The human factor

Steffen Kalverboer

Organising meetings, conferences, fairs, sessions or any other kind of meeting is always a combination of the available resources and the human factor. Not just for the planners themselves, but definitely also for specialised suppliers. The resources such as your budget, a location, AV equipment, catering, meeting materials etc., are often clearly set out or […]

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Commission: noooo! Or yes?

Steffen Kalverboer

Some see it as a reward for good performance, for others it is daylight robbery or fraud. Commission. It is always a popular topic between meeting professionals and there is always a lively discussion about how it is used, justified and what the proportions are. Commission is as old as the road to Rome and […]

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The congress is dead. Long live the congress!

Maarten Vanneste

Long, long ago a large association started a gathering of its members and called it ‘the Annual Congress’. The congress was the group’s high mass and it kept growing, as auditoria, screens and loudspeakers became big¬ger. For a few decades, however, some mysterious ‘interaction’ had been floating around its meeting rooms like a ghost. A […]

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Seven tips to improve congress sessions

Maarten Vanneste

Everyone tells you ‘the conference must innovate’, yet everyone is afraid to change … Here are seven steps to finally get things moving, without risking your neck! Make a plan Step back and look at this project from a long-term perspective. Such a process of change requires at least three years. You start small and […]

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How do you develop a conference?

Ton Soons

Most associations organise their conferences in the same way. There is a scientific or conference committee that is responsible for the programme. It is given or chooses a topic and focuses rather quickly on scientists as potential speakers, selected, or not, after a request for abstracts or proposals. One rarely thinks about other stakeholders. Thus, […]

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How long should a conference last?

Ton Soons

Anyone who has to organise a conference on a certain topic often asks themselves how long it should go on for. A better question to ask would be how much time can the target group spend? This is a question television producers ask themselves. You can spin out any topic into a winter-long series of […]

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Conference chairperson role

Ton Soons

A conference chairperson, whether a man or a woman, can either make or break your conference. Ok, your programme does some of the work, but the chairperson, moderator, or presenter – no matter what you call them – determines the atmosphere, focus, speed, humour, interaction, and the connection between the people. […]

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Conferences without screens

Ton Soons

I’ve thought long and hard. Why do I like holidays so much? It’s not because of the sun, snow, or après-ski, but the fact I’m away from TVs and other screens for a week! In ancient times, speakers used flip charts, overhead projectors, and slides until the projector came to rule.  These days we are […]

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