What is the most awesome and inspiring networking event you have ever been to?

Cees van der Haagen (HTH ’17) Talent of the Year Award 2019, tells you more about Future Hotello 2019.

You probably already know that events which accommodate networking opportunities are valuable for expanding your professional connections. Although all networking events share the same goal of getting people together with other people, just getting them all in the same room is not enough. Workshops, panel discussions, inspiring speakers and proper preparation encourages contact between students, post-graduates and leaders in the hospitality industry.

Future Hotello, an initiative of HotelloTOP, was an amazing networking event for all who were involved.

The event was opened officially by two inspiring speakers who were able to share their enthusiasm with the crowd. After the official opening, the three contestants of “The NXT GM challenge”, initiated by Postillion Hotels, pitched on stage. It was fantastic to see the passion, the seriousness and the preparation all three had clearly put into their pitch. Furthermore, all three contestants emphasized the importance of self-awareness and the ability to form meaningful relationships with others.

The programme continued with a workshop provided by FNV Horeca and Mapstell. The workshop initiated great food for thought for the attendees. Mapstell enables you to visualize your own behavioral traits and provides you with a tool which describes how those traits can come across to others. After being provided with valuable new insights about personal and behavioral traits, the panel discussions started. More than 30 well established organizations participated, and together with students and post-graduates discussed interesting topics. Not very often are topics such as team dynamics, sustainability and digitization discussed in such a unique setting. I would love to share the outcomes of the panel discussions with you, but I am limited in the number of words for this blog, so feel free to contact me if you are interested.

After the panel discussions the official ceremony for the Talent of the Year Award started. Together with Kasper Hanewacker and Marjolein van der Ham, I had the privilege to witness this event from stage as one of the three nominated finalists for this award. For your information: Marjolein is a true entrepreneur who started her own restaurant “Orangerie de Pol” (a must visit). Kasper is a real connector who is president of the Hospitality Connect Group and someone you should definitely add on LinkedIN. Taken these two amazing talents into consideration I can still not describe how thrilled, proud and humbled I was to receive the Talent of the Year Award.

I can honestly say that Future Hotello 2019 was an awesome and inspiring networking event. There are not many events which are more enriching than those attended by more than 300 young professionals. Especially if all attendees are current students or recently graduated from Hospitality Management schools in the Netherlands and leaders in the hospitality industry. My deepest respect for the organization and all partners involved. I hope to see many of you again in 2020 but I am sure we will keep in touch throughout 2019.