The week of Anita van Maanen
Week 4. In ‘the week of’, the Project Managers or other team members of goMICE share their (work) week in a new blog. This week, you can look and read along with the week of goMICE Director Anita van Maanen!
The weekend is over and a beautiful week is coming. Once again, my schedule shows a lot of variety this week, which is exactly what I like about my job. Every day is different here!
As owner of both UNIGLOBE Alliance Travel and goMICE, my schedule is often full of meetings. This week, I have a lot of meetings at other locations. But first today. In addition to my busy business life, I have two sons, who are 14 and 16 years old. They both have a so-called exam week this week, and this morning, my husband and I went over the final details with them before I went to our office in Rotterdam.
When I need to be at our office in Rotterdam (we also have offices in Goes and in Arnhem), I almost always go on my bike. I love doing that. I used to take the car (especially if I had meetings elsewhere on the same day) or the metro, but I replaced the metro for an e-bike in March 2017. I highly recommend that! This means I get to cycle quite a few kilometres about 2 or 3 times a week. The counter is at 2700 kilometres in less than a year, because I tend to use my bike a lot more for other things now, too. It’s great to let your mind wander while you’re cycling; you really start thinking again, creating new ideas, without being distracted by your phone. And on the way back, you can clear your head after a long day. Plus, it’s better for the environment, which is a nice bonus.
Anyway, today I am at the office and I have a meeting in Katwijk in the afternoon. Together with all those involved at the location, our technology supplier and caterer, we discuss a large event of over 400 people there. All involved parties meet to discuss the details. We want to leave nothing to chance, so meetings like this can easily take 2 hours. What we are doing for the event is “bringing the outdoors indoors”, including real grass.
On Tuesday, fortunately, I can ride my bike to the office again. I have no meetings planned elsewhere today, except for a quick walk to the basement of Hotel New York to discuss the menu for our annual team kick-off. This will take place this Friday, so more about that later in this blog.
It is still dark when I get on my bike, as I have an appointment with an applicant at 09.00 AM. We are looking for yet another new project manager for goMICE, even with Moniek having just started and Linda starting soon. 100 events have already been planned for this year, and the year has only just begun. New requests come in every day, from both returning and new customers. I am so proud of our team, which goes to work with great enthusiasm and pleasure day after day!
After the appointment, I consult with the Operations Manager of goMICE, walk around our office, and talk to the Business Travel Consultants. They are busy as well, as we have gained many new customers. Even so, everyone is happy and is looking forward to the upcoming kick-off. During that evening, all three offices come together and all 40 colleagues are usually present. I always look forward to seeing them together too.
Today, I am taking care of overdue work, because whenever I spend time on other locations during a day like yesterday, I must work hard in the evening and during the following day to keep everything on track.
Today, 2 project managers of goMICE are abroad to prepare or guide many trips. I just received a few texts saying everything is going well. I also work together with the project managers on several other large events and trips. We think of ideas and are creative and organised. It never gets boring to surprise relations with great ideas!
And that concludes another beautiful Tuesday. On my way home, I wonder how well my sons have studied for tomorrow’s tests and will help them where necessary.
I leave home earlier than usual today. I pick up our Operations Manager, Elsbeth Groenevelt, at station Kralingen and we drive to Harderwijk.
We have an appointment with a new customer there. During the hour-long drive, we talk about the business, but also about our families. Elsbeth and I have known each other for over 11 years now; she started at our business travel department UNIGLOBE Alliance Travel 12 years ago, which means she was one of the first Business Travel Consultants. After a few years, she switched to goMICE. We are now over 40 people, and she still runs goMICE with the same passion every day.
By the time we arrived in Harderwijk, we were fully caught up and very curious about what was to come. After all, every customer visit is different. We were warmly received. We noticed there was a good click quite soon. Our passion and pleasure in talking about the endless possibilities goMICE has to offer really caught on, and by the end, our contacts indicated we could make a proposal for an incentive trip for 180 people. They also left the choice of destination to us, so Elsbeth and I had enough to talk about on the way back. We would suggest three destinations that would surprise them, because we love surprising people. Of course, I will further inform you about this group when we are a bit further in the process.
Today is different again. I work from home for a few hours, because I need to be at Schiphol at 11:00 AM. The annual KLM New Year’s Lunch is taking place today, which is a great opportunity to catch up with our contacts at KLM. After all, KLM is one of our most important business partners.
Moreover, I get to talk to colleagues from other offices during the lunch. This year, the lunch is taking place at the beautiful new Hilton. I arrive on time and the coffee is ready. The lounge soon fills up with many familiar, but also unfamiliar faces. Lunch is served, and we sit at beautiful round tables according to a table arrangement. Next to me is a key-account manager of KLM, and I immediately get into an interesting conversation with him. The directors also talk about the developments in the market, but they keep it short, because the main purpose is to be able to talk to each other.
Before I knew it, it was 14:00 PM and time to say goodbye. Around 15:30 PM, I am back in Rotterdam and go to work for a few more hours.
Another day outside the office. We have another appointment with a new customer. This customer also liked the idea of meeting us first, so we are happy to pay them a visit. They, too, found us through the website of goMICE. They became impressed after reading our blogs and watching our videos. Great to hear that people find our activation on our website fun and interesting!
This time, we drive to Noord-Holland, which about a one-hour trip. I am picking up Elsbeth again. We are curious about this new customer and cannot wait to make them more enthusiastic about goMICE. We are warmly welcomed once again. This customer is planning on having the entire team of about 80 people go on an incentive trip in May. The destination is already known, but the employees are not yet aware of whether the trip is on or not. So, we need to stay a bit quiet; after all, the walls have ears. We also feel a good click here and are asked to work on a proposal for the destination. Another beautiful challenge for the team. In the car, we discuss what project managers will take on the new assignments of this week. We mainly look at their current workload, but also at who best knows the destinations we want to suggest.
We arrive at the office around 13:00 PM and it is extremely busy. All desks are occupied, everyone is working hard, two people from our sales department are talking to a large business travel client at the meeting table, and there is a cameraman and interviewer walking around the office.
All throughout the afternoon, employees are filmed and interviewed about their work, with the goal of giving the followers of our blogs a look behind the scenes.
The kick-off of 2018 is planned for tonight, and all employees of our other 2 offices will come to Rotterdam. There will also be filming during the kick-off. It is taking place at the 31st floor of our office. We are receiving everyone with a drink there, after which Rob and I will look back on 2017, but most of all, look forward.
We conclude the evening with a nice dinner in the basement of Hotel New York. We are an amazing team and I switch from table to table to at least briefly chat with everyone.
It makes me proud when I look around. Everyone likes it here and feels good. We get great responses from everyone.
I end my week with that proud feeling. This weekend is all about my family and maybe just a little bit of work. Come Monday, I will be back and full of energy.