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! 😉

(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!

Team Holland keeps it moving IMEX America in Las Vegas 2016

Team Holland at IMEX America Las Vegas 2016Holland moves

If IMEX America keeps breaking its own records year after year, Team Holland can’t stay behind. This year, no less than 19 Dutch meeting and events suppliers flew across the pond to show IMEX America event professionals just how Holland moves your meeting to the next level. Team Holland kept it moving from the exhibition floor to the Las Vegas strip, where we bounced our way through the annual IMEXrun. But see for yourself:

Holland Moves you – to Holland!

Did you hop on our skippy ball with me to show the world how Holland moves? Then you don’t want to miss your chance to win a fantastic 4-day trip for 2 to Holland. Because you know, Holland moves! And in this case we actually move you – to Holland. The prize includes:

– economy class return flight with KLM Air France
in Amsterdam
– 2 nights at NH Collection Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky in Amsterdam
– dinner at restaurant Vermeer at NH Collection Barbizon Palace
– 2 iAmsterdam city cards
– lunch at Amsterdam Conference Centre Beurs van Berlage
– lunch at RAI Amsterdam Conference Centre
– tour & drinks at DoubleTree by Hilton Amsterdam Centraal Station
in Noordwijk
– 2 nights at Grand Hotel Huis ter Duin in Noordwijk
– dinner at Breakers Beach House
– tour at Hotels van Oranje Autograph Collection
– lunch at Beachclub O

How to win the trip to Holland

For you chance to win, just head over to my Facebook page and find your picture in one of these photo albums: day 1 (Tuesday), day 2 (Wednesday) or day 3 (Thursday). Then follow these three easy steps:
1. tag yourself in our photo
2. like our photo
3. share our photo on your Facebook page to get even more likes

The photo with the most likes will win the trip to Holland. See, told you it was easy, didn’t I? But don’t wait too long, voting ends on October 31, 2016 at 12pm CET. The winner will be announced here and on all my Social Media channels shortly after voting ends.

Please read the terms & conditions.

[Update 31 October 2016] Andressa from Brazil is the happy winner of the trip to Holland. See her winning Holland Moves picture.

IMEXrun on the Las Vegas strip

Do you know the expression ‘you snooze, you lose!’? Well, this certainly applies to day 2 of IMEX: snoozing means missing out on the IMEXrun. And trust me, the incentive of running on a closed off part of the Las Vegas strip and watching the sunrise with 800 event professionals from all over the world is worth the lack of sleep. The IMEXrun has become a beloved tradition at the IMEX trade shows in Las Vegas and Barcelona. This year, Team Holland officially and proudly supported the event. Here are some impressions from Team Holland keeping it moving – and bouncing – during the run:

Let’s keep it moving at IBTM World in Barcelona

Attending IMEX America is always a terrific experience for Team Holland and we can’t wait to be back next year. Did you miss us in Las Vegas this time? Not to worry. We will be at IBTM World in Barcelona from November 29 – December 1, 2016 to show you how Holland moves. And don’t forget to pre-order your tickets for Rendezvous, the not-to-miss industry event of the year in Barcelona. Until then, keep it moving!

Holland Moves You

The Dutch are known to be open-minded and friendly. Creative and efficient. Innovative and business oriented. And I do have to admit that we take quite some pride in it.

However, and maybe most importantly, we are also passionate about sharing our experiences, knowledge and enthousiasm with the world. We like to stir up things and look for new opportunities. That’s probably why innovation thrives in our small country. We simply love to set people and businesses in motion. Let’s take a closer look at how exactly Holland moves you…

Holland Moves You – from A to B

Holland moves you from the North Sea beaches to the enchanting forests of the Veluwe. From the bustling heart of metropolitan cities like Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague to the serenity of hidden chateaus. From traditional landmarks to modern art & design festivals. Move through the vast heath or against the winds on our dykes.

Holland is not only a diverse, but also very compact country. So compact in fact, that we also call it Holland City. That’s what makes moving around so very easy in Holland. From North to South Holland is only 300km/186mi long. From West to East a mere 200km/124mi. From Amsterdam, every major city and every small village in Holland can be reached within three hours, thanks to our great transportation infrastructure. And did you know that besides being home to the world’s largest aviation hub, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, Holland has four more international airports? Pretty impressive for such a small country, isn’t it?

Holland Moves You – to the beat of your own drum

In Holland we appreciate uniqueness and thinking out of the box. In fact, being a melting pot with more than 190 nationalities is one of the key factors that makes the Dutch so open-minded. We appreciate how different personalities with different backgrounds and different views widen your horizon. But we also see the importance of staying true to yourself, your values and believes. The same applies to meetings. We realize that no meeting is the same and that there is no one-size-fits-all formula. New insights, developments, opportunities, innovations and technologies are around every corner and we are ready to seize them. And we just might throw in some Dutch wit, charm, and gezelligheid along the way. Because after all, we still like to march to the beat of our own drum.

