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      Next Level Events With Veertly - How to turn online events into communities

      38 min read

         ABOUT THE SHOW

      Next Level Events With Veertly brings the latest insights from the online event industry for those who want to level up with their virtual or hybrid events. We interview experts worldwide and share their vision on how to create better and more engaging virtual or hybrid events. 

         ABOUT THE EPISODE

      In this episode, we discuss the importance of communities when it comes to organizing online events and how such communities can be built. To gain a better understanding of the intersection between communities and online events, we have invited Manuel Koelman an entrepreneur, investor, speaker, and co-founder of PIRATE.global to share with us his experience on building a worldwide community and the benefit they can have on online events (and vice-versa). 

       

      Follow the Veertly Show on Apple Podcast |  Spotify | Deezer | YouTube

       

        ABOUT THE GUEST

      download

      Manuel Koelman is an entrepreneur, angel investor, and speaker. His passion is to assist entrepreneurs to succeed. In 2010, Manuel founded PIRATE.global, a company with a mission to create meaningful connections and grow the startup ecosystem. He connects entrepreneurs through PIRATEx (an event agency for online events) and assists with a capital venture through PIRATE.ventures. Each year Manuel and his team organize ‘The Pirate Summit’, a gathering of entrepreneurs that love to solve real problems and build sustainable businesses.  

      Manuel actively invests in startups, especially in early stages tech-focus companies within the automation and machine intelligence space.  

      Connect with Manuel on LinkedIn here  |  Learn more about PIRATE.global here.  

       

        HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE EPISODE

       

      Episode 1 quote 1-2"The most important thing about creating a community is to be relatable and authentic in your approach" 

      When we created PIRATE.summit, we organized events in Eastern Europe. We also traveled and organized an event in Gaza. This was not really a business. This was not something that needed to generate a lot of money or a lot of profit. This was something that we liked to do. We saw that we had an impact, we saw that people liked that we came to places where nobody else went to and people really felt a connection to PIRATE.  

      I think one of the most important things about community, is to be relatable. We were relatable. We were very authentic in our approach. 

      People realized that we were not out to make a lot of money or to commercialize such gatherings and events. They saw that we genially cared. This is how we created our community.  

       

       

      Episode 1 quote 2-2"With the development of digital tools, there is now a solution for every event. Once we grasp this, we won’t be going back to in-person events" 

      Tools used to lack functionalities to really bring great online experiences. However, in the past year due to the pandemic, we have accelerated the development of the event industry. There are now more than 350 event software solutions, for every kind of event. 

      Once we really grasp this, I don't think that we will ever completely shift back to physical events. It's not only that we have gone from physical to digital, but all of a sudden, we have started to realize that digital has certain advantages as well. 

       

       

      Episode 1 quote 3-1"In online events, we are continuously competing against the next browser tab. If you don’t deliver exciting content, people will fade out." 

       In physical events, you could lock people in one room and they would have to endure the whole event. Now, you are competing with the next browser tab. If you do not continuously deliver exciting and of real value content, people will open up Facebook or even worse, close the tab of the event.   

      If you want to engage people, there is really no space for bad content anymore. The agenda curation and the quality of speakers matter a lot more with online events.  

       

       

       

      Episode 1 quote 4-2“Online networking has a possibility to be much more efficient, while not losing that personal touch” 

       Networking is hard, especially, to have the ‘drink at the bar’ moment. However, on the other hand, I think that online has the possibility to be much more efficient in networking, while not losing the personal touch.  

      This is why we built intro.chat. With online networking, you can do matchmaking much, much better and have more relevant people matched to you.  

       

       

       

      EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

      Intro: Hello and welcome. You are listening to the Veertly Show, a podcast that brings you the latest insights from the online and hybrid event industry. You will listen to experts worldwide who share their visions, thoughts and ideas. On how to create better engaging and unique virtual or hybrid events. This episode has been brought to you by Veertly, the most flexible platform for your hybrid and online events and digital interactions. 

      Peter: Hello, welcome. I'm your host Peter Benei, director of marketing at Veertly. At Veertly, our goal is to provide the most flexible platform for hybrid and online events and digital interactions. In our podcast, we talk with leaders in the event industry and beyond to provide more insights on how you can have better more engaging, more interactive, and more fulfilling events. Today's guest is Manuel Koleman, founder of PIRATEx, and many other ventures. Hey Manuel, welcome to the show.  

