Home > 6 Questions > The 6 Questions with Edwin Van der Vennet, beMatrix USA & Asia

The 6 Questions with Edwin Van der Vennet, beMatrix USA & Asia


Optima started producing graphics for beMatrix years ago. When the b62™ frame extrusion with it’s SEG groove arrived, things really got exciting. We started seeing the distinct frame with the striking hole pattern more and more. At Optima we’ve been producing some really cool SEG graphics that bridge the frame seams and provide opacity sans blocker. We don’t just skin anything we skin it better. (shameless plug)

Edwin and I met at Euroshop and then at the APPPEXPO trade show over in Shanghai where we shared ideas and a lot of laughs. He is a very clever and unique individual with a passion for innovation, design and our industry. After meeting the frame then Edwin, I quickly became a big fan of both! 

I Asked Edwin, beMatrix, The 6 Questions

1. Tradeshow industry lore is that we all just fell into tradeshow and once you’re in you never leave. For many people that is certainly true. For others, they leave but a part of them remains.  How did you get into the business?

AuthorEV – In 2004, I was the Marketing Manager of a medium sized Belgian company, Renson. One of my responsibilities was the exhibition side of the company which always attracted me because of the adventure involved. Next to that, I always wanted to make the intangible idea a reality.

As an industrial designer I was very excited to mix marketing with industrial design, so I was impressed by the possibilities of modular exhibit building, which represented ecology, durability, reusability and speed among other things.

As an “entrepreneur” I wanted to start a separate company as a spin-off of Renson which incorporated modular exhibit building! In that search, I met the owner of the great “Deltamatrix” system, the Belgian company Deltalight. We had great discussions and there was an instant match with both the product & the owner. Together with Stefaan Decroos (my business partner), we bought the shares of “Deltamatrix” and took over the products, the stock, intellectual properties and most of all … the opportunity to make a great product even better by innovation. We rebranded the product and the result was “beMatrix”. It turned out to be a success story. I love the industry and I feel like I will be in it forever.

And who inspired you to grow into your Tradeshow career?
EV – In 2004, Paul Ameloot (the owner of Deltalight) was very inspiring and passionate in all our conversations. I particularly liked his “pioneering” spirit and desire to “change the game”. The original “Deltamatrix” frame system was invented in 1993 and would change the market many years after.

A couple of years later, I met Robert Laarhoven who was in the business like “forever”. His experience is endless as is his feel of the industry. He has been a full part of the ever evolving industry over the years and built a rich history.

The desire to pioneer, along with a great knowledge of the market, has allowed the product to grow beyond expectations.

2. What would you be if you were not in Tradeshow?

EV – I was torn between studying Architecture versus Industrial Engineering in college. Had I not chosen Industrial Engineering, I would probably be an Architect and, an adventurer and traveler. I would probably try to help design the biggest buildings in the world. It’s so inspiring to see people being creative in finding solutions to impossible challenges… talking about gravity!

Author3. Without considering the customers you visit, focusing only on the location, what is your favorite city to hang out in for business travel and why?

EV – I try not to get addicted to one city nor one region… to be open to discover the rest of the world. My favorite cities (for the time being) are:

  • Shanghai because of “the sky is the limit” atmosphere!
  • London because of the creativity in the air!
  • Atlanta because of beMatrix USA and the ideal hub in the USA!
  • Los Angeles because of the climate!
  • Barcelona because of Gaudi!

And let’s not forget 2 beautiful historic cities close to my birthplace, Bruges and Ghent

4. What experience do you recall as a nightmare when it happened but can sit back and laugh about it now?

EV – I’m a person who is convinced that respect and ethics are the fundamentals of business. I have big difficulties in accepting there are a lot of people around thinking the opposite. Some people do not have any scruples in copying, in not telling the truth, in being insolent.

I’m not talking about having fair and valuable competition, but about inglorious copying. As a trend-setting company we, unfortunately, attract such people.

My vision is keep moving forward and keep on doing a good job is the only way out. Go strong and don’t look back. The truth will unveil itself in time.


5. Do you have any hobbies? How does your hobby influence your industry work and vice versa?

EV – As already mentioned before, travelling is one of my passions. In my current job I have the ability to travel a lot and I get the opportunity to experience the world with all of its diversities… I love adventures and new experiences because I believe it grows both me as a person and beMatrix as a company.

My family is my other passion and my true hobby. I always love to go back home because it really feels like “home”!

Author6. If you could send a message to yourself day one of your tradeshow career what advice would you give yourself?

EV – THINK FAST FORWARD. Have a vision about what the tradeshow industry will look like in 10 years, set goals, and work step by step to accelerate and accomplish the goals and the vision.

Thanks Edwin Van der Vennet, BeMatrix for your answers to The 6 Questions!

If you or someone you love is selling, renting, designing with b62™ from beMatrix, remember Optima is the expert at SEG graphics for this system. We have a full inventory of frames to test fit your graphics prior to shipment so there is a guaranteed fit!
•  For more info and to get a quote go to optimagfx.com.
•  Check out b62™ at bematrix.us

Have someone that you would like me to ask “The 6 Questions” ?
I thought so, just send me an email at gcamarato@optimagfx.com

What is The 6 Questions?

A clever friend of mine, we’ll call him Harold Mintz, just to use a name, once hipped me to a trick. Harold explained that whenever he is at a party and the conversation is slow he loosens things up with a question. “What did you go to school for and what are you doing now.” Everybody has a story – Brilliant!

Piggybacking on big H’s idea, I’m running a new blog series titled The 6 Questions. I have some of the icons of our industry, folks you all know, lined up and ready to reveal the how, why and whatever. Our tradeshow industry is packed full of some of the most interesting people. They each have a unique story to share. Thanks for reading!   ~ g

About our Author
Gary Camarato is the Vice President of Marketing & Creative Development at Optima™ and has been in the Trade Show industry since 1992.

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