Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Events (MICE) in the North of Holland!

An unique presentation for the North of the Netherlands:
duo presentation and organization site visit

Successful cooperation between the Groningen Congres Bureau and
Congres Bureau Friesland as Holland North


During the last days of January, both congress bureaus organised on behalf of their provinces, Groningen and Friesland, a packed but varied site visit.

Highlights in the field of international business opportunities for the event industry where displayed in a playful and educational way to several congress & meeting planners and press.

The program began late in the afternoon at the Hotel Schimmelpenninck Huys, in the heart of the city of Groningen, here the group could meet with each other while enjoying a snack and a drink. The next location, Paviljoen Sterrebos, activated the taste buds of the international group due to several spectacular culinary surprises.

The following morning an enthusiastic guide named Titus Akkermans, initiator and owner of High Standard Travel scheduled and led a city walk though Groningen.
The first stop we made was at the Infoversum. The Infoversum building was photographed by the group from all sides because of its’ distinctive architecture. In this unique dome several 3D films are shown but it is also very suitable for branded business presentations.
After leaving the Infoversum the group proceeded to the ‘Bovenkamer van Groningen’ (the former water tower). The hefty climb to the trendy event location was well worth it. Once the group arrived at the top the magnificent views led to many oh’s and ah’s.

After continuing a refreshing winter walk followed by a tour through the Noorderplantsoen the group arrived at ‘Het Kasteel’ ,a Training Institute and Conference venue. Hennie Boelens, the lord of the Castle, was already waiting for our group with a mix of Brown Gin (of Hooghoudt obviously) and ginger ale (a real gastronomic scoop, because it has only recently been on the market).

Because the group had a tight and busy schedule a traditional Dutch lunch was already waiting for them at the Groninger Museum. Renske Bos (of Bos & Bos catering) took everyone on a lightning tour through all the exhibitions and listed all the possibilities which they had to offer from room hire to and including the catering.

The Oosterpoort was also thoroughly inspected, two enthusiastic ladies led them through the venue and informed the group about the possibilities there. At the final location they visited in Groningen there was already a Red Carpet rolled out: MartiniPlaza. Again they received a warm welcome and received a Grand Tour through the location. A bottle of wine was given as a souvenir upon departure. The British couple Thompson, accustomed to global events with impressive visitor numbers, were positively impressed about this last location in particular. Howard Thompson, Director/owner of Delion Global: “Think big: because of the almost unlimited possibilities in terms of routing and styling of this location.”

The relaxed somewhat immature vibrations and dynamics of the city of Groningen elicited native Limburger and incentive Organizer Ralph van Horn of even to an enthusiastic line: “I find it amazing here. What an atmosphere. For me Groningen is the Maastricht of the North “.

Once the group was leaving Groningen, Friesland took over as host of the group. After a bus ride of less than an hour and a short refreshment break in the Grand Hotel Post-Plaza in Leeuwarden they visited The Four Pelicans. In this charming and the smallest Art Nouveau theatre of Europe, they were informed about a verbal update on the plans around ‘ Leeuwarden cultural capital in 2018 ‘.

The Frisians also showed off their best culinary side. After a tour of the impressive WTC Expo, the first boats were already waiting for them for the main exhibition ‘ Boot Holland ‘. All 15 of our guests were allowed to sit at a long table inside the star restaurant Elevé for a surprising dinner. History was not shunned, because what waited for our group the next morning after breakfast at the hotel reception? Yes, Us Heit! His inspiring leadership took the group for a short walk through the historic centre ending at the Stadsschouwburg de Harmonie.

Once here, two surprises were waiting for the group. Ten partners, primarily active in the incentive industry, also on the West Frisian Islands, were given the change to demonstrate their unique selling points followed by some one-on-one time with our guests, this was clearly appreciated by all parties.

Thanks to an actual map including stamps of the 11 cities visited during the Elfstedentocht, the enthusiastic participants received an amusing Elfstedentocht cross as a souvenir. Surprise number 2 turned out to be an unannounced performance by stand-up comedian Greg Shapiro with his latest theatre show How2BFrisian which made everyone laugh.

Landgoed Lauswolt provided an exquisite lunch and after an (for some to short) alcoholic break at Weduwe Joustra in Sneek the last venue turned out to be the biggest revelation, at least according to the astonished company. The industrial location at Lemmer, the Woudagemaal, it scored high on everyone’s evaluation list. Many of the event planners on site all visualized a beautiful gala dinner or a fine reception in this particularly impressive historic ambience.

Participants responded very positively the offered 3-day site visit.

Some notable quotes from the evaluation:

“Nice and friendly people, great area, a lot of possibilities for activities, well organized”. Uta Wahl, employed by Siemens.

“Big plus how the food was measured, not overloaded – and presented in a very creative style”. Vera Christ, organizing cultural events


The Organization was in the hands of:

Jant van Dijk, Congres Bureau Friesland


Erika Pater, Groningen Congres Bureau

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