May Member Spotlight – BLUEPROJECTS B.V.
What is your business industry category or specialty?
We specialize in the project management of trade shows, conventions, summits, conferences, presentations and road shows. We build our strategies based on three pillars of support: pre-event, on-site event and post event. We take care of everything, from the logistics, storage, inventory management, transport and shipping, to the merchandising handling and storage.
How do you describe your job to people outside the industry?
My role is to engage with businesses who are looking to expand their business in the Netherlands and further into Europe. We identify target markets, contact them on behalf of our client and organize B2B conferences to bring ‘supply and demand’ together.
Who are your main competitors and what differentiates you from the competition?
What makes you unique?
We have many competitors in the event marketing business. What differentiates us from the competition in the Netherlands is our international focus. We manage and execute B2B conferences (likely to be round table meetings, seminars, training sessions, breakfast sessions, workshops) in the Netherlands, France, Germany and UK with local native staff. This is quite unique and our clients running centralized marketing operations work with us as a ‘single point of contact’.
How was the business started?
Blue Projects started as a trade show booth builder. This was 25 years ago. Specialized in the design and the creation of B2B booths for clients, most of them in the hi-tech industry. Slowly after 10 years we were asked to organize conferences, partner congresses or workshops. Today we still design, create and install booths for trade shows, but more and more we specialize in the organization, management and logistics of conferences.
How many employees does the business have?
We currently employ 12 FTE.
How did you end up in Atlanta?
My partner lives in Atlanta. For this reason, I am in Atlanta every two months for about 10 days. We have US-based clients like DELL EMC, Adobe Systems, Atlassian and RES Software who I frequently contact and meet with when working from Atlanta. The perfect combination for me to engage with businesses in Atlanta and its region and support them with their intention to do business in the Netherlands.
What is your number one business goal over the next year?
We have many goals but in addition to growing our business organically with some great existing customers, our prime goal for 2018 is to grow the business with 4 net-new international organizations, preferably from the Atlanta region. Support them with starting their business in the Netherlands and further in Europe where we will bring them into contact with their prime target market. These could be distributors, resellers or end-customers.
What is the best advice you have received regarding doing business with the Dutch/Americans?
The best advice has been that Americans prefer to stay on a strict time schedule. This is paradise after having worked with the French and Italians for 10 years. In addition, I found out that status is less important for the Americans. I have done business in South Korea, India, Saudi Arabia and most of all in Germany for BMW. In those countries hierarchy is key, doing business with Americans is less formal and ‘a deal is a deal’.
Any other personal information you would like to share, e.g. hobbies, special interests, family etc…
If there is such a thing as a ‘perfect life’ I think I’m very close. The combination Amsterdam – Atlanta is perfect. Having a long-distance relationship is not easy, but it is working great. I like to bike everywhere and have bought a bike in Atlanta. It’s a great city to bike. I am a volunteer with the Dutch Garden Association. This organization protects the cultural heritage like historic parks, large estates with historic green, city areas where new construction (shopping malls or office and apartment buildings) is threatening the green in the area. My family lives in The Netherlands, UK and Spain.