Now that Expo 2020 Dubai is nearing at a vast speed, we would like to take the opportunity to introduce you to all the people working at Expo 2020 Dubai, during those 6 unforgettable months.
You've had the pleasure of being introduced to Myriam Cops, our Pavilion Director and you met Rachid Kerkab, her Deputy and Operations Manager last month. This month it's Tom Claes' turn, our Events Manager.
What is your name and what do you do at the Belgian Pavilion?
My name is Tom. I'm the Events Manager and under the vigilant eye of our Marketing and Communication Manager, Jeoffrey Migeot, I follow up on all things concerning events for the Belgian Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai.
What is your favourite aspect of working for the Belgian Pavilion and for Expo 2020 Dubai?
What I love the most about working for the Belgian pavilion is the fact that it's a very varied job. No two days are the same and I like the element of surprise and having to adjust to many different situations. Besides that, I like getting to know different people from all over the world in this multicultural hub. There really is a special atmosphere between the like-minded people working at Expo 2020 Dubai. They all come with the same mission: to work hard for 6 months and really just go for it. It makes for a nice working environment if you ask me.
What are you looking forward to seeing the most in the Belgian Pavilion?
Actually, for me, it's seeing the hustle and bustle of people working together. Personally, I like to work in a stressful environment that pushes me forward. It's kind of a necessity for me to function and work. Once the Expo has started, that will definitely be my thing. Generally, I am curious about our rooftop, which is truly an eye-catcher. I have a vision in my head of us being able to organize an event there with a 360° booth and DJ. A Corona proof party, if you will. I'm really hoping it will be possible and safe to relax some of the Covid-19 safety measures so we have more freedom in organizing certain events on our rooftop and in our restaurant and business centre. Lastly, I'm looking forward to welcoming delegations from all over the world, as I have never worked with a specific protocol before, and I would like to have that experience.
What is your favourite pavilion in the history of all preceding Expos?
To be honest, I don't really have a favourite. I'd rather choose one of my favourite pavilions at Expo 2020 Dubai, as I hope people will have the chance to come and visit these works of art. My personal favourites are the Philipines and Oman. And of course our own Belgian Pavilion, but that's a given!
What is the most important lesson you have learned during your time working for the Belgian Pavilion so far?
That you have to be able to adapt easily to any new situation. When working at an Expo nothing is standard, always be flexible.
What are your hopes for Expo 2020 Dubai, and what it can do for our future?
I am hoping that it will be an opportunity for a lot of countries and companies to connect with each other, get to know each other better, and form alliances. I believe things can be worked out better and more efficiently when people meet in person.
I've noticed this in Dubai as well. Everything happens by email and maybe the expo can warrant a change in this strategy.