt 2016

Team Holland at IMEX Frankfurt 2016

This means Team Holland twisted the exhibition floor more than ever, meeting old friends and making new. Whether you came to the Holland stand to network, plan one of your events, (re)connected with the Dutch over a glas of bubbles or Heineken during the renowned Holland Happy Hour or take a twisted photo with me, I hope you enjoyed the Orange Twist!

Orange Twist

Speaking of twisting, all you eventprofs attending IMEX Frankfurt definitely knew how to do the Orange Twist!

Did you get twisted and took a photo with me at IMEX Frankfurt? Then head over to my Facebook page to tag, like and share your photo:

Orange Twist photos IMEX Frankfurt: day 1
Orange Twist photos IMEX Frankfurt: day 2
Orange Twist photos IMEX Frankfurt: day 3

What’s in it for you, you may ask? Well, the twisted photo with the most likes will win a fantastic 4-day trip to Holland for 2! The trip includes:

– 2 nights at Park Hotel Amsterdam
– a Delta-Travel city guide to show you around Amsterdam
– 2 IAmsterdam City Cards (48 hours)
– lunch incl guided tour at Beurs van Berlage Amsterdam
– guided Tour and dinner at micro-brewery Troost at Westergasfabriek Amsterdam
– 1 night at Grand Hotel Huis ter Duin in Noordwijk incl breakfast and a 3-course dinner

(Terms & conditions apply)

Better hurry up though, voting/liking ends on May 5, 2016! The winner will be announced shortly after.

IMEX run

What’s better than sleeping in a bit and enjoying an extended hotel breakfast to prepare for day two of IMEX? I’d say getting up at the break of dawn to run a 5k with about 800 other event professionals to get that heartrate up and running! It definitely helped to have a Brazilian breakfast including fresh coconuts calling your name at the finish line though. Kudos to Sports by TLC for getting everybody out and about at such an early time.

IMEX Academy Award 2016

Each year the IMEX Group presents the IMEX Academy Awards to individuals “who have served the meetings and incentive travel industry exceptionally well”. This year, Team Holland’s very own Eric Bakermans (Marketing Manager Meetings & Conventions at NBTC Holland Marketing) received the IMEX Academy Award Europe for his continuous contribution to the industry. Huge congratulations to Eric and well deserved. Team Holland is very proud!

IMEX Frankfurt – an unforgettable experience

On behalf of Team Holland I’d like to say thank you to each and every one of you for visiting the Holland stand and making IMEX Frankfurt 2016 an unforgettable experience. Keep on twisting and see you in… Holland?!

Where you can meet Team Holland next

Missed Team Holland at IMEX Frankfurt? No worries. in 2016 you can still meet us at The Meetings Show UK in London, IMEX America in Las Vegas or IBTM World in Barcelona.

 

Dutch habits: we’re happy!

As most of you probably already know by now, I am a huge music fan. Maybe you have even seen me perform during one of the many gezellige Happy Hours at the Holland stand at meeting conventions all over the world? And in case you missed it, I even wrote a song about adding some orange to your world. What can I say? Music just makes me happy.

But truth be told, it’s not only music that makes me happy. There must be something in the Dutch water, because Holland consistently makes it to the top ten of happiest countries in the world.* Well, maybe it’s not so much the water, but more about the way we live our lives in Holland. Let me introduce you to some of the Dutch habits that might shed a light on why the Dutch are so happy.

Part-time work

The Dutch are different

The Dutch are different

Yes, I can confirm that the rumors are true. The Dutch not only mastered the art of painting, but also the art of part-time work. More than 50% of the Dutch population works part-time, which in our book means less than 36 hours a week. The reasons for working part-time for both men and women are very diverse, often personal and even go back in history. But in the end it all comes down to this: it’s all a matter of balance. The Dutch have a rather laid-back approach to work and know that there is more to life than work alone. But, don’t get me wrong now! This doesn’t mean that the Dutch are lazy. Quite the contrary! The Dutch are renown for their strong business skills, directness, no-nonsense approach and getting-things-done attitude. We just like to work efficiently so that we have more time for the important things in life.

Let’s borrel!

Like borrelen, for example. We sure do love a good borrel, no matter where in the world we are. There actually isn’t a word in the English language that would sufficiently translate the meaning of the word borrel. Essentially, a borrel is a more or less informal social gathering while having a drink (or two), some Dutch finger food like cheese or bitterballen and enjoying good company. There are Friday afternoon borrels, after work borrels (which can take place any day of the week really), during work borrels, Sunday morning borrels, after sports borrels, …. You name it, we can always find a reason for a good borrel. In fact, a borrel often takes place after an important (business) meeting and is a great and informal way to further discuss plans, strategies or even close business deals. Some people say the best business deals are sealed by the water cooler, in Holland it’s during a borrel!

Borrelen during Happy Hour at the Holland stand

Borrelen during Happy Hour at the Holland stand

Do you want a taste of a great Dutch borrel? Then make sure to come visit me during Happy Hour at the Holland stand at one of the many international events I’m visiting. Next up: IMEX Frankfurt. See you there?!

We are truly gezellig!

A borrel is also a great means to experience some true, Dutch gezelligheid. Just like borrel, there is really no proper way to translate this extremely commonly used word into the English language. It’s also very hard to describe what gezelligheid is exactly. Gezelligheid, often used as a verb pointing out that something is gezellig, is essentially a feeling that can describe a range of (positive) emotions. For example, a borrel – especially after a hard day’s work or a successful business meeting – is generally perceived as gezellig. Meeting your best friend for coffee is always gezellig. Even having a business dinner can end up being very gezellig (on top of hopefully being successful). Going on vacation is definitely gezellig. But also attending a post tour after a convention surely is gezellig. Even US president’s Barack Obama’s trip to Holland to attend the NSS top in The Hague in 2014 has been ‘truly gezellig’.

I dare say that the word gezellig is likely the most commonly used word in the Dutch language. Here’s a fun challenge: learn to pronounce it as best as you can and then tell the next Dutch person you talk to that it was truly gezellig meeting them. Let me know how it went, will you?

It’s all about the balance

While there is no scientific research showing that these habits do in fact increase the general state op happiness of the Dutch people, these habits surely play an important role in our everyday lifestyle. And like I mentioned before, the Dutch are pretty good at making sure their work life balance doesn’t get out of hand.

I’m curious, have you experienced any of these Dutch habits while visiting Holland or doing business with the Dutch? Or are there any other habits that you’ve come across that struck you as typically Dutch? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

*World Happiness Report 2016 Update