InterNations team member Corinna tells us about her Amsterdam Community visit and how she met many of our Ambassadors in the Netherlands and Belgium. She also has some fantastic news for all our members in the Netherlands!
The idea for my trip to Amsterdam was born when I received an e-mail from our Amsterdam Ambassador Elsbeth Beerepoot telling me that she would like to invite all Ambassadors living in the Netherlands for a small dinner& drinks gathering. In all 5 Communities – Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam, Utrecht and Maastricht – we have new Ambassador Teams who started their role in the last 6 months. Thanks to their motivation and commitment, local life has received an immense boost in these InterNations Communities. We currently have two monthly events in Amsterdam and one monthly event each in The Hague, Rotterdam, Utrecht and Maastricht. Acting as contact persons for other members as well as organizing and hosting the monthly gatherings, all Ambassador teams oversaw a growth of their online member base and their events recently. Reason enough to join this little meeting of active InterNations Ambassadors and thank them personally for their great support.
My trip started on Saturday morning (a bit later than planned as my original flight had been cancelled) and I arrived in Amsterdam at around 2 pm. The first thing that surprised me was the huge number of tourists walking around the city center in the freezing January cold. After checking in at my hotel I joined the tourist crowd to make my way to Leidseplein, where I wanted to meet Elsbeth for coffee. Our meeting at the restaurant / café Stanislavski in the theatre building with its classy but laid-back atmosphere was the perfect opportunity for me to learn a bit more about the Amsterdam Community. I could also give Elsbeth some news from headquarters and tell her about our future projects like the upcoming launch of our Activity Groups.
After a walk around the city center, where I was lucky to discover Vinomio, one of our latest Albatross-only Event locations, I went to Bar Italia to meet the Rotterdam Ambassadors Meri and Kasia. We exchanged a lot of ideas about future events & activities and the two also told me about their experiences from past events and passed on feedback from their members. As we found out, Rotterdam is not only a very active Community when it comes to offline activities, but also a community of “happy clickers” registering on our online guest list and not cancelling when they find out they can’t make it. So to all Rotterdam members who read this: We are very grateful for your interest in InterNations Events, but please only register on the guest list if you intend to show up! Don’t worry, we have plenty of other features & functions to click on instead 🙂
When the other guests arrived, we moved on to the restaurant section of Bar Italia. We were quite a big group with Elsbeth, Brendan and Andrea from Amsterdam, Enrique and Alexander from The Hague, Kasia and Meri from Rotterdam, Gisa from Utrecht and our surprise guest Eric who came all the way from Brussels. Most Ambassadors didn’t know each other at the beginning, but in no time the air was filled with chatter and fun stories about the different Communities. It felt like we had known each other for a long time! As a representative of one of our biggest Communities, Eric could give the others a taste of what their work as InterNations Ambassadors could look like in two or three years:-) It was really interesting for all of us to hear about his experiences and the challenges they faced in one of our most successful Communities.
After a fantastic dinner including Antipasti as starter as well as delicious wine and prosecco, some of us couldn’t resist ordering the spectacular Grey Goose vodka cocktail for dessert, which was prepared right in front of our eyes. The evening ended after another drink at the bar next door and we all said good-bye at around 2 am. It was a wonderful evening and a fantastic opportunity for me to meet everyone in person and learn more about their experiences as InterNations Ambassadors.
Last but not least, I am happy to announce that we will open two new Local Communities in the Netherlands soon! I’m already looking forward to seeing active members and a flourishing Community life in Eindhoven and Breda!
On Sunday, I tried to make the most of my remaining few hours in Amsterdam by going for a long stroll and simply let the many different impressions sink in. Coming from southern Germany, I was especially thrilled to find so many shops open on a Sunday 😉 And although it was hard at times to get a good feel of Amsterdam due to the throngs of tourists everywhere, I managed to take some great pictures (the bike picture is my favourite) as keepsakes of this memorable trip.