Amsterdam, Land Of The Giants!
Our World | On 04, Oct 2013
Last week a number of us were busy running a pan European product launch for a client in Amsterdam. As this isn’t a place I’ve been to in recent years, five days on the ground gave me a chance to have a much better appreciation of the city.
Starting with the fact that it didn’t take long for me to feel like a Munchkin surrounded by the incredibly tall Dutch natives! Now I’m only a measly 5 feet 2 inches (157.5cms in new money) so quickly discovered I was in the land of the lanky where the average height for all adults is 6 feet 1 inch (1.85 m)! According to my in depth research (Google), the Dutch are statistically the tallest people in the world, as measured by country. My favourite Google related fact is that the Dutch government was recently obliged to change building regulations to increase the height of doorways, as the population has grown so tall in recent generations!
So enough of the tall stories, what does Amsterdam have to offer as a place to run an event? The list is as long as the inhabitants. Access is great from the UK and the rest of the continent, making it ideal for a European event. Plus there are plenty of good quality venues, hotels, restaurants and activities on offer, although it is wise to plan well in advance as it is a very popular destination for conventions, congresses and events alike.
Getting around on the ground is easy as they have a very good tram system, road and rail links. Plus, of course, the canals offer a charming option for sightseeing and lunch or dinner excursions.
For me though, the highlight was the Dutch themselves. Everywhere we went they were charming, helpful, friendly and accommodating. From conversations with strangers on the tram to the staff on the ground, they were all truly nice people. That’s not to say it doesn’t have more than its fair share of quirky, colourful and eccentric characters. By the end of five days we had all seen some interesting sights including a gentleman rollerblading in his underwear in the chilly early morning and another walking his dog by following him on a unicycle while juggling. (The man was juggling, not the dog). Plus every size, shape and combination of bicycles you could imagine built for one or two people or even whole families.
It is a great city to visit and enjoy for business or pleasure and should definitely make the short list for any European event.