Monique van Dusseldorp on The Future of Conferences

April 15, 2010

in Future of Conferences

Monique van Dusseldorp at her office in Amsterdam

Monique van Dusseldorp (web, twitter) has been working as programmer of seminars and conferences on creativity, innovation, ICT and future developments for the last 20 years, launching several successful events like Picnic and TEDxAmsterdam by bringing together international and Dutch audiences and speakers.

During the following video, Monique describes the changing nature of events and that people don’t longer need to go to events just to find information: they can find it anywhere and almost immediately. They attend to meet other people and that’s even more important than before, especially for those that sit behind a screen the whole day.

“Meeting other people makes them happy”.

The Show

A strong trend is also related to TEDx-like  events where

“People want to  go to get inspired and hear about things they are not involved with, that are new stories to them. There you have to find great stories but also great speakers… and most people are not great speakers”.

This kind of events are becoming (or should become) more of a theatre experience,  a show.

“Those speakers are rock-stars, those events are performances like you have music or theatre performances”.

Meeting People

At industry or vertical events, it is important to gather those that can share the latest stories and, according Monique, even though you can find all the information online, having a room full of people to talk to brings out more information and makes it more easy to digest that information.

“In the events that I’m involved with what I try to do is that people know beforehand who the other delegates are”.

Attention to Details

“It’s more important now than ever to make people happy so that means: good food, nice location, etc. It doesn’t have to be expensive food or an expensive location. Someone has to put thought in what’s going to happen, it needs attention to detail”.

Attention to detail goes to everything, from the size of your badge, the letters of your name or how long do I have to stand in line to get a sandwich. The key point is to transmit to the attendees the feeling that the organizers care about all these details.

“As a program director my main task is to find the speakers and put it together and then I get on everybody’s nerves because I want to sort out details for all the other stuff […] The event needs endless fussing over details. That’s really big part of the event”.

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