This is the first time I reach out to our community directly. I have always said it’s about Aquatech and not about me. But I feel that in these unprecedented times I want to reach out to you from my home and from my heart.
First and most important of all, I hope you and your loved ones are healthy and keeping safe.
In just a month the entire world as we knew it has changed. It feels like it all happened overnight although we received the warning signs from China. The event business came to a complete standstill. RAI Amsterdam was gearing up for its best year ever and we now realise it may very well turn out to be our worst year ever. I cannot explain how emotional it was for me to see all the exhibition halls empty on a video a colleague shared. The RAI was founded in 1893. It has survived two world wars, the Spanish flue, the great depression, the oil crisis, 9/11. So, I am certain it will survive this crisis as well.
Like many others I have been keeping busy. Keeping in touch with our partners and clients and developing our online initiatives. I have tried to finally get a grip on my inbox, which had derailed quite some time ago. At times I have also been filled with emotion. Like all of us I long for the time when I can go to restaurants, parties, hug my mom and see my team again. I miss going to trade shows and catching up with all of you, at a booth or over drinks. I miss sharing ideas and laughs with our partners in China and Mexico.
But I am also positive and grateful, for living in a house with a garden, for seeing my family every day, walking the dog, seeing nature flourishing more than ever. Grateful for the comfort and advice I receive in crazy online meetings from industry friends and for my dedicated, hardworking, fun team that sees light and opportunity all around. We connect online, laugh online and organize drinks and virtual fun on a regular basis. I love my work, I believe in Aquatech and in the power of the human touch – an old tagline of RAI. Some kind of magic is set free when you meet someone face to face – it is irreplaceable.
I am deeply grateful for the healthcare system and all of the hard workers vital to our lives including those on the frontline in our own industry, providing us with safe drinking water.
Yes, the world has changed, and yes, maybe forever. But I believe we will learn and grow and seize opportunities not seen before. We have to get through this time together and we will. I am motivated more than ever to connect people. That is my true passion. This is what we know best and where we can make a difference. Can we help you in any way? Please reach out and let me know. Please share your story with us as I am sharing mine right now.
How have you or your organisation been affected by the pandemic? Please get in touch with us and share your stories.
For now, stay home, stay safe! I wish you well,
Director Water, RAI Amsterdam
Director Water Global