And, speaking of beats. Holland is home to some of the finest DJs in the world. Tiësto, Afrojack, Junkie XL and Armin van Buren’s beats get people moving on dance floors all around the world. Even the Dutch Royal family:

Holland Moves You – to higher (meeting) levels

Holland may be small in size, but the Dutch are big in business opportunities. We thrive on building bridges and connecting the world. And we do it with an international outlook and a no-nonsense attitude. Holland is a superb incubator for innovation. Something that international investors have realized as well. Amsterdam / Rotterdam was recently named the 3rd attractive metropolitan region for FDI (foreign direct investment) according to IBM’s Global Location Trends report and the Dutch start-up scene is one of the most prominent in Europe. Ever heard of booking.com, TomTom or WeTransfer? All Dutch!

Holland’s well-established and professional meetings and conventions infrastructure is equally impressive. From convention centres like RAI Amsterdam, World Forum The Hague and Rotterdam Ahoy, to conference hotels and special venues. From Regional Convention Burueaus to Destination Management Companies. With expertise, creativity, efficiency and an undeniable business instinct the Dutch meetings industry knows how to move your meeting to the next level. And it never stops moving itself, as the annual new developments prove.

Let Holland move you – in the best ways possible!

Holland moves you on many levels! Personally and professionally. Emotionally and educationally. We spin you around and turn you upside down. We challenge you to move your feet, open your mind and question the status quo. In other words, Holland Moves You – in the best ways possible! So let’s meet in Holland and let’s move your meeting to the next level.

Holland Moves You

Holland Moves you – to Holland! Win a trip at IMEX America or IBTM World

To show you that we truly move you we, well, literally want to move you – to Holland! Visit Team Holland at the Holland stand at IMEX America in Las Vegas or at IBTM World in Barcelona  and let’s get moving together for your chance to win a trip to Holland. To find out more, visit www.meetmrholland.com. To find out more, visit www.meetmrholland.com.

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

A day in… ‘s-Hertogenbosch

If you would like to go off-the-beaten-path for your next meeting or event, I highly suggest the hidden Dutch secret that is called ‘s-Hertogenbosch. I know, it’s a handful to pronounce, but you may also call it Den Bosch, as the city is colloquially known. ‘s-Hertogenbosch has all the ingredients for a well-rounded, memorable event. It’s is a place where old meets new, hospitality meets Burgundian culture and art meets nature – a perfect backdrop for your event.

St. John's Cathedral Den Bosch

Facts

‘s-Hertogenbosch is the capital of the province North Brabant in the south of the Netherlands
‘s-Hertogenbosch, which means ‘The Duke’s Forest’, is colloquially known as Den Bosch
‘s-Hertogenbosch is known for its hospitality and unique Burgundian culture
Population: 150,000

Getting there

With 6 international airports at close by ‘s-Hertogenbosch is superbly accessible. The closest airport is Eindhoven Airport, which is only 35km/22mi from ‘s-Hertogenbosch. Amsterdam Schiphol Airport offers frequent daily train connections, which will take you to ‘s-Hertogenbosch in less than an hour. Other airport options in Holland are Rotterdam The Hague Airport and Maastricht Airport. In addition, Düsseldorf Airport in Germany and Zaventem Brussels Airport in Belgium are a respective 110km/68mi and 125km/78mi away.

By the way, ‘s-Hertogenbosch is also known as Holland’s connectivity city, due to its very central location in the country. Conveniently this makes it very easy to reach ‘s-Hertogenbosch by train from all major Dutch cities.

Meeting and business venues

‘s-Hertogenbosch is still one of the off-the-path Dutch meeting destinations, but it truly offers everything to host a great event – no matter the size. From historic venues to modern hidden secrets, ‘s-Hertogenbosch will surprise you with a great variety of event venues. Let me give you a glimpse of what you can expect:

Modern
The brand new KASerne is a hotel, restaurant and unique meeting venue (for up to 200 people) all in one. It’s a place where you experience the hospitality that the region is renowned for. And best of all: one of the meeting spaces is a modernised, former greenhouse.
073 Meeting Company is a modern, no-nonsense event location. Efficient meetings in a pleasant environment, state-of-the-art meeting facilities, a variety of after-dinner options and centrally located. What more can you ask for?!

Classic
Today’s standards combined with yesterday’s values. That’s what Hotel Central in the heart of ‘s-Hertogenbosch stands for. The multifunctional meeting rooms offer space for up to 300 attendees.
De Orangerie is without a doubt one of the most enchanting meeting venues you will find in Holland. The former church dates back to 1859 and will surely leave a lasting impression.
In 1931 ‘s-Hertogenbosch opened its first indoor cattle market. Since then the building has become a historic landmark and is now a convention venue. 1931 Congress Centre Brabanthallen‘s multifunctional space can host up to 2,000 guests.

