As the year 2013 is nearly at an end, this is a good time for Mr. Holland to take a look at what he and his Dutch meeting friends experienced in the past months.
It was an outstanding year in many ways. Mr. Holland met scores of buyers and meeting planners at various trade exhibitions, and they engaged in lively conversations about their meetings and our beautiful country. Mr. Holland is proud of the country that he represented once more in 2013.
So much happens in Holland, which boasts such a wealth of interesting and easily accessible history. And there is more, especially in the meeting industry. In 2013, our country welcomed many great new meeting venues, while both the new and existing venues were very well appreciated, as witnessed by the many prizes and awards they received.
Major openings in 2013
After more than ten years of rebuilding activities, last April finally saw the long awaited reopening of the Rijksmuseum. And what a spectacular event it was! Today, the museum has already welcomed a record number of visitors, and it is also a great venue for memorable meetings. Other notable openings in 2013 included:
- Sir Albert Hotel Amsterdam
- The art deco Villa Jongerius in Utrecht
- The Mainport Hotel in Rotterdam
- Eindhoven’s 040 Congress & Event Centre
- The Room Mate Aitana Hotel in Amsterdam
- The complete makeover of the Amsterdam Marriott, the first Marriott in Europe with the
chain’s new meeting concept
Major events in Holland
I already mentioned the reopening of the Rijksmuseum, which was definitely one of the highlights of my year. I also love the many cultural events, such as the Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE, the annual global platform for the dance industry), the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), and the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR). Among my 2013 favorites are the European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF), and the celebration of 300 years of the Treaty of Utrecht.
I also discovered a special event 'between the events’. Amsterdam had two major citywide conventions, the European Society of Cardiology with 30,000 participants, and the International Broadcasting Convention, with 50,000 attendees. As these were back-to-back events, with very little time in between, the conversion of the congress venue was a special and unique event in itself. Many said it could not be done, but Amsterdam RAI and its partners proved them wrong. Have a look at ‘The Great Switch’ short video.
However, my absolute highlight of the year, and I think for many others, was the investiture of our new monarch. April 30, 2013 will go down in history as the day from which Holland once more had a king, after many decades. Willem-Alexander van Oranje-Nassau took over from his mother Queen Beatrix, now Princess Beatrix. Together with his wife, Queen Máxima, King Willem-Alexander will be the ultimate representation of Holland for many years to come, ‘adding some orange’ wherever he goes. The succession was the biggest event Holland had for some time, with hundreds of festivals and events throughout the country. It was great to be a part of this unique celebration.
Together with an exclusive representation of the best Dutch hotels, meeting venues and suppliers, I was honored to meet many planners and buyers at the trade shows Holland attended, such as EIBTM, IMEX, both in Frankfurt and Las Vegas, and the Meetings Show UK. Thank you for sharing our enthusiasm for the Dutch Meeting Masters. Check out my Facebook page for the many photos that were taken while ‘adding some orange’!
It is great to represent so many beautiful meeting venues and explain the benefits of meetings in Holland to all of you planners and buyers at trade shows. Even so, I am convinced that many more meeting professionals should hear about our great country. For this reason, I actively engage on social media, and I share my experiences, encounters, thoughts and discoveries with the world.
Do check us out on various social media. I would greatly appreciate it if you follow my adventures on the social media of your choice. You will find a lot of useful information and many insider tips that you can communicate to the participants of your next meeting in Holland.
I look forward to meeting you in Holland in 2014!