M+P-collega's in de weer op het strand

Acoustics at the giant pandas (25/50)

A zoo, Scheveningen beach, the money museum. Just some of the places that Katja Thyssen, organisational talent at M+P, came up with as event venues. At SilentRoads, the annual symposium for sound specialists, she is also the one who welcomes and oversees participants. ”I can see straight away that they've had a good day.”

She remembers her first company outing well; it was 20 years ago when she just started at M+P. The options were Iceland or Petersburg. They choose Iceland. “It was an anniversary, the company existed for 30 years. I loved it. Soon after, I began co-organising events.”

We choose a location based on the theme we have come up with. For example, the theme for SilentRoads 2018 was “Acoustics threatened with extinction.” “We organised it at Ouwehands Dierenpark, which hosted two giant pandas. The Money Museum in Utrecht was selected for the symposium about costs and benefits. Reflecting the theme with a surprising setting, giving it just that little something extra; I like that.”  

Quieter Europe

Besides external events, Katja also organises company outings. Sometimes with partners, sometimes the children can come. She thinks it is extra special to also see another side of your colleagues. And of course convenient that her partner then knows who she is talking about. They built sandcastles with the children in Scheveningen. With all the colleagues, they went to Kamp Vught, the former concentration camp, which was very impressive.

A personal highlight was Euronoise in Maastricht in 2015, about science and technology for a quieter Europe. “I was asked to work the info-desk for three days. Amazing, being the hostess and collaborating with a group of peers, almost all men, from the sound world. In every picture I'm in, you can see how much I enjoyed it.” 

The slip course she organised for her colleagues is a team outing she won’t soon forget. “I found it terrifying but very useful for everyone on the road and actually quite funny in the end.”

Dining in a Castle

For the annual Christmas dinner, Katja tries to find a new venue every year. The Gezelligheidscommissie (Fun Committee) - yes, that is its real name - consists of four people: two from our Vught location, two from Aalsmeer. “We have a lot of fun and tasting the food is also part of organising. We try to find a spot somewhere halfway between the locations. This year we ended up at the coach house at De Haar Castle, a monumental castle in Haarzuilens and a beautiful setting for Christmas. Coincidentally, that will also be the venue for this year’s SilentRoads about sustainable road surfacing. The discussion is an important part of the programme and to us, we are all about exchanging knowledge.”

This year's anniversary company outing will not be Iceland but rather Luxembourg, and partners are welcome to join as well. “We will go there in a big bus, then do some cycling and walking, have a nice dinner and go to a wine tasting. We do realise that this is all very special. And that we also have the budget to do these things. All the adventures we go on together, getting to know one another; I cherish that.”

Katja ontvangt deelnemers op Euronoise