The alarm clock woke me up for a five-day booth-building adventure for Horecava in Amsterdam. Armed with a suitcase full of work clothes, I, Laura, got into the car and headed towards Vaassen. Together with my marketing colleague Ruben and a team of 12 field colleagues, we set course for Amsterdam
While Ruben unleashed his inner construction hero in Hall 7, I dove into the Vandemoortele booth. Time to roll up our sleeves!
Lifting, laying subfloors, installing laminate, hanging logos, setting up lighting; everything is meticulously finished down to the smallest detail. We even used black screws for that extra touch of elegance. Something not quite straight? Then we take everything apart and fix it. In booth construction, you encounter all sorts of surprises. For Ruben and me, participating in the work was an eye-opener. Our field colleagues, whom we thought were real "rough and tough" guys, turned out to be incredibly precise and striving for perfection. It's truly remarkable!
Laura helps during the build-up of Horecava
Where I feared I would be a clumsy klutz among the skilled workers, I found out that I could do more than I had initially thought. Fortunately, my colleagues were always ready to explain things to me, even what a "panlat" was – something I had only nodded along to as if it were a new dish. But besides being very educational, I also found it incredibly enjoyable. This way of working together is very different from our office. But one thing is for sure, it's a lot of fun!
After a day of hard work, a solid foundation of flooring, electricity, and lighting finally stood there. And times five, because we built five different booths simultaneously! But after an active day, it was time to relax. The whole crew went to a cozy local pub where we ended the day with a beer, good jokes, and full bellies.
The KOP-crew in the local pub
No leisurely wake-up on day 2, but straight to work! After a hearty breakfast at the hotel, we once again entered the RAI, where the booths slowly came to life. With teamwork, we securely anchored the casings to the trusswork, and they went up in the air.
Meanwhile, Ruben worked with other colleagues on Coca-Cola's booths. He helped create the back wall for the Royal Bliss booth, which included installing a lightbox. They discovered that the measurements didn't quite match up. But what would we do without our experienced guys who fixed it as if it were "nothing"? A day filled with technical feats.
De crew works on the lighbox of Royal Bliss
Okay, my feet are starting to protest, and my voice sounds like a creaky door. Ruben is now walking bent because of his overly stylish work shoes. We look like we've been up all night. The rest of the crew seems to be completely unaffected by this. Fortunately, we remain positive and approach the third day with enthusiasm.
Upon arriving at the exhibition hall, it's time to set up the walls and assemble the furniture. Frank van Unnik, Culinair Technical Advisor at Vandemoortele, has also arrived.
"We are very happy with the openness of the booth. This allows us to showcase many of our products. Additionally, the booth's design is very attractive and accessible to visitors. So, it not only looks good but also offers us good opportunities." That's what we do it for.
Lunchtime! In the absence of utensils, we use steel connectors to spread egg salad on our rolls. But after filling our stomachs, I take a moment with Ruben to jot down our experiences. A (sort of) small breather.
Oh yes! FLS has been successfully delivered today. So, the guys could move on to Hall 1 to continue working on the Rabobank booth. First checkmark accomplished.
De crew during their lunch break
The end of our work was in sight. We placed the final items, gave the bar a fresh coat of paint, and connected all the equipment. But most importantly, it was cleaning time. Sweeping away all the sawdust, polishing away the dust, and making sure the booths sparkled from every angle. One more day to go, and then the final booths would be delivered. Everything had to be in perfect order.
Delivered stands: (fltr) Rabobank, Vandemoortele, FLS
After five days of hard work, all five booths were ready to shine. Our task was complete, and now it was up to the exhibitors. We headed home to recuperate. Thanks to our field colleagues for the educational and, above all, enjoyable days!
Delivered stands: Fuze Tea (l) en Royal Bliss (r)
And if you're interested in this kind of work, check out the job listings (in Dutch) for (Assistant) Project Manager Stand Construction and Booth Builder Field Service. Maybe we'll cross paths someday!
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