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Dick van Raamsdonk, HPP exhibitions

IFTF benefits from cross-pollination

The IFTF event is making headway internationally. "We've grown another 20% compared to last year," says organizer Dick van Raamsdonk. The influx is coming from all sectors: more suppliers, and more growers from producing countries at the Equator, which in turn attracts more fellow companies as well as trade: cross-pollination, so to speak.

The world is getting smaller. In other words, a greenhouse builder, grower or breeder needs to look across borders to make money. This results in a number of international events in the industry that are growing in size every year. The IFTF is one of those, and the Trade Fair organized by Royal FloraHolland in Aalsmeer at the same time, only makes things more interesting for the visitor, Dick says.

It might seem a bit unnatural: two events at the same time, putting feathers in each other's cap. And yet, shuttle busses drive to and fro, and especially for the international visitor there's a lot to see. Dick compares it to an amusement park. "You can visit several attractions at multiple locations within one area. A florist visiting in Aalsmeer will also take a peek at our event. The trader knows this, so he gathers those people and takes them along to take a look as well. And vice versa, there are plenty of technical suppliers and breeders who go to take a look at the auction."

No limit
That means there's no upper limit, Dick knows. "We're still waiting for the Americans and Chinese, for instance. They are there, but only a few of them, although those are big players and markets with good perspectives. We also have an Iranian pavilion, which looks to be a strong growth market. And this year we've welcomed other participants from various hitherto unrepresented countries."
Looking ahead
This year will be the eighth edition. In addition to more and bigger stands, the capacity for growth is much bigger: the greenhouse-like structure where the event takes place, has doubled in size (it used to be very long, now it's also a lot wider). The organization also received 14% more pre-registrations so far: not a guarantee for more visitors, Dick admits, but it's a good sign. "And things are changing very rapidly. If you asked me five years ago how things would look today, I would've been wide of the mark. And those changes don't stop, they're actually occurring much faster. So I don't know what the industry will look like five years from now, do you?”

The IFTF takes place next week (November 8-10) in the Expo Haarlemmermeer in Vijfhuizen. For more information and to register, click here.

FloralDaily and our colleagues from Dutch newsletter Bloemenplantennieuws will also be present at the IFTF to make a comprehensive photo report. We'll be present with our own FloralDaily stand. Feel free to drop by stand C2.41 if you have any news to report, to pick up a copy of our Buyer's Guide, or just to have a chat.
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