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Interview with Erik Wood from Eventonline

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MPI Belgium has started with a range of interviews among their partners and Erik Wood has the privilege to start.

Brief introduction; tell us more about the person Erik behind Eventonline?

Actually, normally I’m the interviewer so for met it’s funny to sit at the other side and being interviewed. Let’s go almost 12 years back in time when Erik started with Eventonline. Before Erik worked in different companies, always in the MICE sector and communication has always been his passion, as many of you might know Erik loves to talk. Before he started Eventonline he was a great believer of digital communication and working for his last employer 13 years ago, he decided to start his own company. He took the challenge, jumped and put all his money and effort to create Eventonline. With succes! Although Erik is persistant it was challenging but now Eventonline is a common name in the MICE market in the Benelux. Besides communication he is passionated about sports and is convinced if you push your limits in the sports, you will succeed better in your professional life.

The origin of the MICE Party, how this initiative became a must attend event. What is your ‘secret’?

January 2014 Erik received a call from Davy Luyten from Eventsfactory and told Erik, the Pureliner is in Antwerp, if you want to use it it’s yours. Erik decided to use this opportunity although it was on very short notice to create a party on the boat for the MICE industry. After he launched the party and started with the communication, he quickly reached 400 subscribers. A huge succes! The year after he celebrated this 10th anniversary and since then the party is getting bigger and bigger. In 2015 he received more than 500 persons on the Oceandiva. Not only in the number of participants but also the range is wider, they are coming from the Netherlands and Luxemburg as well.

This year the party will be in the new headquarters of J&M Catering, which is an unique industrial venue where the focus is to ‘tickle your senses’ in different ways. Of course there will be excellent food, amazing acts and special effects. And what’s new this year as well is around 100 corporate clients will be present as well. Perfect for networking!

This year you will organize your first ‘cycling’ trip, can you tell us more about this sportive event?

Erik is a passionate cycler and started again with an idea which he shared on Facebook; a cyclye trip for 15 persons and within 3 days the trip was sold out. All participants are working in the MICE sector where during the trip will be time for networking and discussions as well, aprt from cycling of course. He wants to inspire others to cycle as well as all his ideas were created during his cycle tours. Cycling is his passion, his best friend, his challenge, outlet and source of inspiration.

Eventonline exists now more than 10 years, where do you want to be in 5 years time?

Erik wants to continue to focus on his niche, the MICE industry, to get more return on investment. The website of venues online will be relaunched and has the unique possibility to visit venues virtual. In september this year the website of MICE Magazine gets a facelift and the one from Eventonline will get a refreshing look and feel.

Besides being an sportive and active entreprenuer, Erik also wants to share his knowledge with the upcoming generation. He gives lectures at the Artevelde Hogeschool and universities and is part of the advisory board of Artevelde Hogeschool. They are the next generation!

Erik has the full support of his partner Olivier Wauters and his entire team.

Thank you Erik and good luck with all your challenges.

 

Erik Wood,  Managing Director
Eventonline  Provinciesteenweg 535 | 2530 Boechout
www.eventonline.be
info@eventonline.be,
tel : 0032 (0)474 467 291

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Eurotel Lanaken 10th Different birthday

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differten-hotels eurotel-lanaken01 eurotel-lanaken02 eurotel-lanaken03

Eurotel Lanaken is celebrating its 10th Different birthday this month. The hotel is the perfect meeting venue because of the central location between Belgium and the Netherlands. The city centre of Maastricht is a 5-minute drive from Eurotel Lanaken. With its 3 meeting rooms, is Eurotel Lanaken a versatile venue for business meetings. The staff provides all the facilities for a successful business event, whether it be large or small. After or during the meeting you can enjoy a delicious meal of restaurant Bien Soigné. If you organise a meeting of several days, you can stay in our comfortable and spacious rooms.

Take a look on the website to find out in detail what Eurotel Lanaken has to offer you.

Koning Albertlaan 255
3620 Lanaken
Info@eurotel-lanaken.be
T. +32 (0)89 722 822

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pietersheim

A new year, a new start, a new partner

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Different hotels is a new partner of MPI Belgium for the upcoming year 2016-2017. During this year MPI Belgium will bring you monthly updates about Different hotels.

Who is our new partner?

Different Hotels is a group of 13 hotels spread over all Belgium but most of the hotels are situated in Limburg: a green, trendy and hip province with a lot of tourist attractions. Different Hotels offers you an outstanding service and comfort with free wifi. Different Hotels has something for everyone.

