team building based on King's Day Verita's Visit Holland

Team building based on King's Day - 3 tips

Put on your orange dress, drink some Oranjebitter and get ready to sing the national anthem.  The best way to bond is to celebrate a national holiday together. So, let's create that ultimate holiday feeling. Here are 3 tips team building based on King's Day in Holland.

National holiday to unite your team

Once upon a time there was a little princess called Wilhelmina. She lived in the Netherlands, a country that was extremely divided. People didn't want to do any activities together. Now, Wilhelmina celebrated her 5th birthday on August 31 1885. 'A great day for a national holiday', a newspaper thought. And so a new national holiday was born.  It was called Princess Day and became a huge success. The Dutch people united, the nation was one.

I know it is a bit too much to ask you to create your own national holiday. It is a good idea to look at national holidays though.  You can get inspiration on how to build & strengthen relationships . Let's have a look at King's Day!

old Dutch games King's Day teambuilding

Holiday feeling with old Dutch games: team building based on national celebration

The first tip for team building based on King's Day actually comes from Princess Day. In that time the holiday did not have the same dimension as nowadays. Focus was on strengthening relationships within your family & local community. That happened through games. Using these old Dutch games  for teambuilding is perfect as rules are simple, you don't have to use your brain a lot. They're just a fun activity to do together and a way to release any tension. Best part is also that you feel like you're getting a taste of Dutch culture. Add some orange clothes and an orange drink (Oranjebitter) and you feel like you're on holiday.

Why the royal birthday & flower parades in the Netherlands are connected

As the years went by princess Wilhelmina got older. In September 1898 she became Queen of the Netherlands and so Princess Day became Queen's Day.  Thanks to these two royal celebration; the birthday and the inauguration, the flower parades in the Netherlands became popular. Now, I let you think about it for a moment…Why is Wilhelmina’s birthday/ inauguration as Queen a good time for the flower parade? The answer is in the next blogpost.

other flower events in the Netherlands Verita's Visit HollandTeam building based on King's Day flower parade

Tip two on team building based on King's Day, is about these flower parades. Before WWII these flower processions were strongly connected to the royal family. Nowadays  the processions are used to underline the local identity & the small community feeling. Now this team building tip decorate your bike, car or other vehicle. Set some rules before you start this activity. One of these rules should be about how you combine local, regional aspects with national cultural elements. What is typical of your city? What is unique about your family or friends? When you do this group activity with your colleagues, you can also include the corporate culture and team culture in these game rules. For complete instructions & customisation of this teambuilding activity based on King's Day, contact me or book the We are one on King's Day game activity.

Team building based on King's DayBe like Dutch kids: sell what you love & they don't need

Another typical Dutch element of King's Day is the vrijmarkt, or garage sale/ flea market. This is one of the youngest traditions of the royal celebration. In the seventies, Beatrix was Queen. She is the mother of our present King Willem-Alexander and the granddaughter of Wilhelmina. She had married a German man and not everyone in the Netherlands  liked that.  Besides, you could again feel some tension building up in the Netherlands. The vrijmarkt already existed, but was not centrally organised. Here and there in the suburbs of Amsterdam and other Dutch cities these flea markets popped up. The idea was to bring these markets to the inner city centre, so the Dutch would get together in a central point. That worked!

How can you use this in a team building activity? The King's Day vrijmarkt is the ultimate way for kids to practise their entrepreneurship. So tip three in the team building based on King's Day is about negotiation skills. Try  to find some traditions or habits in your family, group of friends or team that you like, but others dislike. Imagine these habits are one of the items you sell on the vrijmarkt. You are attached to them, they see no value. How would you sell these, the Dutch way?

Liked these 3 ideas? Then contact me for the full We are one on King's Day teambuilding game.


