Coronavirus has put paid to many of the traditional events which take place within the international community but the annual Feel at Home International Community Fair is still going ahead on March 14 – with an online spectacular.
Billy Allwood, who started the fair over a decade ago, says he feels it is more important than ever that the international community continues to connect – particularly as new arrivals have been struggling to develop networks and a social life.
‘Our fair is an annual celebration of the uniquely connected and cosmopolitan community of The Hague,’ says Billy. ‘It provides a warm welcome to newcomers but it is also a friendly meeting place for internationals already living here.’
Taking the fair online is a major undertaking but Billy and his team have put together a programme which brings all the flavour of the fair to the comfort of your own home.
The centrepiece involves streaming special programming via two simultaneous channels from 11am to 5pm, the fair’s traditional opening hours. Visitors will also be able to meet sports clubs, social clubs and other community groups via their online virtual stands.
The first channel will broadcast information, interactive debates and panel discussions on themes and information relevant to the expat and international community. Online viewers will also be able to interact during the shows and afterwards via breakout sessions.
Find out about work and career opportunities in The Hague region, how to get a mortgage, special needs education and choosing an international school and about how the international community has been coping with coronavirus via channel 1.
Life in The Hague
The second channel focuses on enjoying life in The Hague, with programmes specially for children, as well as four shows focusing on sport, art & culture, community groups and nightlife.
These sessions all include a live Q&A with a local guide who can answer your questions. ‘Every hour we will also feature an expat’s story as well as the Dutch ‘word of the hour,’ says Billy. ‘Like in the regular fair at City Hall, there is something in the online version for everyone.’
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