FROM NTV AND FLOWER TRADE SHOW TO INTERNATIONAL HORTI FAIR
Two pillars, the NTV and the Flower Trade Show (Bloemenvaktentoonstelling) are the foundations of the present Horti Fair and they are both the result of mergers. Just like the Horti Fair itself is the outcome of mergers and cooperation in horticulture!
In the late nineteen-fifties and early nineteen-sixties the Wehate (Westland Trade Show) and AZ (Horticulture from A to Z) were held in the Westland region and they merged in 1972 to form the NTV (the National Horticulture Trade Fair, later the NTV International Horticulture Trade Fair). The NTV acquired an international reputation and took place in Bleiswijk in January/February of every year. In 1963 the Flower Trade Show developed in Aalsmeer from two exhibitions in the then Aalsmeer auctions Bloemenlust and CAV, before also moving to the VBA, the current FloraHolland centre in Aalsmeer, in 1972. The name was changed to the Flower Trade Show Aalsmeer in 1988 and to the International Flower Trade Show (IBVT) in 1993, but the timing was still the beginning of November.
Plans to combine the two trade shows evolved early in the nineteen-nineties, as a response to the internationalization and professionalization of horticulture. The most basic reasons were to provide a service to the international visitors who came to the Netherlands twice in short succession to attend the two events, savings on costs, and the creation of a distinct worldwide profile for the Netherlands as an important collective motive. In February 1992 the first NTV was held in the Amsterdam RAI. Relocation of the Flower Trade Show to Amsterdam still proved a bridge too far at that time. In 1997 the NTV was held in the same period as the Flower Trade Show in Aalsmeer for the first time, in the first full week of November – ‘two trade shows in the same week’ under the shared title of the International Horti Fair. In 2000 the Flower Trade Show moved to the same building in Amsterdam where the NTV was held – ‘two exhibitions under one roof’, from Wednesday to Saturday inclusive. This was, in fact, the first International Horti Fair in its present form. Both exhibitions retained their original segments, ‘food crop horticulture and technique’ for the NTV and ‘floriculture, floricultural technique and trade ‘ for the IBVT in halls 8 to 11. In 2004 both events were brought under one board and one management. In 2006 new segmentation was introduced (production, trade/services, technology, supplies) and the Horti Fair was held from Tuesday to Friday inclusive for the first time. In 2007 the event was held three weeks earlier (in October), a requirement that the organizers had filed back in 2000 and had been set out in a declaration of intent with the Amsterdam RAI in 2004.
As from 2000 the Horti Fair has been committed to raising the national and international profile of Dutch horticulture, in addition to fulfilling its function as a trade show for exhibitors. This international worldwide horticulture platform became an important event for the introduction of new products and services (due in part to the Innovation Award) and the transfer of knowledge (through special pavilions, gatherings like the Breakfast Briefings ahead of the fair, and the annual exhibition theme). In 2008 the Horti Fair attracted almost 48,000 trade visitors from more than 100 countries in the four days of the event. Since 2009 Horti Fair has two main segments, Horti Tech (technology and supplies) and Horti Grow & Trade (production and trade/services). In response to market developments, new and even more efficient options for taking part have been introduced, enabling exhibitors and visitors alike to benefit from the worldwide horticulture platform. with the assistance of committees and working groups from the sector, as well as an advisory committee whose members are a representative reflection of exhibitors and visitors.