Since 2011, The Hub Eindhoven organizes various activities for Internationals. Not only this particular group is welcome, Dutch locals can also take a drink in The Hub or join events. In this way it’s a place where people with all kinds of different cultural backgrounds can enjoy activities. Besides that, The Hub is a place to network in Eindhoven. But how’s business actually and what are the Hub’s ambitions for the future?
In March, The Hub got a new event and program manager. Natasja van der Velden has a lot of experience in working with internationals. One of her former jobs was at the Tourist Information Office in Veldhoven. There she already organized activities for internationals. At The Hub she will continue this kind of work. “My most important role at The Hub is to take a serious look at our current program and adapt it in a way that in the future we will connect even more internationals and locals.”
“There is already a lot going on, but if we want to get further, to The Hub 2.0 so to say, we have to do even more. We can do this by improving the appearances of the building for example. Besides that, we want to work with more paid staff in the future and create an awesome place for fun international voluntary work. Now, we often have volunteers who work for a short period of time and when they leave, their knowledge also leaves” says Van der Velden.
‘Connecting’ is Van der Velden’s focus point. “There are so many organizations in Eindhoven who try to reach internationals, but a lot of them do this separately from each other. But why wouldn’t we connect our forces? By doing so it will also be easier for internationals to find their way.” Van der Velden believes that the local government can play an important role in reaching this goal. “A lot of organizations have their own event calendar, the result is that everywhere there are pieces of information. It would be best if the local government would bundle all this information. Then we can grow to, for example, one website where you can find all information about all initiatives and organizations which are interesting for internationals.” But not only internationals would profit from such change. There are also a lot of Dutch people in Eindhoven who are interested in joining activities with internationals, according to Van der Velden.
“If we connect different communities with each other, we can reach more and learn from each other.”Natasja van der Velden, Event and program manager The Hub
For years and years already The Hub has been organizing activities for internationals and locals. Examples of these activities are language lessons in Dutch, English, and Spanish, comedy nights, dance and music lessons, theater workshops and quiz nights. “Now we’re at the point that we have to ask ourselves if we are missing some kind of events. That’s why I’m testing a lot of new activities like The Hub on Tour. These evenings start with a drink at The Hub, to be followed by a tour to a nice place in Eindhoven. These kinds of events build a better connection between internationals and the city center.”
In the meantime, Van der Velden enjoys the results of The Hub. “Isn’t it fantastic to see that from each activity something new will grow? It’s nice that different organizations can help each other. My utopia for The Hub is that during the day the place is full of people with all kinds of cultural background. And that everybody can enjoy amazing activities, shares information, feels happy and relax.”