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are leaders and innovators in the Netherland’s business event industry. They are behind the inaugural December congress – DVHE – which offers insights and exploration into the fields of event marketing and communication. The congress will demonstrate how powerful live communication and event marketing can be in the marketing strategy of your company. It’s a two part event (with a lunch of course) where big brands will share their knowledge about event marketing and attendees can connect with other professionals in the space. The event is intended for marketers and communications professionals, event managers, agencies and other clients of events.

Find out if you are eligible for a FREE PASS to DVHE.

We had a brief chat with Askin Ozay to discuss the background, the inspiration and how marketing experts market their own events…

Firstly can you tell me about DVHE – what inspired it? Is this the first year?
Yes, it’s the first year. The inspiration for the event were trade fairs/exhibitions with many visitors yes, but actually most of the time only 20 % of the visitors you could really qualify as being interesting for the companies that are exhibiting. We wanted to attract a relevant audience.

Other inspirations are the difficulties organisers of exhibitions/fairs face nowadays to mobilise their audiences to come to their event. So they’ve added loads of workshops and readings to still get the large numbers in terms of visitors. Only the visitors don’t have the time anymore to talk to the people that actually pay for all the workshops and readings because visitors now run from one reading and workshop to another. We also believe it’s not about who has the largest and most expensive exhibition stand: it’s all about what can you contribute to ones needs. So kill the large numbers and dare to only bring together pure supply and demand from one industry without getting distracted by the other 80%. Quality is essential.

I understand there is nothing like it in the Netherlands. Why is the event unique?
We believe this event is unique because it’s a mix of several sorts of events in one day. We start with a congress about events and marketing, only accessible for corporate organisers of events. No exceptions made.

They can visit the congress for FREE. After this they will have lunch at one of the 100 exhibition stands. That means exhibitors get in between 4 and 6 people at their stand and have lunch together. After this of course they are free to walk around and connect with each other. We will provide a top lunch at every exhibition stand.

Then there are the restrictions we have in terms of exhibiting. The most important one is: no expo walls or other “stand materials” higher than 1.50m. This will keep the branding minimal and force you to have a good story to tell or find another way to do your “storytelling”. It also ensures an open character and makes it easily accessible. These are just a few things that will transform exhibiting more into a networking event – which we find is way more valuable. All exhibitors are briefed to think about what they can add to events as a part of marketing instead, because these are the visitors, instead of just showing your product or service.

What marketing are you using?
We hooked up with several media partners like for instance who are the leading marketing platform in NL to mobilise their community and lend them to us for one day. We have cooperation with a company to boost this event (mainly by social media). We have the event listed by evvnt – which has pushed it onto all the local and global event listings sites. Actually we do everything from content marketing to live marketing to get just the right people for the congress.

Crowdsourcing is becoming more popular in conferences and expos. Do you ask your audience what they want to see?
Yes we do, we also see this as being a form of engagement. With this event we also combine forces with all known event trade fairs and trade organisations in NL to make just the right program. They will also be there as exhibitors.

Are you looking to implement an international audience for your event?
Not targeted as, but if we find people from the UK registering for the event we make sure we have ears for them with a proper live translation

Are you looking to use evvnt to expand your reach to a global audience?
Reach globally can be perfect sometimes to find the people you need locally…

You’re the leaders of the Netherlands event industry at the forefront of change and development – can you tell us anything exciting that’s happening?
We see a steady growth in the use of ROI methodology and tools designed for this. Or as we like to say ROE, Return on Events. This is actually the number one subject people want to know more about in the NL. Also more and more you see the traditional lines are fading away, which leads to corporate festivals or congress organisers that want to organise congresses in venues that are not traditional congress venues but more like the opposite of. Another thing, overall is that marketing and events are coming so close to each other you sometimes don’t know any more where one begins and the other ends.

Askin Ozay is head of Sales and Marketing at Eventbranche and has been involved since they launched 5 years ago.
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DVHE is on December 9th at The Bread Factory, Rijswijk in The Netherlands.
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