I hope—actually, I know—that Robrecht (note.: Robrecht Willaert from Travel Magazine, who gave Jan the mission to write this blog) will forgive me for using this blog to blatantly promote our Summer Party at Thor Park in Waterschei on the last day of summer, Thursday 21 September 2017. Everyone is invited, of course, but it is a paid event...

The Summer Party follows on from our unforgettable Winter Party in New York (in March this year), where this concept was launched. We started small in New York with around 40 enthusiasts from around 5 different countries partying with like-minded MICE folk in a location with views over Times Square. We're hoping to bring a few more people together in Waterschei, and our eventual aim is to be the ultimate MICE party organiser by 2020, creating a viable product with income from participants and sponsors who genuinely want to see these people together at their venue. One Winter Party and one Summer Party, every year, until I'm too exhausted to bring my champagne glass to my lips unaided. And even then, I intend to go on.

But why should we throw two parties every year for our own colleagues, suppliers and like-minded people at a unique MICE location? "Aren't there enough initiatives already?", people keep asking me.

My initial response to that is short and sharp: "We can never party enough".

But that's not the whole story. For years, I've been of the opinion—as are a significant number of my MICE colleagues—that our sector is too closed and too fragmented. We stay in touch with each other and we read about each other, but we don't really know each other—or not enough anyway. All this when there are so many ways in which we could connect. That's why it's our intention to put everyone in touch with everyone else. And yes, you'll even be able to talk to our customers—if you can tear yourself away from the dance floor. So there it is, our primary aim: bringing together the (international) MICE community in a transparent way.

We also hope to organise an event that's all about having a great time. There is a personal aspect to this: I appreciate that workshops and fam trips are fascinating, but what I really look forward to are the parties later on in the evening. I'm not fond of using clichés, but just this once, allow me to do so anyway: those parties are where the most interesting conversations are held. So that's our secondary aim: to bring the MICE community together on the dance floor.

Still, in the end, like everything I do, I'm doing it for my own team. Hosting a commercial event (I repeat: it is a paid event, and any extra sponsorship funds you want to contribute will be welcomed with open arms) means they get to organise a cool party, to which they are invited themselves!
So here's the main thing to remember: I'm not doing it for myself, I'm doing it for all of you. Smug? Who? Me?!

See you at Thor Park! If you'd like to register, you can do so at www.seauton-international.com (Note: The party is long time over, it was fa-bu-lous, of course. If you would like to join us the next time, please note down Spring 2018, Maastricht. More details will follow any time soon. If you are curious about the last edition, please check out our Facebook page).

See you next month,


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