Expatica hosts successful job, expat fair
The official visitor numbers of Expatica's "i am not a tourist" Expat Fair 2014 yesterday have not been tallied yet, but some booth holders will tell you they’re sure they shook hundreds of hands and gave out hundreds of business cards.
The fair that opened at 10.00am at Beurs van Berlage in Amsterdam and ran till 5.00pm drew a few thousand attendees. “It felt busy and had the atmosphere of a lively marketplace,” said Danielle de Groot, Expatica’s Event Manager just before closing time. “I have seen people network, old friends meeting again and new friendships starting. That is what this is all about; to give expats the skills to build their lives in the Netherlands.”
Dutch born, De Groot lived in Switzerland before she returned to the Netherlands and became part of the Expatica team that comprises people from all over the world. “I have been an expat myself, so I can relate to the things people from abroad encounter when they move here,” she said.
She said it was the first time her organization combined its Expat and Job fairs into one event and it seemed like a formula that would be used again. “It seems to have been successful. People attended the job fair and then came into the expat fair to get more aspects about life here,” she said.
There were 17 companies and organizations that held booths at the job fair, whereas on the floor of the expat fair about 100 companies presented their services. “We have seen more small organizations this year and also a shift in the type of exhibitors; there were quite a few food exhibitors and also more personal and professional development professionals,” said De Groot. The program was also wider, with more rooms and more topics. “At the job fair we cut out on the lesser job related topics and really focused on matters that are important to job seekers, like how to set up a resume in the Netherlands, how to prepare for a job interview and LinkedIn. Attendees at the expat fair could get all sorts of information ranging from mortgages to education, getting married in the Netherlands … you name it”.
It was also the first event Expatica hosted since it tragically lost its one of its director, Antoine van Veldhuizen. The founder of the "I am not a tourist" expat fair was on board flight MH17 to Malaysia with his wife and two sons, when it was brought down over Ukraine. “Antoine was the front runner in this event. He always spoke about the team at Expatica as “his family” and as such we also feel like we lost our father. We pulled together to set up this fair and make it the best day in his memory,” said De Goot, also happy with several former colleagues who made their time available on Sunday to secure success. “They came back to help, just like a family would.”
The NLTimes family was also present with a modest booth at the far end of the floor. “Just when you thought you had seen it all at the fair, there we were. It was great to be there and interact with out readership,” said publisher Zack Newmark. “We’re a definite for next year.”