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Impressing an Eventex Awards Judge: Tips from Gerritt Heijkoop

Impressing an Eventex Awards Judge: Tips from Gerritt Heijkoop
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We decided to ask one of our hard-to-impress Eventex Awards judges about the things that “wow” him, the things he finds impossible to forgive in an application and everything that inspires him. The result of our research is that if he likes your project, it’s certainly worth an Eventex Award!How does your job relate to the event industry?In 2007 I followed my heart and entered the event industry. I am an entrepreneur with a passion for technology, events and public speaking. Building up experience with connecting online and on-site audiences since 2009. Seen by others as a familiar face in the international meetings industry as inspirational speaker, moderator and interviewer; both on- and offline. Known for my enthusiasm and always striving to keep matters simple and meaningful.What are your most important duties?Since 2009 I am also involved in the international #eventprofs community, since 2012 board member of the Green Meetings Industry Council (GMIC) in the Netherlands, member of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), Meeting Professionals International (MPI) and active blogger.Since January 2012, I have been Executive Partner of How Can I Be Social (HCIBS), a digital communication agency specifically for the events industry, all about sharing inspiration. In January 2014 I launched LiveOnlineEvents, the first European event agency specialized in hybrid events.What motivates you to judge Eventex Awards? It was a true honour when I got asked by the organizers of the awards. Unfortunately I do not come across that many examples of truly innovative and creative events. So secretly I hope this job will give me access to the best of the best, allowing me to get inspired by the solutions and concepts of the contestants.How do you recognize a winner? I am not easily impressed… so I guess when I feel a ‘wow!’. Not because of the way it looks, but by how an event was used as a true business solution for the stakeholders. Something that proves it’s value at first glance.That sparks emotion. And actually uses those in a constructive way to reach the objectives.What do you find unforgivable in an application?Not showing the return on investment.Your advice to contestants?Show me how you generated business value for the client (even if it was a non-profit). Show me how you implemented the global best practices in green meetings. And show me how you extended the experience beyond the physical space and time of the event itself.What aspect of event planning inspires you the most?Innovation! And more specifically: taking events to global stage by involving both a live and online audience in a way that’s worthwhile for both of these groups.

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