A new concept : Pop-up hotel Pietersheim

Not a pop-up store but a Pop-up hotel Pietersheim is open for clients this summer from the 3rd of June until the 30th of September. An unique concept in a spectacular location in Lanaken. It’s a self-service hotel with 13 rooms. In Kasteel Pietersheim you’ll find everything for a comfortable stay. Coffee and tea are available in your room and you can always enjoy a refreshing drink on our lovely terrace. If you would like to offer your clients an unique experience, Pietersheim is your place.

Koning Albertlaan 255
3620 Lanaken
Info@eurotel-lanaken.be
T. +32 (0)89 722 822
Curious? More information?
If you would like to have your product in the spotlights, please contact us: administration@mpi-belgium.be

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Belgium Chapter received MPI RISE Award in Atlantic City

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MPI Belgium is proud to announce that it has received its first award! As the recipient of this year’s RISE (Recognizing Industry Success and Excellence) Award for “Marketplace Excellence”, the chapter was honored at the annual MPI RISE Awards Presentation and Luncheon during the association’s 2016 World Education Congress (WEC) in Atlantic City.

“Congratulations to the 2016 RISE Awards recipients,” said Paul Van Deventer, president and CEO of MPI. “We salute each of these leaders who were nominated by their peers for outstanding contributions and performance. Their achievements will be recognized within our global community for years to come.”

The RISE Award for Marketplace Excellence was presented to the MPI Belgium Chapter for providing exceptional business exchanges for its members. The chapter approached its annual BE Conference differently, including sponsors and partners in the planning process and during the event. Their new approach helped elevate the connection between attendees and their partners and created business opportunities between their members. Since the successful conference, MPI Belgium has also seen growth in its chapter involvement from its members.

Word from the Chapter leaders

We are so proud to receive the global MPI RISE Award for Marketplace Excellence at #WEC16. Due to the hard work of our team of MICE Professionals and the support of our members, partners and sponsors, MPI Belgium is stronger than before.

This award is our motivation to grow to an even larger community, to raise brand awareness and to get more volunteers involved.

Members, volunteers, stakeholders, MPI HQ, MPI Foundation, friends and family thank you for your support, your patience and recognition.

About MPI Belgium

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MPI Belgium elects new President at #GMID16

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During #GMID16, MPI Belgium President Pieter Allaerts passed the torch to Mariska Kesteloo.

The article below was written and first appeared on Mice Magazine.

“The last five years, I have held several positions on the board of MPI, from organizing ‘educationals’ and networking get-togethers up to the presidency. A responsibility I gladly took during the last two years. According to the statutes of MPI the presidency lasts only a two-year term, and mine ends now. Consequently, I will step aside and hand over the president’s seat to new talent,” says Pieter Allaerts.

“For me it’s a challenge to follow in the footsteps of Peter,” said Mariska Kesteloo. “He has done a lot of preparatory work. We can now focus on strategy and entering into partnerships with other organizations that are active in Belgium.”

“As ‘Past President’ I will remain involved with MPI and continue to give my full support and advice so that our rapidly growing organization can continue to prosper,” Pieter Allaerts adds. “This way, no experience is lost. After all, continuity is important.”

Newly elected MPI president Mariska Kesteloo has set herself three goals already. To clearly position MPI on the market in Belgium, to increase the number of members and to grow the number of board members. “The latter, I want to strongly emphasize. During my time on the board, I learned a lot, my network has grown and moreover you sit on top of the new trends. I would like to convey this message to potential board members in order to attract new candidates to achieve even more in the near future.”

On the agenda for the coming year 2016-2017 plenty of activity is already taking shape: working sessions with other partners and the organization of shorter but more qualitative events. Education, of course, remains the main pillar of MPI.

 

#GMID16 Post-event Documents

 

 

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Post-event Summary: Sustainable Purchasing & Communication

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On 14 April 2016, MPI Belgium celebrated the first ever Global Meetings Industry Day in the citycenter of Brussels. The day started out with our Meetings Go Green workshop on sustainable purchasing & zero-waste communication. During the afternoon, our focus shifted to the topic of communication on a larger scale.

The information below relates only to the Meetings Go Green workshop held during #GMID16

Event Outline

Prevention is better than cure. Reusable, edible or biodegradable plates and cups, recycled packaging … Our third “Meetings Go Green” workshop explored how to create and implement sustainable purchasing decisions to reduce the negative environmental impact of your events.

The implementation of a greener purchasing programme reduces the burden on the environment, while at the same time benefiting your business by reducing costs. It’s also great CSR, you give attendees “green” products and environmentally conscious businesses.

Click on the links to open the presentation.

Event photos

  • All those who participated in #GMID16 received a personal coupon code to purchase photos. Missed the code? Contact our team to retrieve it.

