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.

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A day in… Leiden

Leiden is a compact, historic city with a superb location: it is nestled right between Amsterdam, The Hague and Schiphol Airport. The Dutch beach and the world renowned tulip area are a beautiful bike ride away. Compared to the other Dutch cities Leiden may be a small convention city, but that is also part of its irresistable charm. Where else in the world do you find 13 museums, hotels and meeting venues within walking distance? Oh and have I mentioned the 28km/17mi of canals criss-crossing through the impressive city centre?

Leiden Witte Singel Sterrewacht Hortus Botanicus air photo

Witte Singel, Observatory and Hortus Botanicus in Leiden

Facts

Leiden has the highest concentration of museums in the Netherlands
Leiden is home to the Netherlands’ oldest university
Leiden has 28km/17mi of canals in the historic city centre
Leiden’s famous inhabitants include Rembrandt (born in Leiden), Einstein, Jan Steen and Armin van Buren
Population: 340,000 (greater Leiden area) / 25,000 students / 105 nationalities

Getting there

Leiden’s excellent location makes it very accessible for visitors. Schiphol Airport is only 15 minutes away and Rotterdam The Hague airport 25 minutes. Leiden’s Central Station is located in the city centre and a major transportation hub in Holland, making Leiden easily accessible from anywhere in the country.  In case you arrive in Leiden by car you have to know that the historic city centre is virtually car-free. But not to worry, there are various ‘Park & Ride’ facilities just outside the city centre with free shuttle buses operating daily. Special arrangements can also be made for larger groups of visitors.

Meeting and business venues

I can tell you right now that you will have a pretty hard time to select a venue for your meeting or convention in Leiden. Why? Because they are all equally impressive. Surround yourself in ancient history, meet at a modernised industrial factory, go back in time and stay at a castle, rent out an airplane hangar with a rotating stage, … See what I mean?

New

Naturalis Biodiversity Center is currently preparing its facilities to house a very special guest starting this fall: Europe’s first T-Rex skeleton. Modern (research) meets history doesn’t get better than this! But Naturalis isn’t the only venue (re-)opening in Leiden. Museum Lakenhal, home to many master pieces, will re-open its expanded and modernised doors in 2018. And De Meelfabriek (The Flour Factory), a former industrial building being transformed into an innovative, multi-purpose location, is set to be completed by the end of 2017.

Classic

Since Leiden is a historic city many of the meeting venues are housed in monumental or historic buildings. So a classic feel with the most up-to-date meeting facilities is something that most venues offer naturally. Let me give you a few examples. The Pieterskerk is a gothic-church-turned-monumental-event-venue that can host up to 2000 guests. If you are looking for classic yet modern the Nieuwe Energie (New Energie) might be the right venue for you. Or surround yourself with the beautfy of one of the oldest botanical gardens in the world: Hortus botanicus Leiden.

Pieterskerk Leiden

Pieterskerk Leiden

Hidden secrets

It almost feels like every location in Leiden is a hidden secret, but there are a few that might not be on your radar right away. For example, the Theatre Hangar in Katwijk, just outside of Leiden, which is a transformed airplane hangar with a rotating stage. And if you want to travel back in time Castle Oud-Poelgeest might be an excellent venue for your event. Head over to my hidden secrets page to find out more.

After your meeting

Leiden is an exceptional city to explore by foot. Wander along the canals, visit one of the 13 museums (including 4 National Museums) or indulge yourself in one of the restaurants and experience Dutch ‘gezelligheid’. Don’t blame me though if you don’t want to leave again!

Museums

Just to name a few:

Rijksmuseum van Oudheden – National Museum of Antiquities
Corpus – travel throught the human body
Museum Het Leids Wevershuis – one of the last remaining “weavers’ homes” and Leiden’s smallest museum
Sieboldhuis – Siebold’s former house is now the first official Japan centre in the Netherlands

Leiden CORPUS

Leiden CORPUS

Shopping areas

All over Leiden’s city centre you will find interesting specialty shops to spend your money in. Just stroll through the medieval cobblestone streets where you will find anything from home-made chocolate, jewellery, second hand clothing, antique book shops, art galleries, high-end stores and more. For a special view go to La Place Restaurant on the top floor of the V&D department store.

And if you happen to find yourself in Leiden on a Wednesday or Saturday you can’t miss out on visiting The Leiden Market, which expands along the Nieuwe Rijn, Botermarkt and Vismarkt right in Leiden’s city centre. It’s the place to get your Dutch cheese and sealed Dutch herring to take home – among many other things!

Restaurants

Leiden is home to people from 105 nationalities so no wonder that you will also find cuisine from all over the world here. Looking for the best place for Dutch pancakes? Go to the Beestenmarkt area. If you would like to mingle among Leiden’s locals go to one of the cafes near the Hoogland Kerk.

Do you want to be suprised by food and historical buildings alike? Then you might want to visit these restaurants and cafes:
De Waag, a weighing house dating back to 1657
Olivier, located in a former hospital
Het Prentenkabinet, built as a commandery in the 15th century
Stadscafe van der Werff, a former gentlemen’s club
Visbrasserie de Poort, located in one of the remainign city gates
Cafe de Bonte Koe, once meant to be a butchery

By the way, if weather permits, most restaurants and cafes create outdoor terraces.