Hidden secrets
When I say meeting, you won’t necessarily say wellness next. But, it is possible at Meetwell. Experience the perfect mix of business and wellness by adding creative and unconventional elements to your event.

Do you want to add some drama to your event? At Theater aan de Parade you can take your meeting to the theatre stage. The rest is up to you until the curtain call!

After your meeting

In ‘s-Hertogenbosch, which was founded as fortified city, heritage and modern architecture go hand in hand. Did I mention that ‘s-Hertogenbosch is most renowned for its Burgundian culture? Enjoying the good life is definitely part of the city’s DNA. This mix makes ‘s-Hertogenbosch an attraction in itself and offers you plenty of opportunities to relax and recharge before, after or during your meeting or event.

Museums
From historical to contemporary art, from young designers to renowned artists like Jheronimus Bosch or Vincent van Gogh – you can enjoy it all in ‘s-Hertogenbosch. Take a guided tour through one of the museums or discover the inspiring works by yourself.

Stedelijk Museum: museum for contemporary art and design and one of the two museums located in ‘s-Hertogenbosch’s museum quarter.
Het Noord Brabants Museum: the second museum located in the museum quarter displays regional art, history and culture including original works by Jheronimus Bosch and Vincent van Gogh.
Jheronimus Bosch Art Centre: It’s all in the name! The international knowledge and experience centre is a unique tribute to Jheronimus Bosch and a ‘must-see’ while in ‘s-Hertogenbosch

Sights
The river Binnendieze is arguably one of the most popular attractions in ‘s-Hertogenbosch. Sail the canals and gain unique insights into the history, architecture and culture of ‘s-Hertogenbosch. Even better: take the Jeroen Bosch ‘Heaven and Hell’ boat trip on the river, which takes you along sculptures from Jheronimus Bosch paintings, a unique screening of a short movie and ends at the Jheronimus Bosch Art Center.

If you prefer heights over smooth sailing, you might want to opt for the ‘Een wonderlijke klim‘ (‘An Enchanting Climb’) tour up the Sint-Jan Cathedral. In this dizzying experience you can walk along the cathedral’s roof gutter and discover the 96 sculptures otherwise almost impossible to spot. And while you’re up there, you should not forget to take in the breathtaking view of ‘s-Hertogenbosch and the beautiful region.

Bosch by Night is a spectacular open-air light show on the market square in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, where Jheronimus Bosch once had his studio.

Shopping
Don’t let ‘s-Hertogenbosch’s smaller size fool you. It’s still a shopping heaven with more  than 150 shops waiting to be discovered. Just stroll around the city and thou shall find! My favourite areas are around Snellestraat and Verwersstraat, where you can find inspriational boutique shops. Caught a rainy day? Visit Conceptstore Robbies for indoor fashion, lifestyle, food and coffee.

Restaurants
As I may have mentioned once or twice before, ‘s-Hertogenbosch breathes Burgundian culture and hospitality. So no surprise that you will have a hard time choosing your culinary experiences while in town. There are three main restaurant area’s in the city centre: Uilenburg, Korte Putstraat and Parade, where your taste buds will surely be satisfied. But just in case you’re simply not able to choose, here are a few recommendations:

Korte Putstraat Den Bosch

Noble: dine in the informal restaurant, enjoy an intimate dinner or simply have a drink at the bar and enjoy the distinguished Chalet Royal building. Tip: Noble also offers a meeting room for up to 12 people.
At Fabuleux not only the French seasonal cuisine will appeal to your senses, but also the cozy, historic building in the heart of ‘s-Hertogenbosch.
Looking for a more unusual dining experience? The menu at Sense consists of a variety of small courses, which can be ordered in random order. I should also mention that Sense proudly holds a Michelin star.

If you want to experience the burgundian atmosphere like the locals do, I highly recommend paying a visit to the local beer brewery Cafe Bar Le Duc. They even have meeting space for up to 12 people. Make sure to try the Jheronimus Bosch Beer and maybe even go on a tour of their brewery.
Beer really isn’t your thing? Fear not! Wijnbar Bij Dirk is ‘s-Hertogenbosch’s first true wine bar offering wines from around the world. Just sip and enjoy surrounded by a chique and trendy interior.

And last but most certainly not least (well, not in my book anyways): you simply cannot leave ‘s-Hertogenbosch without tasting one typical and very famous local pastry: the ‘Bossche Bol’ at bakery Jan de Groot. This delicious pastry is filled with whipped cream and coated almost entirely with dark chocolate. Hmm..

A Bossche Bol - Jan de Groot

A day in ‘s-Hertogenbosch

‘s-Hertogenbosch is one of those cities that you can talk about quite a lot, but that simply has to be experienced. Nonetheless, I hope you have gotten a good taste of our hidden gem in the southern part of Holland and the possibilities it offers as meeting and event destination. Please feel free to reach out to my colleagues from Convention Bureau Brabant for more information.