It’s just over 9 AM. Everywhere are old Dutch games. There’s something in the air! I reach the meeting point of the company outing Gouda and my heart is pounding in my chest.
The world comes to Gouda
There’s this feeling between excitement and tension. You’re looking forward to an event and at the same time you feel stressed. So, here I am putting the finishing touch on the company outing Gouda. In a moment 15 participants from all around the world will walk through that door and expect something good from me. My face turns red and I become restless. Then the first participant walks in, I welcome him and the tension is gone.
International team building in Gouda cheese city
The group of international colleagues is fantastic. They listen to my instructions, ask questions when things aren’t clear and most importantly: all are ready for a fun group activity. With a Gouda stroopwafel baking workshop they really get into the mood and then the teams are off. The Gouda city challenge has started.
Old Dutch games
While the teams are scattered around the city for all kind of picture and video assignments, I meet Vinita Salomé on the Gouda cheese market. Children with yellow caps and dressed as cheese girls and boys run around. I find out there’s a special children’s scavenger hunt going on. The old Dutch games I saw in the early morning are part of this game. Gouda is one big, colorful playground today.
Get social with a local in company outing Gouda
I catch a glimpse of the teams doing the video assignment on the Gouda cheese market and run towards them. Being an event coordinator means you have to supervise. I’m checking how they’re getting along with connecting with the locals. For me, that’s one of the most important things. If you want to really understand a culture and its people, meet the locals. The teams are fantastic in connecting with the locals and have an eye for all things Dutch. The results are creative, hilarious and/ or surprising.
Creative team event Erasmus and Gouda cheese
Meanwhile Vinita tries to shoot some pictures of me in action. She’s great in doing photo sessions for business branding. As my tours and events in the Netherlands mostly takes place outdoor I asked her to do some action photography in her city, Gouda. I check the clock on the St John church. It’s time to go to the location of the last assignment: bookshop Verkaaik. There’s a huge Erasmus art work there and I’ve promised the shop’s owner Bart Jansen to keep an eye on the teams while they do the activity there.
Finale: coffee and cheese experience
The grand finale of the company outing Gouda takes place at a shop run by Rik Dijkgraaf, my Gouda local talent who will open the Cheese Experience end of 2019. To tone down the adrenaline rush after the Gouda city challenge we end with a special tasting. Annuska van der Nagel, owner of Simon Lévelt brought this tasting workshop to Gouda. One of the participants gets extremely excited when he tastes the combination: so unique, such a refreshing experience. Indeed cheese ánd coffee will never be the same again. The company outing Gouda comes to an end with a very small, very special ceremony. Ah, it’s over too fast! I wish it could last much longer. Well, let’s see what kind of typical Dutch group activity is next in store. Maybe yours?
Thank you for planning such an incredible event for us, it was truly special and memorable. It was so much fun to get out of the office and do something different, exciting and challenging. I appreciated all your work and enthusiasm into making it such a great success!! I hope we have the opportunity to plan something again soon!
-Miss Taylor, Aegon USA-
All stunning pictures by Vinita Salomé , except for the selfies (made by participants) and the aftermovie (made by me).
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