We probably do not have to convince you of the endless top quality possibilities Holland has to offer for your conferences and meetings. But our small country also offers great activities for incentives and meeting programs. As CSR and Strategic Recognition are trending incentive topics, we have some great activities for you. Mr. Holland has lined up some of his favorite activities to be included in your winter incentive in Holland.
You probably know that Holland is an ice-skating country par excellence. The famous 200-km-long ‘Elfstedentocht’ (Eleven Cities Tour) causes nationwide excitement as the eternal question is “Will it be cold enough to organize it?”. Our speed skaters compete for the top spots on the global podium, often against each other. Skating is definitely popular with a cross-section of the Dutch population. As soon as winter sets in, we oil our skates to practice and have fun on artificial and natural ice-skating rinks. Many cities convert their squares, parks and stadiums into temporary skating rinks, and even complete winter wonderlands. It is a super fun and mood-enhancing activity to put on skates and glide across the ice for a couple of hours. Hot chocolate and mulled wine are a delightful feature of this traditional incentive.
Christmas and winter shopping
The many charming cities in Holland have a lot to offer when it comes to shopping. Maastricht, for example, is the sixth European city for Christmas shopping.
Shopping may not be top on your list of incentive ideas, but we suggest you combine it with an enjoyable city safari, or a mission to buy gifts for the charity your organization supports.
Ice Ice Ice
Holland generally has a fairly temperate winter with light frosts and occasional snow. If it is not cold enough outside, we can freeze temperatures inside for the great incentive activity of ice carving. This is the winter version of building sand castles. Your team will get creative with a block of ice, and will cut, chop and polish it into a wonderful design.
For a more passive activity, it is great fun to admire the stunning works of art that professionals have created. It is amazing to see what they can create from blocks of ice. The most spectacular creations are on display at the Ice Sculpture Festival in Zwolle, where you can skate too and even enjoy an 'ice cold' dinner dance.
Museums, Dutch style
When the outside temperatures drop low, just move inside and organize a program in one of Holland's many fabulous museums. To turn this into more than 'just’ a visit, you can plan a cocktail reception in the museum, or have a workshop with your delegates. Let them get in touch with their inner creative spirit while painting a Delft Blue tile, learn how Van Gogh painted his great works, or go speed-dating with works of art. Local CVBs and the various museums will gladly explain what they can offer.
The magic of light
The Dutch city of Eindhoven is home to Philips, the company that has produced billions of light bulbs over the years. Eindhoven is appropriately nicknamed the City of Light, and every year it honors its reputation with the spectacular Glow festival. The city center is a stage for interventions, installations, performances and events related to the phenomenon of artificial light. You have just missed the 2013 Glow festival, but it is definitely worthwhile to make it your incentive stop for 2014.
Amsterdam is also a worthy incentive hotspot, especially during the international Amsterdam Light Festival from 6 December 2013 through 19 January 2014. For 50 days, the historical center of Amsterdam will present a unique décor for 30 light sculptures and projections by international artists.
If improving communication or sparking creativity is one of your goals, why not engage in some cow-cuddling? Rest your body against 700 kilograms of warm cow-body, learn the language of the cows, and learn to translate this unique experience to your daily job and the task ahead of you. This truly unique experience will be talked about for a long time, and the lessons learned from the cows will benefit your team and your organization.