The Renaissance Amsterdam Hotel - keeping our city connected and unique

Thursday 04 October 2018

Hotels can be a home away from home, a base to explore an unknown city. Also a place to meet people – foreigners and locals alike. People that can make you feel welcome and give you a hand when it comes to exploring the local neighbourhood and beyond.

Our partner Renaissance Amsterdam Hotel is located a few minutes walk between Central Station and Dam Square. Opposite the hotel’s entrance you will find the 17th century Koepelkerk, or Round Lutheran Church, named for its stunning dome roof. The church is connected to the hotel by a tunnel and since 1975 the building has been used as conference and event space.

We asked Renaissance Amsterdam Hotel General Manager Ken Millar about all things TEDx.

The stunning Koepelkerk

What was your first TEDxAmsterdam experience and how did you feel?

“I first remember watching a TED Talk in Washington at the Marriott headquarters, it was a TED talk on spam emails by James Veitch. His talk kept us gripped, laughing throughout. It was a very effective way of communicating his message.”

A great example of what TED talks are all about – taking on a real topic in an entertaining and engaging way.

Why did the Amsterdam Renaissance Hotel become a TEDxAmsterdam partner, and what do you do as our partner?

The Marriott brand is a TED partner, hence the Amsterdam Renaissance Hotel jumped on the opportunity to be hospitality partner for TEDxAmsterdam: “we were very aware of what a great opportunity that was. Our unique domed church stood out to us as a great location to hold a TEDx Talk, spacious and historic, yet projecting an intimate feeling with seating curving around the speaker.”

“TEDx is also in line with our brand as we constantly strive to be innovative. Further to this, the value of sharing information is vital to our development and we see this as the perfect partnership.”

Incidentally, last month, we were very pleased to be at the Renaissance Amsterdam Hotel's Koepelkerk, where we held our second partner event. It was a special venue where some special announcements were made about this year’s event! More on that to come in an additional blog...

Do you have a favorite TED talk?

Ken refers again to James Veitch’s talk: “As Amsterdam Renaissance Hotel is part of Marriott International, the world’s largest hotel group, we have a responsibility to both our employees and guests to abide by privacy laws and protect their confidential information. We make a conscious effort to train our team to recognise spam and act accordingly, raising awareness of the dangers involved. Such emails can be incredibly time consuming to deal with but many people are not aware that it can lead to fraud and identity theft. James conveyed this message in a unique way.”

As you know, TED is all about ideas worth spreading. Is there an idea you'd like to see explored in a TED talk or one you'd like to see spread?

“I am an advocate of supporting underprivileged communities. I would be interested in learning more about how to get unemployed people into full time employment. I think this is an important opportunity which needs to be further explored, it will obviously benefit the community and the individuals in many ways. It will also benefit employers, labor needs will be met but it will also add a new dimension to their workforce with new perspectives.”

What's one thing that you love about Amsterdam?

“Having lived around the world, Amsterdam’s unique character stood out to me from the start. The Dutch are known for their openness, which is particularly evident in Amsterdam.” 

“This eclectic city attracts people from all walks of life which has also broadened my horizons. I learn something new every day.”

We hope our anniversary event coming up in November will also be a day to learn something new!

Thank you Ken for your time and insights!


- written by Evelyn Grunau

Inside the Koepelkerk in September, for our second partner event (image via Mike Breeuwer)
The incredible dome ceiling of the Renaissance Amsterdam Hotel's Koepelkerk event space (image via Mike Breeuwer)

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