Van Dusseldorp's Future of Events (0)

An exploration of online & hybrid events - what they are and what they will be. Welcome to this newsletter - a short introduction - and a warm invitation to share your own ideas.

Life is digital 

’Travis Scott has a gig on Fortnite tonight!’’. ‘Really?’, I tell my teenage son, ‘that’s interesting. I’d love to see that. Can you tell me when it is on?’ To which he answered ‘’No, of course not. I am going with my friends’’.

That evening, he closed his door, and logged on to Fortnite, as did his friends, all from their own homes. They even ‘dressed up’ for it – which means they spent some game money on a digital Travis Scott skin for their online representation.

The show itself? It lasted all of 10 minutes, and was an interactive, pre-rendered 3D music video tailored specifically for Fortnite – it was seen live by over 12 million people who logged in for the occasion in shifts, and who could move around in a separate area of the game world they know and love. The subsequent recording on Youtube generated another 120 million views.

‘’I am going with my friends!’’  Life is digital whether we like it or not. Digital connections are real connections. The basic needs underlying our desire to get together are unchanged.

So what is the future of events?

Welcome and intro

This is issue number zero of my newsletter on the future of events - with nothing more than an introduction to what I want to do. Tomorrow you will get issue no 1 in your mail. Now, as for Travis Scott, let me remind you..

Still there?

That’s wonderful! Let’s start with a quick introduction. My name is Monique van Dusseldorp, and I am an Amsterdam-based curator of events and seminars on media, technology, and innovation. Over the last 25 years, I have dedicated myself to finding interesting people, projects, and ideas, and provide them with the audience and the platform they deserve.

For a quick overview of recent work…In 2020, I worked on a series of online and hybrid events, always part of a team. We transformed the Next Conference in Hamburg into the What’s Next Show and the Great ReDesign book, we turned the Dutch Media Week into 40 online talk shows and a drive-in experience, and we organised 8 Cross Media Cafes on media innovation as online and hybrid events. The Next Generation Internet Policy Summit for European policymakers was also turned into an online event, just like the Partos Innovation Festival on digital civic power - with hundreds of delegates from round the globe. I also joined the splendid New World Same Humans newsletter as Editor at Large and I joined the advisory board of Preparation Tech and Denk Produkties. Also new this year: hosting online events! I love hosting/moderating events on tech and innovation. Find me on LinkedIn or Twitter for more info on what I do or mail me if you would like to work with me!

The events I have worked on over the last 25 years have all been part of the global digital transformation that touches every part of our lives. I think of events as places where we can look at the future and discuss it - as temporary labs even - and also as welcome meetings of kindred spirits. So events matter on both a personal, industry, and society level. And I see the world of events through that lens.

Just so that you know! And then…. all 2020 events got canceled.

What did I do? Same as always.

Do research online. Have random thoughts. Miss deadlines. Worry about the future.

And I signed up for as many online events as I could - online conferences, theatre shows, seminars, dance performances, webinars, concerts, debates, exhibitions, and more. I made screenshots, recorded videos, and started taking down notes.

Tracking how this segment of our digital world is changing has been a delight. There is a new space opening up with new platforms, new formats, and new interactions. And the field is wide and deep. What happens in the world of entertainment, design, education, software, or business - it all seems relevant for the future of events.

Suddenly I was not just researching new tech and new speakers, but the new tools of my trade. And it is time to put some of that down in writing.

Invitation to come out and play!

In Five trends for the 2020s David Mattin writes

Under lockdown, we’ve watched a new world glimmer into life. Now, millions will take to the metaverse to serve fundamental human needs such as social connection, wellbeing, and status.

It’s that glimmering world that I would love to research together with all of you.

Over the next 10 days, I want to share some first ideas and observations - and I invite you to send in examples, feedback, and your own ideas. I would love to make this a shared resource (with full credit to anyone contributing)!

There are 172 of you out there already. You are my very favorite people in the world right now.

First of all: here are the topics I have lined up for you..

Sharing my network with you..

  • Have you published or read an article or report on the future of events worth sharing? Let’s build a resource!

  • Have you organized or attended an online event we should all know about?

  • Anything else you want from this newsletter?

    Let me know.. or

Leave a comment

Random fact of the day

The winter solstice is today - it is the shortest day in the Northern Hemisphere but not the day with the latest sunrise and earliest sunset. How is that possible?

Kind regards,

Monique van Dusseldorp

Tel: +31 655 364 699


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