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How to improve “the best technology festival on the planet”

How to improve “the best technology festival on the planet”

Right here’s a problem: you’ve gained awards for the best convention in Europe, CNBC named you “the best technology festival on the planet”, and now you will have to arrange one other version that’s even higher. Good luck.

Let’s begin with some background. Our very first occasion was in a church in Amsterdam again in 2006. It was a profitable occasion, it drew in a world crowd of 280 delegates, had a catchy identify (The Subsequent Net) and everyone was excited (or at the very least that’s how I keep in mind it). 13 years later, we’re one in every of the most skilled events in the business as we managed to develop the occasion greater and higher with every version. From 280 delegates in 2006 to 15,000 delegates in 2018 – it has been fairly a experience.

Over the years, loads of new tech conferences sprung up. Virtually each nation has an enormous tech occasion now (typically closely supported by the native authorities) and in occasions like these you’ve got to improve, reinvent your self, keep related, and thrive. The competitors is fierce, however on the different hand, the urge for food for digital applied sciences is greater than ever. We improved and grew our occasion 13 years in a row, so the strain to ship a greater model is excessive — however we’re devoted and energized.

Right here’s our plan to make the 14th version of TNW the best one but. And right here’s to the subsequent decade of TNW.

TNW is shifting to NDSM, the Amsterdam waterfront!

Change of surroundings: Now and again, it’s good to change venues and begin with a clean canvas. This enables us to do issues in another way, rethink delegate flows, stage sizes, and so on. This yr, we moved to Amsterdam’s waterfront NDSM, a uncooked however lovely area the place we will go completely loopy when it comes to constructing the venue, the enterprise flooring, assembly rooms, the levels, the surroundings, and the expertise. This alone is so exiting, that it might already be sufficient to improve on our earlier version.

Repositioning the enterprise flooring: Doing enterprise and discovering new applied sciences and instruments to improve your enterprise is the most necessary purpose our delegates come from over 100 nations to TNW. With our new venue, we grabbed the probability to make the enterprise flooring greater and higher positioned. This manner, we’re creating extra interplay between our exhibitors, companions, and delegates in a really pure means.

Meet your present and future shoppers at #TNW2019

Improve assembly area: What’s the best approach to do enterprise? The best method to speak to present shoppers? To seek out new partnerships and prospects? To get suggestions? To boost funding? In-person conferences. The primary purpose for our exhibitors and companions to be at TNW is to allow them to manage tons of conferences with present shoppers, prospects, and companions at one location (saving loads of flights and journey time).

So this version, we’re doubling the quantity of area devoted to face-to-face conferences.

The brand new and improved tracks: We all know a two-day schedule full of content material may be overwhelming whenever you’re making an attempt to determine what to focus on and the way to best handle your time. That’s why we divide our content material into tracks. We categorise a variety of various codecs (keynotes, hearth aspect chats, panels, workshops, spherical desk settings) by overarching subjects to guarantee you possibly can simply comply with what’s most respected to you. We now have every little thing from advertising and product design to AI, Blockchain, sustainability and firm progress.

Our 11 tracks imply there’s actually one thing for everybody, which is why so many corporations select to convey whole groups to TNW Convention. The place else would you get this many studying and networking alternatives in a single place? It’s principally an funding in the information of your group and in the way forward for your small business.

The place’s Waldo? 17,500 delegates are attending #TNW2019. The TNW app will show you how to discover Waldo

Discover the proper individuals: When occasions develop greater, it will get more durable to join with the individuals you need to meet. TNW hosts 17,500 shiny minds with determination energy — method too many to depart encounters to luck. The apparent reply right here is to supply a networking app. However having an app is just not sufficient. The adoption price (the proportion of delegates that join the networking app) is essential for fulfillment, in addition to the performance.

In my expertise, the largest drawback with most networking apps at occasions is the adoption price. Particularly now that the stricter privateness legal guidelines in Europe (GDPR) are in place and enforced, it will get more durable to get delegates to join a number of ‘tools’ in addition to the ticketing software they already used. Each platform has to ask for consent and the organizer can’t simply ship over your knowledge to an app beforehand to populate it (that’s until the organizer doesn’t care about compliance and your privateness).

Our answer is straightforward (though it took us years to construct!). The thought is to have one ticket and one account for all the things. We’ve constructed our proprietary ticketing system and app in-house, so all performance, whether or not it’s networking, creating a private schedule, wayfinding, or chat is in a single ecosystem. We name our software Earlybird, and we’ve been creating Earlybird since 2015. After final yr’s occasion, we’ve been doubling down on performance to improve discovering the proper individuals, making connections, creating your private schedule of conferences, talks, and enjoyable actions, and enhancing each delegate’s occasion expertise whereas not compromising on privateness.

