Haarlem Connect (Photo Haarlems Dagblad)

Haarlem Connect Event: the eve, the speech, the photos

On October 30, 2015 expatsHaarlem welcomed (again) in a joint event with our new partners, the City of Haarlem and Marketing Haarlem, more than 200 internationals of Haarlem to our wonderful city.

Speakers were :

– Arianna Ardia-Wenink, founder and manager of expatsHaarlem

– Joyce Langenacker, alderman of Economics Haarlem

– Esther Brasser, director Haarlem Marketing.

Before the speeches the Haarlems Dagblad came along for some interviews and photos, published some days later on their website and newspaper. Despite more factual errors as if a vast majority of our members would consist of single IT-guys and misspelling our url, it is always great to receive some loving from the media.

After the official part the City of Haarlem and Haarlem Marketing offered a drink, on which there was plenty of occasion to mingle and get to know each other.

The location of the event was the gorgeous ancient building of Sociëteit Vereeniging, in the center of the city.

The result?  A successful event where expats, the expatsHaarlem Team, Dutchies, Haarlem locals, companies, authorities connected. Talking, having fun and networking.

ExpatsHaarlem’s introduction speech (by Arianna Ardia-Wenink, founder and manager of expatsHaarlem).


(Photo: Haarlems Dagblad)

Welkom to the Netherlands, welcome to Haarlem, welcome to expatsHaarlern, welcome to Haarlem Connect!

My name is Arianna and I am founder and manager of expatsHaarlem. expatsHaarlem… where did it all start?

In February 2014 we were sitting in our living room, just around the corner here. We thought we missed and it would be nice to have a place in Haarlem, online, for expats, internationals, to go to. Where they could get informed, read things about living in the Netherlands, see how fellow-expats coped in this crazy little country. Where they could share information and experiences and turn to for advice.

A place where they could meet people and find new friends. Expats and locals.

Our slogan would be: “Where expats and Dutchies connect”.

We worked our asses off, asked everybody we knew if they could help, write content, organize events or just think along with us. Many of them, some are here today, joined in and on May 1st of that year we launched expatsHaarlem. “The only broader community for expats in the Haarlem area”. If you go for it, go big. 🙂

Articles, Social groups, Events! Bam!

In that first month, when expatsHaarlem was just a tiny new-born, we were blown away by the amount of visits our page got. When May came to an end, over 10000 people had visited us. Ten thousand! And that was just the beginning.

Since then a lot has happened. We have had many Monthly Drinks, Nick started the Dutch Language Café. We introduced the Parents & Kids and the photographers groups and events. We have seen a lot of new people, some went away. Others new ones joined again.

More and more people started asking us for practical help. Do know a renter, a good Dutch Language school? A nice tapas bar? No, but mr. Google does! Duh!, We want to hear it from you!

It was time to connect with local professionals to help us to offer services. Our partnership program was born: Housing, Work, Dutch Language, Going Out & more! Now we are covering the needs of internationals not only by offering information, articles and events but also services.

expatsHaarlem, where expats & Dutchies & Haarlem professionals connect.

We live, work, meet, collaborate in Haarlem. We write about Haarlem, we love Haarlem! We want to connect more with Haarlem.

Does the city of Haarlem also want to connect with us?

Ladies and gentlemen, I introduce you to the alderman of Economics of the City of Haarlem,  Langenacker.

ExpatsHaarlem’s closing speech (by Arianna Ardia-Wenink, founder and manager of expatsHaarlem). Team, Joyce and Esther on stage.

To me the honor to close the official part of this evening. It’s time to introduce you to the expatsHaarlemTeam! Some of them couldn’t be here today but many are. I’d like to invite the team to join me on stage.

  • Marco, co-founder and manager of expatsHaarlem and also our platform manager and designer
  • Our writers
  • The Events Team. Danielle, event manager of expatsHaarlem and her team. The Monthly Drink, the Dutch Language Café, sport events, Viva la Fiesta, kids events, photo walks, tonight they organize it all!
  • Our Housing manager and coach: Nathalie and Mirjam
  • Our work manager Luis and Partnership Manager Silvana.

The Team is and makes expatsHaarlem: a big thank you!

Haarlem Connect

The warmest thank you goes to our readers, members, event participants, followers. We do all this for you and you give us the energy to do it. A big applause for YOU!

And a big applause to our partners, sponsors, advertisers. Without them we can’t keep existing. expatsHaarlem was founded and is being ran still today without any funding. The money that comes in through our advertisers and partners is not stashed away somewhere, it’s not in stocks or bond, not even invested in some trendy urban hipster startup but it’s completely re-invested in the community. Everything  goes directly into paying our bills and keeping everything running, to offer our members and visitors at the lowest costs as possible the most we can for the lowest price, if not for free.

We can’t do this without help. If you are interested in becoming our partner, sponsor, advertiser, please contact us at team@expatHaarlem.nl. Also donations are welcome!

Last but not least: a thank you to our new partners: the city of Haarlem, Haarlem Marketing and the expat Center Amsterdam. Would you please join us on stage? Nathalie has a double role here, she’s also Communication manager at the expat Center in Amsterdam.

Haarlem Connect

Wow… I can’t describe the feeling I get now. When I see how our little plan, now a year and a half ago, has led to all of us being here today, creating  that place in Haarlem where expats and Dutchies connect, I feel proud and happy. THANK you! 

And now… Let’s go on… together!

Hey .. I start get emotional now: let’s connect tot he bar!

The Haarlem Connect Photo Album

The Haarlem Connect Photo Album is posted on the expatsHaarlem facebook page and the expatsHaarlem Facebook group.

Haarlem Connect

Haarlem Connect