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For just under a week, the town of Sittard and the surrounding area will be all about the biggest Oktoberfest celebrations in the Benelux. With more than 200,000 visitors, 100 performances, 3 stages, the largest fun fair in South Limburg and a programme spanning the entire city centre, it will certainly be an extraordinary event. Boels Rental has been a partner of the event since 2015.
One single point of contact – works very convenient
“The units are being installed at the moment,” explains Key – Account Manager Events, Dré Hermans as we walk around the site. “More than 40 in a host of different configurations. Over there you can see the hybrid lighting towers and over there the construction fences and the technology from IQ-pass that will make sure that not everyone can just walk onto the site.” Dré is just about to show off the ‘Boels Rental party pavilion’ when he was approached by Production Manager Bas Camps. “Dré can we have one more unit come for that Austrian company? You guys are busy with the delivery now anyway. When do you need it, Dré asks? Now, if possible, then we can have everything in place straight away.” Dré promptly contacts his colleagues from Unit Rental and arranges for the extra unit to be prepared. “Of course, it does make a difference that the units are just a few kilometres from the festival site, but this is how we work. I’m the point of contact for the entire Boels organisation and liaise with all of the business units on behalf of the client. It’s fast, efficient and hardly any extra work for the client. Very convenient.”
”It’s fast, efficient and hardly any extra work for the client. Very convenient.”
– Dré Hermans, Key-accountmanager
Key to the warehouse
We think it goes without saying that, as a local organisation, we should team up with a local partner who is also one of the largest rental companies in Europe. In fact, we are a bit proud of that. Of course the service, pricing, wide range of products and their proactive attitude are perks of this great relationship, but for me it feels like I have the key to the Boels warehouse for six days. That’s how close and trusting our collaboration is. I sometimes jokingly refer to the Oktoberfest as the Boels ‘showroom’.
Planning like a jigsaw puzzle
Just outside the old city walls at the edge of Sittard’s city centre, lies an area known as Schootsveld. It is an open space that also doubles as a festival site. There is a large underground car park, surrounded by a university and (senior citizen) homes. And that is exactly the biggest challenge facing Project Manager Sjef Schurgers. “Yes, it is actually unheard of that we are building this ‘amusement park’ so close to the city centre, not to mention on top of a car park and right next to a residential area. We also only have one access road to boot. We are planning this event much like a jigsaw puzzle and expect our suppliers to follow suit.” Schurgers is clearly referring to the equipment supplied by Boels Rental.
Because of the special location, the biggest challenge for Dré involves keeping a tight rein on the project management schedule. “Our planning has to be even tighter than Sjef’s. I make sure to be closely involved in the process and communicate well with everyone. Fortunately, we can also rely on the wealth of experience of our people.”
Sjef the has to get back to work. While saying our farewells, the experienced project manager insists on sharing one last tip. “I’m not here to be a personal billboard for Boels, but I mean it sincerely when I say. Get Boels involved in your event as early as possible. Don’t keep reinventing the wheel yourself, but take advantage of their years of expertise and solution-oriented approach. Take it from me, it eliminates so many headaches.”
An unforgettable festival
The event site is nearly ready to host an unforgettable Oktoberfest for its many visitors from the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. The forklift trucks are driving back and forth with fencing, lighting and camera masts as perhaps the most important load of the day stands in front of the IQ-pass barrier – the brewery’s truck to be exact.