Sights

Leiden is a sight by itself. Nonetheless, here are a few points of interest you might want to add to your not-to-miss list:

Muurgedichten (Poems on the Walls) – take a walking tour to discover some of the poems on the walls of Leiden’s buildings
Sterrenwacht – observe the stars at Leiden Observatory
De Burcht – climb up Leiden’s fort for a great view of the city
Hofjesroute – visit Leiden’s courtyards
Boating on the canals – not technically a point of interest in itself, but taking you along some of the aforementioned ones and offering you a beautiful view of Leiden from the water

Leiden canals

Leiden canals

A day in Leiden

Leiden may be a compact city, but you definitely need more than a day to discover everything it has to offer. My tip: just add a couple of days prior to or after your meeting to get most out of your stay in historic Leiden. You won’t regret it. That much I can promise.

Top 10: let’s go outside!

The summer has officially begun! About time I share a top 10 with you including venues that offer great outdoor facilities for your meeting or after meeting activities.

summer
1) Remember the blog from a couple of days ago? Hotels van Oranje’s Beachclub O. offers several facilities for you business meeting only a few metres from the beach!

beachclub o.

2) Het Rijk van de Keizer (The Empire of the Emperor) is an inspiring meeting location in the grasslands of Amsterdam, situated in a UNESCO World Heritage area. You can have your meeting inside, in one of the historical buildings, or outside in green surroundings. The food served is fresh, organic, seasonal and imaginative.

rijk van de keizer

3) Meet in the open air or in a Finnish Kota, have a barbecue and roll in your tipi tent for a good night sleep. It’s possible at the tipi terrain nearby Nijmegen. There are places to cook your own dinner, but it is also possible to be catered.

tipi

4) At ‘De Heide‘ you can combine meeting and sleeping in a wooden cabin with several cool activities like a falconers workshop, climbing wall or traditional wooden shoe dance.

wooden cabin

5) What’s more fun than to meet in a tree house? The tree house meeting room of Kaban is a unique place under the lee of the Kapellerput estate. A place to get together for a top level meeting out in the splendour of nature. The venue is located in the top of the trees, with breathtaking views across the trees and marshes.

Kaban

6) Meeting in an authentic farm with wet peatland at your feet. This is what meeting location Tent Polle offers in the area of Friesland. Between meetings a ranger takes you along the waters by foot or by barge.

wetland

7) Also very special: meeting on a traditional boat! An inspiring location on the water. Tjalk Titan offers an exciting combination of a traditional white exterior with a modern, luxurious and trendy interior on the inside.

titaan tjalk

8) Meetings with a view on the lake of Laagravense in the Utrecht region? Down Under offers a location with diverse possibilities. They have three meeting rooms, conference packages and a wide choice of (water) activities for corporate events or corporate parties.

down under

9) Meeting in a castle is something different. At Castle Duurstede you can combine inside and outside areas to your liking. This enchanting location is surrounded by a moat and only accessible by a drawbridge. The particular venue, away from any traffic noise, with his unique castle towers and spacious courtyard makes it a special and very unique location.

castle duurstede

10) Have you ever had a meeting in a zoo? Well, at Amersfoort Zoo you can! You can pause intense conference sessions to explore the park with a guide. You can also get to know your colleagues through a unique species game. Do you team mates have more in common with elephants or baboons? Who is actually the hyena of the group?

amersfoort zoo

 

Don’t you get all excited to plan a new meeting with these great outdoor venues? I know I do!

Where and when will I meet you this year? My event schedule for 2014

It was fun meeting all of you people in 2013. I hope to see you again this year. Check my event schedule for 2014 and pay me a vist in Frankfurt, Orlando, London, Vegas or Barcelona. I am happy to welcome you at the Holland Meeting Point. Experience Dutch hospitality and get in touch with my Dutch partners. I can help you to find the right match for your own meetings.

20 – 22 May, IMEX Frankfurt

Whether you are from an agency, are a corporate or association buyer, organise events as part of your business travel or marketing remit – at IMEX all important players of the meeting industry come together. In times of economic change IMEX might offer you inspirational answers to critical questions within the meeting industry.

IMEX Frankfurt

10 – 12 June, AIBTM Orlando, USA

The Americas Incentive, Business Travel & Meetings Exhibition (AIBTM) is a leading global exhibition for the U.S. meetings and events industry. AIBTM delivers individually qualified Hosted Buyers and eligible Trade buyers from the U.S. and around the world.

AIBTM 2014

8 – 10 July, The Meetings Show UK

The Meetings Show UK is a major new event for the UK meeting industry offering an unrivalled platform of inbound and outbound business and bringing together the heart of the meetings community. The hosted buyer programme will identify influential buyers, the education programme will be devised by a panel of leading industry figures. We can expect interesting content and great networking opportunities.

meeting show uk

14 – 16 October, IMEX USA

IMEX America is America’s worldwide exhibition for incentive travel, meetings and events, backed by the experience and resources of the IMEX Group of exhibitions. The show runs the largest hosted buyer program ever held in North America with over 2,400 qualified buyers, including convention and visitor bureaus, national and regional tourist offices, major hotel groups, airlines, destination management companies, service providers, trade associations and more.

IMEX USA

18-20 November, EIBTM Barcelona

EIBTM is the leading international event in the European meetings and incentives industry and provides a valuable networking and business forum. On average, EIBTM attracts 5,000 industry buyers of which over 2,000 are top level decision makers bought to the event as part of its Hosted Buyer Programme. For anyone organising events, conferences or business travel, EIBTM allows them to meet over 2,500 exhibitors under one roof.

Blog Mr Holland Holland-stand-at-EIBTM

Please let me know…

…which of these events are you planning to attend this year?