On the sunny day of August 22nd one hundred forty #eventprofs from seven countries gathered together in a unique industrial Amsterdam event venue the Kromhouthal.
They were there out of curiosity or just to support their friends, but unexpectedly they found themselves at a one of a kind business meeting with a huge amount of highly relevant, content, turbo powered networking opportunities and an electric atmosphere. The event, which was the initiative of a small group of people aiming to ‘save the date’ and create an alternative to a canceled conference, showcased the real power of live communication, professionalism and partner support.
The event started with hearty greetings of Christine van Dalen, CEO of BvR agency and co-owner of 27 Names, who welcomed all the participants on behalf of Dutch event industry. The content agenda started with an inspiring showcase of Xsaga's best cases and ten rules of creativity by Patrick Roubroeks, the agency’s founder and creative director. The story moved to an important aspect of events, networking, and Simon Burton, founder of Citizen Event, flew all the way from London to share his expertise on how to connect with people at events in the most effective way. Simple everyday things framed in the right words became the golden rules of effective networking. The opportunity to try that advice followed straight after Simon’s speech during the networking lunch. Claudia Koehler, Vice President of the world-class agency Vok Dams, came from Frankfurt to share with the audience key innovations and tips & tricks they use in their cases which were such breathtaking stories even outside the realm of events. A picturesque presentation full of videos and beautiful photos was followed by a real stand-up performance by Jason Allan Scott, who surprisingly found time in his busy schedule to come to Amsterdam and talk about ‘entrepreneurship in everything you do’. Summing up his inspiring speech with his own quote ‘success is not for the timid. It is for those who seek guidance, make decisions, and take decisive action’. The quote totally suited the next speaker, Ramon Luijten co-founder of EMansion. He not only gave a presentation on key trends in virtual reality, but throughout the day provided the sneak preview of Virtual Event to all guests. Already inspired and energized, full of new knowledge and skills, the participants still expected something special to follow and they got it from both the practical rules of measuring the effectiveness of events from the real guru on the topic Victor Neyndorff from MOVE and the know-how on building a complex integrated strategy for your projects from Jens Mayer, managing director of the global leader Jack Morton. Last, and finally a wide ranging presentation about controlling your businesses growth agenda by Kevin Jackson who talked about the practical steps you can take to achieve your goals. It’s important to note that Kevin was not only one of the speakers, but also one of the organizer of the event, building together all the content and ensuring it’s smooth flow and practical 'takeaways' for each and every participant.
With the collapse of Future of Events, Live.Meeting in Amsterdam was a great opportunity to turn a negative into a positive. I personally didn't want such a negative thing to hang over the European event industry and was delighted to have the opportunity to change it. We all know the complexity of putting on a an event. Well, that was intensified by our 3 week deadline. It was all made a lot easier with the goodwill of everyone who pitched in to help. Speakers and partners all gave their time freely, but it was more than just their time, it was their energy and enthusiasm that overwhelmed me. The day was one of the most rewarding I've had in this industry. The content was outstanding and everyone took a lot out of it. But it was more than that, it was the atmosphere that was created. I can think of one word - uplifting. I was very proud to be involved and I can't wait for next year.
The unique venue of the Kromhouthal, the unusual setting, hospitality, and highly professional team resulted in a tight-knit event produced by Yuri Jansen and his team from the S.V.P. Sfeerbeheer agency. All together it felt and looked much more like a meeting of good friends rather than a business event. All sponsors and partners were found by Maarten Schram, managing director of IDEA and founder of the LiveCom Alliance, who managed to do the impossible and set up an event for over 100 people in less than 3 weeks without any budget.
Pulling off an event like this on such a short notice without a budget was a priceless experience. We took the chance and just made it happen despite all the circumstances. Above all it was really great to work with so many supportive people, who became our sponsoring partners. Together with our inspiring speakers and guests, #eventprofswhocare, we brought to life this challenging idea! As a hosting country it was great to contribute on behalf of IDEA and in addition to this, I’m personally also very happy about the international character of the event, which fits perfectly with the vision and mission of the LiveCom Alliance to connect the industry and build up a pan-european community of event-professionals.
The smooth and interactive flow of the event was achieved thanks to the extremely professional masters of moderation, the Buzzmaster team. Summing up, Roy Sheppard from Buzzmaster asked the audience to describe the day in one word. The words which started to appear on the screen were ‘relevant’ , ‘ networking’, ‘human’, ‘content’, ‘useful’, and ‘growth’. But one word became obviously dominant as more and more people typed it, and that word was INSPIRATION.
Isn’t that what any organizer of an event for the events industry seeks?
The unique vibe of the event kept all the participants at the venue networking for a long time after the official agenda was over.
I remember that moment very clearly. The idea came up all of a sudden right after we received the shocking notice about the cancellation of FOE2016 as each of us was somehow connected to the event as media partners or speakers. So me, Kevin and Maarten were discussing that news and all of a sudden we suggested to do something to replace the cancelled event. Although all three of us thought the idea was totally and completely crazy as there were only 3 weeks till the date and we had no budget, no venue, no agenda, we had nothing …except the strong confidence that this was the right moment to step in and show our responsibility to the industry, which we aim to develop. Then we started to look for similarly crazy people who could support us, join and contribute and surprisingly enough there were many! Crazy people who could put aside their million things to do and take a 5am plane from the other side of the continent at their own cost to share their precious expertise with other crazy people who believed us and who, on a very short notice, attended the unexpected event arranged by the joint forces of other even crazier people who gave their services and products for free to make this event happen.
And as I said in the closing session of our Live.Meeting I strongly believe that while those inspiring, dynamic and yes even a little crazy people exist, our industry will grow, prosper, develop and get to the place it needs to really fulfil its destiny. I really hope to see all those familiar faces, and lots of new ones, at Live.Meeting 2017
I love it when people are not afraid to take bold initiatives. The fact that Live.Meeting saw an opportunity to gather relevant people who had already booked their calendar and provide an inspiring program shows exactly what we as IDEA stand for as well: seize any opportunity. And we also favour the sustainable approach of not letting content, that was already produced, go to waste. Personally I found it very refreshing to find an international audience at the event. How great is it to be able to talk to industry colleagues from Russia or the UK while enjoying a coffee together. I look forward to the next edition of Live.Meeting. Count me in to be there!
Live.Meeting 2016 was powered by:
- Live Communication Magazine – a professional, pan-European media focused on the development of the live communication industry
- IDEA - Dutch independent event association, representing the Netherlands' 55 leading live communication agencies
- LiveCom Alliance – a pan-European network of live communication experts, mainly event association MD’s and Chairmen, aiming to develop the industry through the exchange of local expertise and best practices.
A special thank you to all sponsoring partners who made this happen:
- The Kromhouthal – a unique and inspiring industrial event venue
- S.V.P. Sfeerbeheer – professionals who create the perfect business event
- SMILE – audio/visual equipment and technical design for events
- Fraai Projecten – distinctive and stylish event decoration and furniture
- Buzzmaster - moderation
- Momice – registration for the event
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