From smart mobility to smart water
With the steady growth of the Aquatech brand in Amsterdam and China, adding Mexico, the Innovation Forum and the launch of Aquatech Online in recent years, Aquatech was looking for a heavyweight champion in the events industry to join the team.
Annette Bos, director water at Aquatech explains: “With all the new initiatives I need more time to develop our global strategy. I am also looking at new markets and spearheading Aquatech Online. When the Aquatech Amsterdam show needed a new manager, we decided to look for someone who could independently run Amsterdam and take the lead in Mexico. I am thrilled Editha decided to move shows within RAI as she is the perfect candidate with knowledge, experience and the personality to take Aquatech Amsterdam to the next level.”
An experienced international events manager, Editha Hoogenberg-Derksen has worked in IT security, food ingredients and smart mobility at companies including Informa and Reed Exhibitions and as a freelancer before she decided to join RAI.
Below is a summary of an interview with the new show director.
Aquatech Online (AO): Congratulations on the new appointment! Your recent work at RAI Amsterdam included smart mobility right, such as smart roads, cars and digital integration?
Editha Hoogenberg-Derksen, director Aquatech Amsterdam & Mexico (EHD): It’s an interesting market because everyone knows about roads and traffic lights but the mobility market is in transition. Digitalisation is enabling the market to become smart, including infrastructure, parking solutions and integration digital companies.
AO: What made you decide to go to Aquatech?
EHD: Apart from the work opportunity, I am more than ever aware of the importance of water. A couple of years ago I decided to go back to my roots and planned a holiday to Indonesia with my husband and kids. We visited the Kei islands in the East where my mother’s family originates from. There was no running water in the remote kampongs, (small villages) which was very difficult for us to grasp, especially for my kids. The people who lived there had a small container in the bathroom that was filled at uncertain times and they have become very inventive in collecting rainwater.
The experience taught me that I take clean, readily available water for granted. We need to really understand the value of water as it teaches us to use it with care.
AO: You are also responsible for Aquatech Mexico. How did that come about?
EHD: I managed the Intertraffic Mexico show in a successful partnership with Tarsus Mexico. Aquatech also works with Tarsus and I am excited I can continue this cooperation and visit this wonderful country regularly. My role is slightly different. Heleen van der Meer is the show manager and in charge of day to day operations. I am overseeing the show in my director Mexico role.
AO: So with Aquatech Amsterdam, what ideas do you have to take the well-established event forward?
EHD: First of all Aquatech Amsterdam had an amazing edition in 2019. The event is seeing continuous growth and I look forward to build on this and expand the show with new initiatives. I am excited to translate the global strategy of Aquatech to both the Amsterdam and Mexico shows.
This year I will first focus on renewing partnerships and starting new ones. I will talk and especially listen to people in companies, associations, universities, experts and other stakeholders to make each other stronger and translate this to the Aquatech concept. I realise I still have a lot to learn about water and look forward to it.
When I met the advisory board of Aquatech Amsterdam, I was very impressed by their drive, knowledge and willingness to share this. I also saw a passion and commitment that I have rarely seen before and I am eager to become a part of that.
On a personal note, I love that I can play a role, even if it is just a small part in the sustainable solution of water challenges worldwide. It is clear to me that especially in water we need to work together. As per our catchphrase: Together we make water work!
Aquatech Amsterdam and Mexico