Interview with Fiona Pelham

Presentations

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Curious how furniture contributes to the meetovation concept of GMID Belgium?

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During the upcoming Belgian GMID you will experience local inspiration, responsible thinking, active involvement and an effective physical setting. These are the five elements of meetovation. During the preparations of this top notch event we came across Fraai Projecten. We called Merel van Gijzel, accountmanager of Fraai Projecten with the question whether they could assist us in creating a physical setup complimenting the objectives of our meeting, and promoting active involvement of GMID16 participants. Merel replied by inviting me to Fraai’s warehouse in Raamsdonkveer, where we met a few days later.

Merel and I took a cup of coffee and discussed the objectives and programme of #GMID16. Based on the elements that #GMID16 is an event where sustainability, communication, interaction and the stimulation of conversation are central, we agreed that the physical setting for the main session room needs to enhance learning and needs to ensure that delegates can easily move around. For the lunch area, we’re going for an easy-going setup where people feel relaxed and comfortable – ready to have good conversations with their peers.

After this insightful meeting, Merel showed me around the warehouse of Fraai Projecten where I discovered inspiring and creative concepts. Two concepts I really likes: the cosy après ski bars, to the furniture used during last year’s Nuclear Security Summit in the World Forum in the Hague. It was interesting to meet with the different teams in the warehouse who were preparing the furniture for numerous projects: different EU meetings part of the Dutch Presidency, and film premieres sets for Kinepolis Antwerp.

After this dazzling tour I was impressed by the creativite minds at Fraai Projecten, and the stock they have available.  Register for #GMID16 to experience how furniture and an effective physical space can make a difference at your meetings!

More about #GMID16

The MPI Belgium Chapter is holding an event in conjunction with the Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID) on April 14. Come to the center of Brussels for a morning workshop to grow your knowledge on sustainable purchasing & zero-waste communication, and an afternoon with talks from thought leaders in the field.

More about Fraai Projecten

Fraai Projecten BV
Ramgatseweg 30
4941 VS Raamsdonksveer
The Netherlands
Telephone:   +31(0)162-69 22 98
Website: www.fraaiprojecten.nl

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Illustration by @soledadbravi

Unity makes strengt – L’union fait la force

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It is with a heavy heart that we learned of the terrorist attacks on Tuesday. These attacks are not only a threat to our industry, but more importantly they represent a threat to our way of life and our freedoms.

We wish to express our concern for all our members and hope you are all safe and well. Our thoughts are with the victims and their close ones, we wish to extend our sincere feelings of sympathy to all those affected.

A difficult time lies ahead for the heart of Europe and our country’s image will continue to suffer heavily. As a community, let’s work together with determination to show our international colleagues why they should continue meeting in and travelling to the center of Europe. Let is join forces to shed a positive light on the diversity of our local communities.

Pieter Allaerts, Mariska Kesteloo, Mieke Barbé, Gemmeke de Jongh, Geraldine Huybrechts, Kim Vandevoorde, Martijn Reinhold

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Where will you be during the first ever Global Meetings Industry Day?

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The MPI Belgium Chapter is holding an event in conjunction with the Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID) on April 14. Come to the center of Brussels for a morning workshop to grow your knowledge on sustainable purchasing & zero-waste communication, and an afternoon with talks from thought leaders in the field.

In 2016, MPI Belgium’s annual BE Conference is being held on the first ever Global Meetings Industry Day. The volunteer leaders have planned an exciting full day event where communication, interaction and sustainability are central. Attendees will leave #GMID16 Belgium with new ideas, inspiration and new contacts.

Registration open

Top content

The morning of #GMID16 will cover a range of initiatives and ideas for zero-waste communication and purchasing policies in the form of a workshop. During the afternoon, our focus will shift to the topic of communication on a larger scale. Top speakers will address the audience:

  • Inspiring Opening Address by Alexandre Bodart Pinto
  • Presenting & Public Speaking (Title tbc) by Lars Sudmann
  • Stimulating Conversation: How To Get People Talking by Jeffer London
  • Cultural Differences and Diversity When Doing Business Internationally by Chris Smit
  • Sushi instead of steak please: Gender intellegence for meeting profs by Michèle Mees
  • Address by MPI international chair Fiona Pelham

Speakers during the morning session on smart purchasing & zero waste communication include:

Meetovation

VP Education, Mieke Barbé, explains the meetovation concept that will be used at the event. “The European Meetings & Events Conference (EMEC) which took place in Copenhagen earlier this month implemented the meetovation concept from A-Z. Our colleagues at MPI Denmark inspired us to share this recently developed meeting design concept in Belgium. Those attending GMID will experience local inspiration, responsible thinking, active involvement and an effective physical setting.”

