What creative meetups can I go to in Amsterdam (or surrounding area)?
February 26, 2014 1:02 PM   Subscribe

I'm a designer having trouble (a) getting work, (b) networking, (c) finding a peer group that I can hang out with. I live near Amsterdam. What meetups / conferences / places can I go to that will solve as many of these issues as possible?
posted by gonzo_ID to Work & Money (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm assuming you are an experienced Dutch speaker.

Go to the English meetups group. Help others acclimate to your city. Build contacts, go from there...

Good luck.
posted by hal_c_on at 1:11 PM on February 26, 2014

Are you looking for interactive?

I spent seven years as a web developer in Amsterdam and, frankly, I did not get very much work from interactive-related meetups but general expat meetups. If you are looking for a workplace where the business language is English, you'll find a lot of British, Aussie, Kiwi, American, Canadian and other expats are employed there.

You're in luck in that it is easy to break into the expat community and make (often transient) friends and connections. Google "Amsterdam expat meetup" and see which groups are currently active.

You can also check out Undutchables for expat recruiting, and Expatica.nl for a convenient aggregation of expat activities, groups and resources.

(Funnily enough, I got my most lucrative consulting relationship when I happened to be working on my boat in a canal outside of an interactive agency where one of my previous contacts from an earlier gig happened to be working just when they needed someone with my skillset. Amsterdam is a small town.)
posted by rocketpup at 1:13 PM on February 26, 2014

My suggestion for a, b, and c would be to get familiar with the local hackerspaces, FabLabs, and other creative community spots. A lot of them are free, and in general they are filled with other creatives and tinkerers working on projects of their own or looking for people to work together with. There are b and c. For a, people - often regulars - do get hired to work in these places. (The group on LinkedIn for FabLabs gets job postings off and on, a lot of which are in the Netherlands.) I went to the fall Mini MakerFaire at Kierkraade; you may find the list of exhibitors useful in looking for places to hang out or groups to work for.

As a second suggestion, I would take advantage of whatever way you have to wheedle yourself into events at the design schools there (e.g. Delft). Public lectures, exhibitions of student work, anything that gets your shoulders rubbed up against those of other relevant people...
posted by whatzit at 1:35 PM on February 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

Check Creative Mornings who regularly host meet ups on Friday mornings between 8 and 10 am.
posted by prolific at 1:42 PM on February 26, 2014 [2 favorites]

Pakhuis de zwijger regularly hosts events very relevant for the design community and generally free or very accessible. I think we can target our answers better if you tell us if you speak dutch, and what kind of design it is you do/ want to be doing...
posted by PardonMyFrench at 2:05 PM on February 26, 2014

Have you checked meetup.com? There are lots of options in the Netherlands. It really depends on the type(s) of design that you're interested in. For example, there's a UX designers meetup in Rotterdam tonight.

Design by Fire Cafe is a regular meetup for interaction designers. It's organized by IxDA NL; you might be interested in their job board.

Design Academy Eindhoven hosts monthly debates where you can meet design professionals and students.

Some upcoming conferences are:

- What Design Can Do in Amsterdam in May
- Ready to Inspire (web design) in Leiden in June
- Engineering and Product Design Conference at the University of Twente (in Enschede) in September
- Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven in October
posted by neushoorn at 12:43 AM on February 27, 2014

Here's a thing you can go to: Wouter Boon, who writes Amsterdam Ad Blog, has written a book called Defining Creativity and there's a launch party in a couple of weeks.

Otherwise, I'd recommend hanging around in the right bars. Um... Brouw, Beer Temple, Soundgarden, Struik, and er... I dunno. Bitterzoet?
posted by ZipRibbons at 4:25 AM on February 27, 2014

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