Yesterday Her Majesty the Queen officially opened the Floriade 2012, an international horticultural expo in Venlo. Her Majesty was accompanied by the State Secretary of Agriculture, Henk Bleker.
The horticultural expo, staged once every 10 years, showcases the world’s best flowers, plants, trees, fruits and vegetables. The Floriade Park covers 66 hectares and encompasses 5 unique themed worlds separated by wooded areas. Each world has its own decor, programme and activities. The five theme worlds are ‘Relax & Heal, Green Engine, Education & Innovation,
Environment and World Show Stage’. In total there are gardens and pavilions (buildings) with approx. 100 exhibitors. The Floriade also has five restaurants and lots of food stalls. The Villa Flora is the biggest indoor flower exhibition in Europe.
The Floriade runs from April through October and is expected to attract 2 million visitors. In 1960 the Floriade was being held in Rotterdam, in 1972 in Amsterdam, in 1982 also in Amsterdam, in 1992 in Zoetermeer and in 2002 in Haarlemmermeer.
The Protocolbureau assisted with its ushers at the official ceremony: the welcoming procedures and the seating arrangements. This approach made it possible for the protocol department of the Floriade to focus on the royal protocol. The Protocolbureau coordinated the reception of the ‘other guests’.
At many events like this, the Protocolbureau also assists by writing the protocol itinerary and composing the seating plan (and seating cards).
Protocol at events like this is an important organisational tool: how to pay respect to whom? And how the practically organise this respect with greetings procedures, seating arrangments, informal meetings, etc. The Floriade not only focussed their attention to H.M. the Queen, but also to the many other important dignitaries and quests.