A coffee with Liza Verkroost
During our monthly agency profile series, you get to know the team behind the Utrecht Convention Bureau (UCB) over a fresh cup of coffee. What drives them to promote Utrecht Region as a congress destination? And what does their daily routine look like?
We continue the series getting to know Liza Verkroost, UCB’s Project Manager. For five years, Liza has been working together with Account Manager Monique to promote Utrecht Region internationally as the ideal congress destination. Liza is in charge of the internal affairs, oversees all projects, and makes sure all requests and operations run smoothly.
What can you tell us about your perfect morning brew?
"To be honest, in the morning I normally prefer to pour a cup of tea instead of coffee – lemon ginger is my favourite!"
What is your most memorable congress or event experience?
"I love the events we organise ourselves to put Utrecht Region on the (inter)national map. For example, nationally we annually organise these so called ‘Locatietours’ (venue tours). During these tours, we take along over 60 national event planners to show them multiple venues in Utrecht Region in one day. They get guided tours through venues, get to meet the owners and other event managers, taste the food and drinks, enjoy fun activities, and transport is often arranged in a fun way, e.g. by bike, boat, scooter etc. In short: they undergo a total Utrecht Region event experience.
Internationally, I love our FAM-trips. During these trips we invite international event planners to come discover Utrecht Region for themselves. So we organise a total program with site inspections, visit some highlights, arrange overnight stays at local hotels, and just show them all we have to offer. I love to see their enthusiasm grow during these trips and when it’s time to go home, they are totally in love with Utrecht."
Tell us more about your role
"As Project Manager I am responsible for all kinds of projects. I can honestly say that not one day is the same at our organisation. One moment I am doing research into possible conferences, the other I am creating bid books and the next day I might be organising site inspections and chair meetings. Furthermore, I support Monique with the acquisition and I try to connect the UCB with the other departments within Utrecht Marketing, of which we are part of. So it is very divers and I really have a spider in the web position, which I love."
What are you currently working on/towards?
"It is normal for me to work on multiple projects at the same time, either short term (next week) or long term (within 2 years). For example, currently I am working on wrapping up the Locatietour we organised on July 6th, and in the meantime I am making plans for a multi-year project we started to give a recovery impulse to the MICE-industry."
What accomplishment of the Utrecht Convention Bureau are you most proud of?
"I am very proud that the UCB is up and running on full speed for almost 11 years and that our brand awareness is still growing internationally. Even though we are with a small team, we are able to accomplish a lot!"
What is your favourite hideout in Utrecht Region?
"I love to take a stroll in the dunes of Soest (Soesterduinen). This is a perfect location to enjoy the heath, dunes, and peace and quiet the Utrecht Region has to offer, next to its vibrant cities."
With whom would you like to share your morning coffee one day?
"I would love to have coffee with Formula One racing driver Max Verstappen and see if he can truly sit still for a moment instead of always being busy. Furthermore, I would like to be inspired by such an ambitious and driven person, who is always on top of his game."