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team-outing-by-bike-Leiden-windmill-Veritas-Visit-Holland

Tip for pre-meeting activity Leiden

Her whole person beams with confidence. She's to-the-point, has a great sense of responsibility and a hands-on mentality. She aims for the stars and...is new to the team. So she organises a team outing. Thé tip for a pre-meeting activity Leiden.

team-outing-by-bike-Leiden-windmill-Veritas-Visit-HollandMeeting your colleagues in real life

"Have you met each other before?" It's my favorite question when I greet a group for a teambuilding event or company outing. For me, the question is to open up conversation, get everyone talking to each other. From the group interaction I already know the answer. One of my participants was spot on when she said: "We know each other's voice".

Idea for pre-meeting activity Leiden

The power woman of this company  planned a 1-day meeting to get to know her team.  With the European headquarter in Leiden, she invited everyone to come over to the city of Rembrandt.  And she booked a bike tour as pre-meeting activity Leiden. That, I think, is a perfect idea.

Typical Dutch activity Leiden

Whether it is before a 1-day meeting or weeklong conference, an active outing is a good starting point to get to know your team. Most of the time Dutch colleagues love to do something typical Dutch like a workshop cheese making or Delft blue painting. Cycling is one on the most popular corporate outings for international companies. And a bike tour has  certain advantages.

Natural communication during team event

By doing something active the focus is on the activity itself. Communication happens more naturally. Sometimes networking feels forced. During the team activity it's mostly just small talk. The more intense conversations are kept for later.

teambuilding pre activity meeting business Verita's VisitDuring a typical Dutch cycling tour there's lot's to talk about. At least, when you're in the countryside. Although infrastructure in the Dutch cities is nice, passing busses, cyclists and pedestrians crisscrossing, might cause stress. The focus is not on the activity anymore. The only thing which is on your mind is how you'll get through this alive. Survival mode, that is. So, tip for pre-meeting activity in Leiden: go for a bike tour in the Leiden surroundings. Visit a windmill, pass by the lakes, have a drink at a castle. Talk to your colleagues from all around the world about everything you see and how that is different or the same from home.

Kasteel Castle tour Leiden groep reis Verita's Visit

What a bike ride tells about team spirit

The very very best of a bike tour as pre-meeting activity in Leiden is that you're in it together. Not everyone is born on a bicycle. The way you respond to the cycling skills of your colleague, says a lot about you as a team. Do you motivate her/ him? Do you leave him/ her behind, cycling all by him/herself or do you adjust your speed? Go for a bike ride and find out about your team's spirit!

Just curious: Do you have an idea who takes the lead in supporting the non-daily cyclists if you were to go on a cycling outing with your international team?

 


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Half day team event Hague area

Pack your bags! You’re going on a trip to the Netherlands. The grand finale: a half day team event Hague area with your work team. After a couple of days of trainings and workshops in the company’s Dutch headquarter you and your international colleagues head out for adventure!

boating Gouda event teambuilding Verita's Visit bootrace
Boat race corporate event Gouda area

Relaxing or active half day team event around The Hague

The global organisation you work for has given you carte blanche for a half day team event The Hague. It’s up to you and your team to decide if you want to do an active event or something relaxing. It could be a workshop Delft blue painting or a boat race on the Leiden lakes.

Delft blue workshop teambuilding Verita's Visit familie vriendenConnecting with your global team

Due to time differences it’s not easy to get your team members from US, UK, Europe and South Africa together in a meeting to discuss the subject of the trainings in the Dutch headquarter or the content of the company outing on the last day. So, emails go back and forth and you manage to set up a call  with some of the colleagues who have been in the team for a while now.

Local event inspired food tasting teambuilding Verita's Visit inspiratie proeverij lokaal festival

Dutch culture activities in cities around the Hague

These hardcore team-building event participants have quite some suggestions.  One of  them reminds you: “We’ve done a canal cruise in Leiden a few years ago and a cooking workshop in The Hague”. “The activity should definitely something fun. I don’t mind traveling outside of The Hague, see a different city” another colleague writes in a email. After a while yet another colleague adds:

“Indeed! See a bit of the area, would love it if we could incorporate some Dutch culture. Food would be great too.” 

