In 2019, the Dutch water sector will again be prominent at the worldwide events that really matter, with our 'own' Amsterdam International Water Week Conference and the Aquatech Amsterdam Trade Exhibition at the beginning of November as the highlight. In her blog, NWP's Annemieke van Zuylen walks us through the year’s major events around the world.
"It comes as no surprise that I put the Amsterdam International Water Week (AIWW), with the AIWW Conference and Aquatech Exhibition, at number one in the events calendar of 2019. We are jointly organising this major event for the fifth time and I am extremely proud of the mature event it has become and the international reputation we have built up. The AIWW Summit last November in Rotterdam was a great success, which will really help take the AIWW Conference programme to a higher level. Not only is most of the Dutch water sector, both public and private, involved, but the whole world is coming to the Netherlands in November. I am really looking forward to it!"
"But before we get to the AIWW ‘climax’, there is a whole series of interesting events. With the support of the Strategic Events Programme of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, we set up our eye-catching Netherlands Pavilion at BALTEXPO in Gdansk, Poland, 9-11 September and WEFTEC in Chicago, 21-25 September. The BALTEXPO is already held for the twentieth time, but at its scale now, it is new in our event programme. The event focuses on water management and infrastructure, somewhat different to the more ‘water technology’ oriented events. BALTEXPO is also meeting the demand of the Dutch water sector to pay more attention to the European market. WEFTEC has been a fixed date in the agenda for years: it is one of the most important events for water technology in the USA. NWP organises this joint exhibition participation, in close cooperation with Water Alliance and ENVAQUA.
In addition, we will of course be present at the World Water Week in Stockholm, 25-30 August. NWP helps coordinate the Dutch contributions there, but following the success of last year, we will also be present with a Netherlands Pavilion."
"We are also aiming to have a presence at a series of events selected as part of the country/region focus of the Partners for Water programme. The benefit of our joint participation in these small scale and single focus events is often a combination of visibility, bringing Dutch expertise to the event, field visits and targeted matchmaking. Among the events on our list for 2019 are Water Philippines in March, Aquatech China in June, Indowater Jakarta in July, Aquatech Mexico in September and the IWA Water and Development Congress and Exhibition in Sri Lanka in December. Organising an event in Sri Lanka is new for us and, personally, because of the event’s focus on development themes, I really hope that we can achieve plenty of Dutch participation."
"Also interesting is NWP’s involvement in events with a broader scope. There is always a link between water and other sectors such as agriculture, energy, urban development and climate. A good example is the Planetary Security Conference in The Hague in February, where NWP is organising a session on water and crisis. The Global Entrepreneurship Summit, also in The Hague, will follow in June. It will attract thousands of entrepreneurs and NWP is involved in organising the water theme. A month later, the 2019 Urban Resilience Summit will follow in Rotterdam, where water is once again a key theme."
"Before selecting the events, we listen carefully to the sector. Its input is the basis of our event calendar. We consult the sector throughout the year and at the end of the year we send our members a short list of international events and ask them which events they are most likely to want to be part of the Netherlands Pavilion. The BALTEXPO, for example, was a clear choice. Many NWP members find it valuable that we not only go to the other side of the globe, but also have an eye for the European market.
In the first quarter of 2019, at the request of the Interdepartmental Water Cluster of the Dutch Government and with the support of the Partners for Water Programme, we will carry out a more in-depth survey to lay a strong foundation for our events programme in the next three or four years. We will interview representative parts of the sector about their views and needs: what do they think about joint participation in trade fairs; what is the most important added value; do they prefer to go to specialised water events or to more broadly oriented events? We will also ask what they believe the role of the government in these events should be. The information that emerges from our survey will help us to focus on worldwide events where the Netherlands can really make a difference.
Back to 2019. It is a beautiful and broad palette: large international water events, events that focus on specific countries and regions, and events where water is discussed in a broader context. The challenge for us is to serve the sector well each time and to put the Netherlands in the spotlight on the right international stage. We do not do this alone, but together with the sector. Hence my call: contact us if you want to know more. We are happy to tell you about the possibilities. We will keep you informed via our website and the newsletter. Let us make it an internationally successful year for the Dutch water sector. We hope to meet many of you all over the world in 2019!"
For more information please contact NWP’s Annemieke van Zuylen, email@example.com.