Any occasion organizer who would really like to mimic the stuff that we do with third celebration software program distributors, would wish 4 to six totally different distributors, that each one want to have your knowledge (for those who gave consent) and also you want to create an account with (annoying!). I don’t have to clarify you why 1) that this isn’t a fantastic consumer expertise and a couple of) that it hurts the adoption price of those third celebration instruments.

I’ll simply bounce on stage to get a selfie with Gary Vee at TNW. Why not..?

All killer, no filler, with out exception: TNW has all the time been recognized for its content material. We’ve hosted hundreds of wonderful audio system over the previous 13 years and we don’t foresee a future through which we might compromise on high quality. That stated, I’m crucial and I feel that if we will do higher, we should do higher.

Each speaker at TNW has to have the ability to ship an excellent efficiency, unbiased of the measurement of the stage and format, and convey their A-game to the occasion. From inspiring keynotes and insightful hearth chats for an viewers of hundreds, to sensible shows for a couple of hundred, and in-depth spherical desk periods with a handful of individuals, it’s all high quality.

We’ve revamped our processes and speaker tips and I’m very pleased and impressed with the recent minds that joined our program workforce and their dedication to increase the bar even larger. It’s not nearly huge names (who are sometimes not allowed to say something that hasn’t been revealed earlier), it’s additionally very a lot about specialists, individuals who truly do the stuff, create the merchandise, provide you with artistic campaigns and progress methods, who’ve gone by way of the expertise your organization is about to undergo. They’re the individuals that may encourage you, transfer you, and offer you actionable insights to improve your work, what you are promoting and your self. Properly, we introduced the first 58 audio system two weeks in the past and including new individuals to the line up daily (take a look).

No extra rush hour at #TNW2019

Fixing the queues: Final yr we bumped into an issue. A few of the levels have been utterly packed and other people had to wait in line earlier than they might get into a chat they needed to attend. This sucks, massive time.

Individuals have a tendency to keep seated for extra periods than they deliberate to, particularly if that they had hassle discovering a seat in the first place and that is what occurred final yr. Though I feel we will by no means absolutely clear up this, I consider the efforts we’re making go a great distance.

  1. Greater levels (keep in mind the new venue I talked about?)
  2. Higher alignment of the content material to the measurement of the stage (this can be a technical factor, nevertheless it boils down to taking measurements in order that we make the only use of the capability of the levels)
  3. Introduce ‘the personal agenda’. Earlier than TNW, all delegates might be in a position to create their very own private agenda in-app. All the talks you need to see, all the roundtable periods you’re collaborating in, and all the conferences you’ve scheduled are a part of your private agenda. This isn’t solely handy and improves the general expertise it additionally permits us to predict the place we’ll have capability points and act on that accordingly (e.g. ship a push notification if we’re anticipating a full home or add outdoors screens for hyper-popular periods). Good bonus — we will ship you a customized video playlist of all the shows you attended after the occasion.

We’re tremendous enthusiastic about the new options in the TNW app and this private agenda is an enormous cause why we consider we will get app adoption up to 80-85% of all delegates, which improves the networking and enterprise prospects even additional.

Get in the highlight

Make ROE/ROI measurable: Everyone is aware of that exhibiting at occasions and going to occasions works, however how do you examine the effectiveness, the return on funding between occasions and even measure it for a single occasion? I don’t have all the solutions but, however we’ve put a number of thought and energy into constructing instruments and methods to measure the success of your or your organization’s presence at TNW.

We’re introducing a brand new product for our exhibitors that takes the problem out of scheduling conferences and demos at occasions and properly ties in to present workflows. This sounds a bit obscure, I agree, nevertheless it hasn’t launched but and I don’t need to spoil the shock. What you want to know is that it is going to be simpler and extra environment friendly than ever to schedule the proper sort of assembly with one among our exhibitors earlier than the occasion begins. I’m personally tremendous enthusiastic about this and if your organization reveals at occasions and also you need to get entry to the beta, please let me know (DM me on Linkedin).

The TNW after get together feat Kriss Kross Amsterdam and MC @Patrick

Don’t overlook the enjoyable: TNW is a convention with a festival style. Aside from mixing in leisure and events at the venue and in the official program, we stimulate native Amsterdam startups, corporations and communities to host their very own ‘decentralized’ occasions all through the week of TNW Convention. There isn’t any purpose to be bored throughout TNW, your time is properly spent, and on prime of that you simply’ll make new long-lasting buddies and meet up with previous ones.

There are much more issues we’re enhancing, however I highlighted a few of the most enjoyable ones right here. I hope to see you together with your colleagues and best clients in Amsterdam in Might! Cheers

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