Natalie and Marcel Zuidgeest talk over the '3D-puzzle in 40 trailers'

Zuidkoop already busy building almost 5,000 m² of stands for Fruit Logistica Berlin

Once the three busy Fruit Logistica trade show days in Berlin are over, most exhibitors do not have to think about the next edition. Not so for Dutch stand building company, Zuidkoop. "We actually start again from the moment we return," says Natalie Zuidgeest.

"However, preparations only begin in earnest in July." Zuidkoop is based in De Lier, the Netherlands. They have to construct a total surface area of 4,750m². Of this, about 3,700m² is just for the Holland Fresh Group.

Natalie and Marcel Zuidgeest

"It is our biggest job of the year. On the busiest day, we have almost 100 people in attendance in Berlin. These include about 25 arrangers," says Marcel Zuidgeest. This stand builder was at the very first Fruit Logistica. Then it took up half an exhibition hall. The company has since been a part of all 27 editions.

"It takes a lot of planning. The trade show has grown huge over the years. But, we only have the same number of hours at the location to get everything in order. However, with clever planning, everything goes well."

"Service during the fair is also crucial. Our employees are also present, even after the construction phase. What's more, about 17 of our people work in the evenings after the fair is closed for the day. They ensure that the exhibits are fresh and in tip-top shape every day," explains Marcel.

"It may seem chaotic for companies who come to have a look at their stand the day before the fair starts. But, for us, it is organized chaos. And it is great to quickly see an entirely empty hall transform into a decorated trade show," adds Natalie.

In total, about 40 trailers will make their way from Zuidkoop to Berlin. About 33 will return. "We do not only take construction materials. Our clients' refrigerated products and the personnel's catering equipment go along too. Every year, we also take about four pallets of paint and about 100 steps. All in all, a massive logistical undertaking."

"Everything is taken along as a huge 3D puzzle, including large construction drawings," says the stand builder. At the De Lier location, they are currently hard at work with preparations. The building complex has, among other things, a building and decorating workshop, prop storage, as well as carpentry, painting, and spraying areas. "We are already building 875 meters of wall lengths for the Holland Fresh Group," says Marcel.

"Our advantage is that we grew up between the greenhouses here. There are plenty of stand builders. But we know how the whole floriculture and foodstuffs horticultural chain works - from breeding to production to trading and technologies. This sector know-how is reflected in the advice we give and the designs we develop."

"Visualizing and communicating the trade show objectives is the basis of our stand designs. The use of color, product images, and product processing is an important component of this. At Zuidkoop, we work with a diverse team of stand and graphic designers, construction specialists, and arrangers. In this way, we have everything we need, in-house, to brainstorm with our clients," explains Natalie.

These stand constructors mostly get their inspiration from trade fairs and developments in other sectors. "Our ultimate goal is to surprise our clients with our designs time and again. Nowadays, there are far more companies with a marketing division. You, therefore, get different demands and have different discussions. That makes it enjoyable," continues Natalie.

"Another change is the increased use of visual communication in trade exhibits. LED screens, VR glasses, and such are used for this. A lot of businesses want elements of surprise. The trick is to make it more than just a big gadget. These elements must reinforce the tale being told by the stand as a whole."

"It is of the utmost importance we know what our client's aim is at the trade show. We can then advise them well. We can make a truly fantastic design that fits the client like a glove," concludes Natalie.

For more information:
Marcel / Natalie Zuidgeest
52 Zijtwende
2678 LJ  De Lier, NL
Tel: +31 (0) 174 514 666  

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