Our new Experience & Innovation Center will open in early 2019. What do we actually plan to do there? Our aim is straightforward: to have every visitor who enters leave as an ambassador for Bolidt, Esthec and Ode.
For now, the working name of the Experience & Innovation Center, the new prefab production site and the new development on Noordkade (also known as Waterbusplein) is AREA78.
Starting in 2019 this will be the place where Bolidt will share knowledge and partner with countless professionals working in the healthcare, museum, poultry, bakery, pharma, naval and offshore industries. Who will we invite to visit? Architects, shipowners, operators of parking garages, facilities managers... just to name a few. Students and representatives from business, government and educational institutions are also important target groups. The Experience & Innovation Center will be a place where new plastics applications are invented and developed. To top it off, the Noordkade axis will be the new entrance to Bolidt. Preparations are currently hard under way for making the Noordkade accessible by road, water and air. All visitors to our company will enter through the Experience & Innovation Center. That provides a prime opportunity for showing them the ‘DNA of Bolidt’. Customers and business relations already have a variety of ways to get to know Bolidt, such as face2face meetings around the world, websites, events, trade shows, mailings, social media channels, etcetera. At AREA78 national and international visitors will have a chance to physically come into contact with and travel through the world of Bolidt. AREA78 will be an exciting, and memorable, experience for visitors. When people visit us, they are often surprised to hear about who we are and what we can do. AREA78 provides us with an opportunity to better showcase what Bolidt stands for. Everyone who visits the Experience & Innovation Center will leave as a company ambassador. They will have fallen in love with Bolidt, if they weren't already!
The virtual tour starts from behind a computer, tablet or VR headset. People may talk about reaching 7 billion people virtually, but we're not concerned: 1 billion in the first year is fine, too! The physical trip starts in Rotterdam, of course. Visitors can hop on a water taxi, water bus or the RIB at Hotel New York and will be treated to a preliminary sampling of what Bolidt actually does as they sail past De Kuip, the Erasmus Medical Centre, under bridges and past luxury yachts. Upon mooring, they will gradually enter the world of Bolidt through the newly developed Waterbusplein. Because of the building's transparency, they will be able to see everything taking place inside. The visitors then enter the foyer: a large exhibition space, including a stage for hosting TED talks, with details designed by Bolidt creatively worked into the interior. There will also be a number of exhibits in which visitors can examine the properties of Bolidt materials up close. With the 'Inzoomer', for instance, they can zoom in on a material at the 'microscopic level', so that they can see what our systems are constructed of: as if you were travelling through galaxies of chains and molecules. Other exhibits are the Pounder, Cliffhanger, Grip Landscape and the Outzoomer. In addition, with our virtual and augmented reality technology, visitors can watch through the eyes of one of our finishing specialists and experience what it's like to install a deck on a cruise ship or 10,000 m2 of bridge deck in a single weekend.
Moving on to the first floor, the invitees can experience a day in the world of Bolidt. Some 500 video clips will be projected onto a large screen showing projects and works we have performed around the world. The best thing is: these clips were made by our own employees. In addition to the Dealing Room, Brainstorming Space (new version of the Culture Shed) and Sales Hub, the second floor will have a Vitality Plaza. A perfect place to play basketball or ping-pong or skateboard in the open air, but with a twist: the balls, skateboard and ping-pong paddles are made of Bolidt materials, each with their unique properties. The Vitality Plaza will also be a showcase of our outdoor applications: from the Esthec Terrace to Bolidrain®, Bolideck® Future Teak to a helideck.
Each visitor will be offered a customized tour through the building, making every single visit unique. While all our customers and business relations are welcome, AREA78 will not be a public building; visitors must make an appointment. This is important for the people leading the tours. It allows them to know ahead of time how many people are coming and what their objective is. We will have scripts for the staff giving the tours so that the employees know what is expected of them.
The Bolidt Experience & Innovation Center is scheduled to open in early February 2019. Who do you want to bring first? Let Michel van der Spek know!