Event StoryBoard Canvas

Martijn Timmermans and Tim Corporaal will introduce attendees to the Event StoryBoard Canvas (ESBC) concept. By implemeting this event design tool, MPI Belgium will let the #GMID16 participants co-create the 2017 BE Conference. The ESCB canvas will help MPI Belgium step into the audience’s shoes and together they’ll design the customer journey for the next BE conference through their eyes. By using simple techniques, the ESBC stimulates the design of tailor made events in just 5 steps.

ESB TEDxBinnenhof Full Small

 

The Global Meetings Industry Day

The Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID) is fast approaching and builds on the success of the “North America Meeting Industry Day”.  It’s for the first time that the Meetings Mean Business Coalition is working with partners all over the world to showcase the real impact that business meetings, conferences, exhibitions and more have on people, business and communities.

“When first hearing about GMID, I brought the idea of organizing an event back to the board,” said Pieter Allaerts, President of MPI Belgium. “Given the headquarters of Meeting Professionals International (MPI) is on the Board of Directors of the coalition, everyone in our Belgium Chapter agreed we had to do something special.”

So where will you be on April 14th?

  • When?: 14 April 2016, from 9:00 – 18:45.
  • Where? Brussels Information Point – bip.brussels, Koningsstraat 2-4, 1000 Brussel
  • Tickets can be bought for a full day, morning only, or afternoon only.
  • More information: http://beconf.com
  • Meetings Mean Business Coalition: http://www.meetingsmeanbusiness.com/

Register now

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Awareness and communication are key in preventing organic food waste

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When we meet, we eat. Our Chapter welcomed almost 40 participants at the”Reducing and sorting food waste” workshop in Brussels on 1 March. This workshop is the second event in our Meetings Go Green programme.

 

In this article we highlight how to avoid food waste before your event by tackling the issue of no-shows, and what you can do with leftovers.

Raising awareness

It is clear that no-shows are still a major issue in our industry and the first step to undertake is to raise awareness. In 2009, MPI Belgium was one of three initiators of the “Don’t Spoil the Party” initiative together with ACC Belgium and EMA Society. The initiative created a video which highlights the issue of no-shows and food waste, and encourages organizers to use the ”Spoilman”-logo on their invitation.  

Communication is key

Even when pre-registration is required, the number of no-show is still between 10-30% (roughly estimated % of no-shows, based on numbers shared at the workshop). Time to optimise our attendee registration and communication! In your registration form, let people indicate which food functions they will be attending (Welcome coffee, Lunch, Drinks reception) and don’t forget to ask about dietary restrictions.

Before your event, send attendees a personalized reminder about the food functions they signed up for and ask them to inform you if they are no longer able to attend one of the activities. If you’re dealing with a smaller group, why not send out an SMS or What’s App Broadcast campaign.

Make sure your registration system allows attendees to edit their registration information close to the event, and keep reminding attendees about “Don’t spoil the party” throughout your event communications.

During your event, use an online check-in system so you can track how many people are in the venue. Give the latest update to the caterer and don’t forget to mention those with dietary requirements. To keep raising awareness, take and share photos of the organic waste at your event during and after the event.

After the event, analyse who didn’t show up and communicate with them directly. Send them a follow-up message and add them on your (private) “flagged list” so you can get in touch with them next time they register.

Analysing the demographics of your no-shows will give you an idea of who is more likely not to attend; and by looking at historical patterns of how different demographics actually consume at food functions, you can adjust the amount of food being served.

Penalty

It is clear from the numbers that no-shows increase when an event is free to attend, even when pre-registration is required. MPI Belgium struggled with this, and has implemented a “no-show fine” for free events. By combining a penalty fee and reminding attendees of regularly, numbers of no-shows have dropped exponentially.

Don’t spoil

In our sector it is most likely to always have food waste at the end of the day. So start to think about implementing initiatives such as a ‘doggy bag’ for attendees, and look for your local FSE network and local donation opportunities. To reduce the non-organic waste from your catering, look for initiatives such as edible serving cups.

The MPI Belgium Chapter is currently talking with food surplus entrepreneurs and zero waste initiatives to continue reducing the negative environmental impact of their Chapter events. Join the Global Meetings Industry Day Belgium on 14/04 in Brussels to learn more.

Find out more about Meetings Go Green, and contact VP Education Mieke Barbé with your best practices, favorite initiatives and suppliers. Follow her Pinterest boards on Event Catering and Event Zero-waste & Sustainability for inspiration.
This article was written for the MPI in Europe blog, by our VP Education

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