King's Day local event  Verita's Visit Koningsdag activiteit family friends company

Fun group activity on Dutch food

Food does give an extra dimension to a group activity, you think. After having gathered all suggestions, you have an idea of what kind of half day team event Hague area could look like. After the trainings and workshops you don’t want to have to think too much. So, it should be a fun and relaxing outing. It should not take too long either. Some kind of tour in a historical city not far from The Hague to absorb the Dutch culture and maybe add something food-related.  Could you combine it with a local festival or typical Dutch event that already takes place?


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key to typical Dutch teambuilding outside Amsterdam Verita's Visit excursion corporate family

Team event Leiden

It was February when I received a request from the event manager of an international company. She was looking for a nice team event Leiden and had seen the Leidens Ontzet Treasure Hunt on the website of Verita's Visit Holland. Could I organise this group activity late March?

key to typical Dutch teambuilding outside Amsterdam Verita's Visit excursion corporate family I smiled while I was reading the inquiry for the group event Leiden. The Leidens Ontzet, Relief of Leiden is festival celebrated on the 3rd of October. There's a great vibe and it's quite easy to connect with the locals. To organise an event in spring around a winter festival would be quite a challenge. I soon discovered that all the venues the teams would pass on the 3rd of October were closed or being renovated. So, the  plans changed and I created  a completely different team building activity. Same style, same adventure, same mix of creative challenges  & intriguing questions, but with a different theme. Focus wasn't just on the Relief of Leiden, but on the history & culture of Leiden in general. Artists, monuments, symbols all played a part in this team event Leiden.

 

Rembrandt cultural activity Leiden cultureel uitje Verita's Visit

I do love using my creativity and organising such a custom-made group activity. At the end the 25 young professionals from the international company based in Leiden area had a great time. Well, see for yourself.

 

 Thank you so much for your kind cooperation with the event! We had a blast! 

Event manager international company Leiden area

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ico0Pzu5W7g&t=23s


Lovely locations for company events Zwolle

Outside are two ladies, chatting with the bus driver. The ladies look like they are coming for the Zwolle site visit organised by Congresregio Zwolle. My intuition is right; they are event managers here to explore all locations for company events Zwolle. The bus driver  explains that he’s here to bring the people to the Provinciehuis. That means he’s not here for us. Me and the ladies, we have good chitchat about all event managers do. Other participants of the site visit in this city in Eastern Netherlands join us and it seems like we know each other for ages. A mini-bus stops in front of Lumen hotel & IJsseldelta conference center and  brings us to the starting location of the Zwolle site visit.

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team event boat race Gouda Holland Verita's Visit

Team building event in Gouda area

The 7th of June was going to be the day.  The team building event in Gouda area. I was going to meet a group of 17 people from an international company at their office in Bodegraven for a bike- & boat tour with game elements. And then it started to rain. Windspeed 6. The long predicted storm happened on the day I was most looking forward to. Emma, who managed the event from client's side, emailed me the day before and suggested to move  this team building event to the 20th of June. For this event we quickly made other arrangements.

team event boat race Gouda Holland Verita's VisitBrewing a company outing

It was great to organise two team building events in Gouda area for the same international company. I was in close contact with Emma and kept communicating with the other organisations. The bike- and boat tour was a dream event and even when everything had to be changed lastminute for the event on the 7th my heart was beating faster.  I have so many ideas and at the moment I have the change to use my creativity and get a green light I just let myself go. Emma suggested a brewery tour for the 7th, which I had in mind as well. After that she thought a city walk through Gouda would be nice as the rain would clear in the late afternoon/ early evening. So, very lastminute I made the arrangements and they had a fun and informative company outing.

Video made by participant

Building a team in the Dutch Wetlands

Then the 20th of June came. Together with Lisette, the event planner and jack-of-all-trade at Watersnip, I had planned out the team building activity on the water. The 33 participants of the international company would be doing a rowing competition and if they had some sailing experience do some sailing game as well. The teams had all be given colourful shirts by my client and soon showed their practical, social and/ or leadership skills. As images speak a thousand words, here is a selection of the pictures I took of the team building event in Gouda area.

Dear participants, dear Lisette, Emma & Kellie, thank you all for this colourful day!