In normal days you would probably either still be on the plane or have arrived in Amsterdam by now. The RAI would have been filled up with greenhouse models, climate control, fogging, screening or automation systems and possibly somebody would be flipping out for missing some sort of connector to get there computer screens up and running. And let's be honest: your hair would have had a more recent haircut than it probably has had now. Yet 2020 is nothing like normal years and also the GreenTech, one of the most important horticultural shows in the world, is going digital.
On the eve of the Greentech 2020, horticultural director Mariska Dreschler tells us how the plans for the digital event have been in place for years. "Even before Corona, our goal has always been to be the platform in international horticulture all year round. This summer we made the decision to go for it and I'm glad to see that everyone is fully committed and has fully embraced the event. There is a cool and extensive program, where beautiful, international speakers are featured. That too, offering added value, is a crucial pillar of GreenTech."
And even though it might be a bit different going fully digital, it's an important step, Mariska says. "It is important, especially now, to keep connecting with each other and to continue to share new insights. After all, stagnation is a decline, especially in greenhouse horticulture, which is developing so rapidly now that more and more countries are discovering that being self-sufficient in vegetables, fruit and ornamental horticulture is crucial in difficult times."
Speakers and themes from all over the world
The program starts tomorrow, Tuesday 20 October, at 9:00 CET with the presentation of the Innovation Awards. From then on, it will be full for three days, from morning with the first cup of coffee to evening, with international speakers. You can still register here, as well as viewing the program.
Content is offered on three levels, says Mariska. "There's a Main Stage, where our platinum sponsors present themselves and give presentations, a series of Café Talks in which we discuss new opportunities in the sector such as geothermal heat, content and medicinal cannabis, and an Expert Theater. This will focus on crop optimization and will certainly appeal to head and assistant growers from all over the world."
Interaction on matchmaking platform
In terms of content, all this is very similar to the physical GreenTech in RAI Amsterdam, but online. The advantage: everything will be recorded and will be available on www.greentech.nl after 29 October. "Definitely do it," says Mariska, "but above all I call on everyone to actively participate live in the sessions because then you can respond and ask questions, which the speakers will try to answer."
A matchmaking platform has also been set up especially for online. Visitors can visit the more than fifty participating companies, all international players who have actively and enthusiastically joined Mariska proudly reports, look up and talk to them.
View on 2021: physically and more online
This week, only the speakers and the organization will be present at the RAI to manage everything online. Mariska has every confidence in it. "This event may be new, but the matchmaking platform that we are going to use has already been used successfully in the past. And as I said, the plans to do more online were already there. Actually, when we started using GreenTech in 2013. Covid-19 has only accelerated that and you can see that the sector is handling it well."
In 2021 Mariska, as it looks now, is counting on making that connection physically again. First of all at GreenTech Americas in Mexico, postponed this year, but from 16-18 March that fair in Queretaro is again on the calendar. "Maybe a little more national than initially planned, but as big as planned. It's going to be our first time there, so it's important to set up a good format right away. Together with our partner there, Tarsus, we're going for it."
And then in June 2021, from 15-17 June 2021, another physical event at the RAI in Amsterdam. "But the online GreenTech, in addition to the physical events, will also grow in the coming years with the same eye for quality as always. See you at the fair!