For a long time, flooding has been a matter of apprehension in Europe, badly affecting locations such as the village of Braunsbach in Germany and Welkenraedt in Belgium in 2016. But now, rising awareness and evidence of the impacts of climate change have shifted flooding higher up in the agenda of local and national governments across the European continent.
“There is a lot of discussion at all levels that much more action should be taken,” Annette Bos, Group Director Water at Amsterdam RAI, said.
Now, with climate change negatively impacting weather patterns, the issue of flooding needs to be addressed, in order to share ideas, concerns, solutions and experiences. To that end, the new Floodex Europe tradeshow that will run alongside Aquatech Amsterdam in October this year during the Amsterdam International Water Week will respond to that need.
This new concept is built on a clear interest in flooding participants of Aquatech Amsterdam have shown over time.
“It has been an interest of the audience that comes to attend the event and has grown with the addition of the Amsterdam International Water Week Conference,” Marieke Leenhouts, Exhibition Director of Floodex Europe. “During the last edition, we interviewed our exhibitors and visitors and learned that amongst the visitors, a significant amount have an active interest in this topic.”
However, water is an incredibly broad topic spanning numerous pressing issues.
“There are so many different urgent topics now very high on the agenda everywhere,” Bos explained.
That was one of the driving factors that prompted the move to add an event with a completely separate identity in order to give flooding the attention it deserved.
“We have been able to reach out to very different associations,” Bos remarked. The associations include the Dutch Water Authorities, the U.K.’s Association of Drainage Authorities (ADA), and the European Union of Water Management Associations (EUWMA), among others.
The show will feature the traditional exhibitor stands, though additional features are already lined up to ensure that visitors and exhibitors alike will be able to get as much as possible out of the event. The Floodex Stage, for example, will be prominently featured in the tradeshow.
“With the Floodex Stage, we are bringing knowledge exchange and inspiration to the event,” Leenhouts said, noting that flood solutions usually need more than the individual products certain companies offered. “With the Floodex Stage, we are adding the opportunity for the solutions providers and the governments and water managers who need answers to exchange ideas on another level.”
In particular, the Floodex Stage will offer an important platform for partners to share their knowledge and experiences, and the EUWMA will be bringing their various national member associations as well.
“All over Europe they have associations which bring their respective expertise to the show and allow others to learn from these experiences,” Leenhouts continued. “Entire projects, usually realised in a partnership or consortium of companies, will also be showcased, both on the tradeshow floor as well as on the Floodex Stage.”
According to Leenhouts, the objective is to give an all-around view of actual solutions, and giving visitors and exhibitors an idea of the total picture is one of the important ways the show will help stimulate the use and integration of numerous innovations.
But while the new brand focuses on flooding, Floodex Europe is a part of the wider offering Amsterdam International Water Week will be providing, especially as water issues are being increasingly acknowledged as being connected rather than individual and independent.
“We want to offer the world platforms to meet and to learn about all of the challenges around water and the solutions available globally to tackle local challenges,” Bos said.