Last weekend, I travelled to Amsterdam for The Marketing Academy Semi-Annual Conference. We spent 4 days visiting companies and touring around the city.
This year, one of the members involved in planning the trip found a great Airbnb rental, located in a central neighbourhood. After we dropped our bags off, we had time to get a quick lunch, before heading to our first company visit at Burokoos, an interesting service design agency.
When we arrived a Burokoos, we were graciously welcomed by the staff. We started off by splitting into two teams, and doing a few icebreakers that Burokoos actually uses to get to know their clients. We then had an interactive 2 hour information session what Service Design actually meant, and how Burokoos does business. After, we went to Bier Fabrik for an after work with the Burokoos Team.
After we said our goodbyes, we then went to The Heineken Experience, to learn about the brand and its history. One of our members had organized a company visit with Heineken on Monday, so we thought it would be a good idea to know a little something about the company. All in all, the experience was fun, and as future marketers, it was an interesting event. Everything is dedicated to the Heineken Experience here. We learned the different ingredients used in making the beer and how Heineken is brewed. Then we had a short beer tasting session before heading to dinner at Nam Kee a local Chinese restaurant. The service and atmosphere were amazing, and they prepared a random selection of their favourite dishes for us!
On Saturday we went to the Van Gogh Museum and followed a highlights audio tour. After the Museum, we split into a few smaller groups and toured the city, we went to the Flower Market, walked along the canals, had a “Fika” in a great Cafe and enjoyed some Stroopwafels, a favourite Dutch treat. After, we walked to the Royal Palace and did another guided audio tour. We returned to the boat, and prepared for a traditional Dutch dinner at Tomaz Restaurant. They prepared a great dinner for us which included traditional pea soup, mashed potatoes and red cabbage, sauerkraut with ham, and several different types of meat including beef, duck and pork. All in all, it was a great day!
Sunday was dedicated to studying and catching up on coursework since most of us had presentations due in Service Marketing the day we returned. We also had a group conference talking about recruitment of new members, and some of the upcoming Internal and External Social Events. After we finished our work, we went to a Greek Tapas restaurant called Oresti’s Taverna for a final group dinner. This was the best meal we had in my opinion! The atmosphere was great and we had out own private dining area. The servers were friendly and entertaining and provided us with a great range of Greek dishes! Since one of our members is half Greek, she was able to assure us that it was an authentic experience.
On our last day, we had a company visit and lunch with Heineken. We were invited for an overview of one of their brands called Radler, a 0.0% refreshing beverage of beer and lemonade. While this beverage is also available with alcohol, our visit was dedicated to the alcohol free option. Following this overview, the Radler team invited us to get involved in a brainstorming session and gave us some time to prepare before we made our short presentations in small groups. This was a fun experience and we were able to present our ideas for some of the product managers.
After the company visit, it was time to collect our bags and head to the airport for our flight home. We all stocked up on the delicious Stroopwafels, some Dutch Cheese and a few souvenirs to send back to friends and families! After a great trip, the current members of the Marketing Academy have become a closer team, and hope to share that spirit with our new members for the Spring of 2015.
Until next time!