It will be a bit later than the previously announced dates in June, but coming September the suits can go back to the dry cleaners and it will really be time to say goodbye to your corona-hair. Then all growers, suppliers, investors and other stakeholders are welcome again at GreenTech. Physically in Amsterdam or digitally, whatever is possible and desirable at that time. For Mariska Dreschler, Director Horticulture at the show, it is key that all participants leave or log off with a real GreenTech feeling.
"GreenTech is a purely international event. We notice that everyone is eager to see each other again and hope to welcome visitors and participants from at least the whole of Europe. With a strong online positioning, we will ensure that those who cannot or should not attend physically can participate online. Meeting each other in person again, sharing knowledge, and interaction between the professionals in our industry are central this edition."
GreenTech Live & Online 2021 physical will take place at RAI Amsterdam. The large stands from the pre-COVID period will not appear there yet: GreenTech Amsterdam as a completely physical trade show will take place from June 14-16, 2022. In connection with crowd control and minimization of traffic movements during the build-up and breakdown of stands, the stand construction for this year's alternative event will be carried out by the RAI itself. This is to ensure the safety of all involved. The physical exhibition will be complemented by virtual pavilions where all participants, including those who cannot attend physically, will be able to present themselves. Country pavilions, knowledge programs on cannabis, vertical farming - it will all be there, Both physically and digitally. Indeed, that second target group is at least as important, Mariska believes.
Virtual elements will remain
"We don't expect digital connection to replace the physical part, but we do notice that virtual elements will remain," she explains. "We have organized several online events in the past few months and can thus reach both existing and new target groups inside and outside horticulture."
After all, last fall GreenTech knew its first edition, and the responses to the quality of the online system were positive: participants and exhibitors praised its technical construction. "This year we are working with the same online platform. We will take the visitors and exhibitors by the hand even more on how to use it optimally. It has to be full of interaction and low-threshold to allow them to get in touch with each other."
Both digitally and physically, the GreenTech knowledge programs play an important role. In it, the organization has been combining crop optimization and visionary pieces - or the Expert Theatre and the Vision Stage - for years. In this way, they are able to attract both the horticultural sector itself and players from other sectors. Investors or participants interested in more sustainable food production and well-being. "We also see that from these knowledge programs, a lot of conversion is possible: as a company you can share knowledge and attract visitors to you, both live and digitally."
For Mariska herself, it is also another dot on the horizon. Behind the scenes, the trade show organization has already been working on the transformation to a blended online and offline event for some time, and that has been accelerated by COVID. "Last year, unfortunately, that was entirely online, whereas in 2019 we were still entirely physical. This year we are looking for the ideal balance." Exact numbers of exhibitors are not yet available, but our goal, provided the vaccinations are going well, is to hook up toward the 250 participants. "Last year we saw that our innovators also participated in the online event. Now I dare to count on the market leaders to participate again as well. And the more opportunities we have to expand physically, the more participants there will also be. In any case, we are ready for it!"
"When we started setting up GreenTech in 2013, I found myself in a mature, and seemingly completely saturated market, where all possible marketplaces already existed. By building it up steadily and in close cooperation with the market, we were able to take and expand our position. The most important thing for us is remains to get the maximum traction out of it: to make the connection between exhibitors and visitors such that everyone gets their investment out of it and has the desire to do business through the GreenTech platform. Then we do it right. Live, and digitally."
GreenTech Live & Online will be held from Tuesday 28 – Thursday 30 September 2021. GreenTech Amsterdam, in full physical format, from Tuesday 14 – Thursday 16 June 2022. GreenTech is supported by AVAG, the industry association for the greenhouse technology sector in the Netherlands.