New Conference Roles: Enter IdeaDJs

Technology is bringing new challenges to the event industry. It is also creating new professional figures. This post introduces the IdeaDJ, a fresh and disruptive specialty that could change conferences for good.

Idea Deejay

I was in Bruxelles a couple of weeks ago for MPI’s BeConference (more on this later). I had a blast there and an entertaining dinner with awesome Ruud Janssen and MC of the conference, Cyriel Kortleven.

For those who don’t know Cyriel, he is a inspiring master of ceremony and also author of this event presentation and inspirational book.

So to cut the story short, Cyriel introduced me to the concept of IdeaDJs. It was almost slipping away, when I thought of you dear readers. I thought to virtually invite you to the dinner and listen to this great concept.

Technology and New Roles

The economy is not in good shape. Getting involved in the industry is tougher than ever. Alas, seasoned professionals encounter the need to reinvent their profession to meet the new market demands.

A couple of years ago, I talked about the “Event Cool-ordinator“, someone in charge of coordinating all the social media discussion happening around an event.

Another interesting role is the Hybrid event coordinator, someone like Gerdie Schreuders. This role is a variation of the social media coordinator with more focus on the remote attendees watching via livestream.

A further innovative role is portrayed by graphic recorders or live illustrators. I anticipated the trend of Visual Meetings as a hot one in 2012. I am happy to say I was correct. Lots of cartoonists and artists are invading events digesting all the discussion into visual representations.

This new breed of roles is the bridge between old and new events. In this spirit, allow me introduce you to the concept of IdeaDJs.

What Is the IdeaDJ?

One of the most recurring issues with conferences is death by PowerPoint. A good speaker is not necessarily a good presentation ensembler.

Putting together good slides is a task for experienced presentation and graphic designers. Most of the times speakers are not good designers.

Here is where the IdeaDJ comes in.

Cyriel pointed me to an IdeaDJ’s website that explains really well what they are about:

ideaDJ is a concept where presenters (key notes) are supported visually. By using a second large screen, the audience will experience real-time & spot-on images and movies which support the content of the speech. With their incredibly fast reaction speed, it looks as if the ideaDJs know what the presenter is going to say, while actually everything is mixed in at the moment.

Therefore the IdeaDJ quickly interprets what the speaker is talking about rendering rich media to enrich the fruition of content. Sounds awesome, huh?

Let’s watch it in practice:

When Should You Use It?

While we can all agree this is quite a powerful idea, there are specific situations in which I’d experiment it.

If you have long speaking slots. IdeaDJs can revive long speaking slots. While in fact there is extensive advice online about short speaking gigs, there are few tips on how to make long presentations effective. IdeaDJs can definitely help in this scenario.

If you doubt the presentation skills of some of your speakers. Sometimes you may try a speaker for the first time and you are not entirely confident they will deliver a good slideshow. IdeaDJs can come to the rescue facilitating a more immersive learning experience.

If you don’t know how to handle social media conversations. IdeaDJs are great ‘Event Cool-ordinators”, a skilled IdeaDJ would be able to throw in relevant conversations from Twitter or Facebook with utmost relevancy or to moderate online Q&A.

These are some situations where IdeaDJs can be a solution.

In other cases, I would pass. If, for example, you paid for high profile keynotes, I would avoid using IdeaDJs as there could be some ego hurting.

All in all I see terrific value for attendees, therefore worth exploring.

In Conclusion

Social Media and Tech are brining new challenges but also fresh job opportunities for those willing to get started in the event industry.

New roles are arising. IdeaDJs are surely a game changer for those conferences willing to refresh their experience.

Any thoughts?