      Manuel: Hi, thanks. So glad to be here.  

      Peter: It's my pleasure. So, when we did the research on our guests on the show, your name came up in so many ventures. Not just on PIRATEx, that you came up with, but also the software development agencies, you're doing coaching, you're doing keynote speaking, and much, much more. So I'm not sure how to intro you. So, shall you intro yourself? Where should we focus first?  

      Manuel: Thank you very much. So actually, I founded a few companies in my life and I'm now stuck. Not stuck, but I'm with PIRATE for 11 years now. I founded PIRATE in 2010 and the idea was back then, more of a side project. I was part of the founding team back then and was on different projects. We just wanted to create a conference that we would love to go to. And it was one of those ideas that grow and that don't make a lot of sense, but you just do it because you would just like to do it. So really, a passion project. We did that for a couple of years and, it was always, always a hobby on the side. And in 2018, we started to professionalize it a little bit more. And out of that, it became more for holding company. PIRATEx is a daughter company. And we do investments as well. Our mission is, we want to help entrepreneurs succeed. We have done an investment, for example, in a software agency. We're currently doing two more investments. We have a couple of projects that we do have also a venture, a real investment, like a division, where we do smaller angel size investments.  What we'd like to do is we'd like to help entrepreneurs to really bring them to the next level. And we are very operational also in that sense. We just love the journey of entrepreneurship. Let's put it that way. We'd love the roller coaster.  

      Peter: And then all the companies that you have within PIRATE.global are somehow interconnected. Complementing each other's services or activities. Right? So, when you do have the PIRATEx, which is an event industry agency, you do have the software agency, you do have the venture kind of like a VC investment firm and coaching and other stuff. And you also do have the startup jobs list, which is loosely connected to the whole thing. But something is really connecting all the dots, which is startup companies. So, I think we should focus on what insights that you have on how you can build a community around something because I firmly believe that an event such as the PIRATE Summit that you're doing can be successful. If you do have an already engaged community around you, where you can market those events. Right. So, what did you learn about community management?  

      Manuel: That's actually a very interesting topic. We were never very strategic about it in the sense that we are doing this because we want to get there. We were always doing this because we like to do it. I think more from a strategic perspective about community, because one of our big assumptions is that events are going to turn into communities a lot more in the future, and because of all the pandemic and going digital, et cetera,there is a lot of possibilities and a lot of opportunity in that field. But we can talk about that a little bit later. We a little bit stumbled into this whole community play when we started the PIRATE Summit. The idea came in 2010, essentially, we call it PIRATE Summit because there was a Blockhouse and it's called, "are you a pirate?" I think somewhere in October 2010 or so, and it really, it really spoke to us. And we just wanted to create an event that we wanted to go to. How do you do that? You basically just invite friends and contacts that have the same mindset, that are on the same journey, just for founders that have the same issues, and really to invite others, to have a peer-to-peer learning and exchange environment. When you do that, you suddenly end up with something like a community. And the initial thing was we contacted all the people that we knew that fitted the founder profile, and we told them, okay, bring five other founders with you. And that shaped the first PIRATE Summit. In the first summit, there were 220 people, in like outdoor backyard or a scrapyard kind of setting. You can see the pictures online at piratesummit.com. So it's really this art community. This amazing location, which by itself, which already creates an atmosphere, which is great. And for some reason, the right people were there from all around Europe. It was 220 people, it doesn't sound, that's not a lot, but if you have the right people there, it may be a spark. And from then on, we weren't thinking about doing it again or doing it for 10 years. Certainly not, but we just thought, okay, this is something that the world needs. And then people said, okay, could you please do that again? And then we said, okay, what kind of people do we want to attract? And we're not looking to the West because we thought a lot of people from there already know startups and they would come anyway, but we're looking more towards the East. A grassroots campaign if you will, to spread the PIRATE spirit, PIRATE mission to just promote entrepreneurship. 

      Peter:  It does because it exists within your community. So, yeah. 

      Manuel:  Yeah, that's true. And then we did a roadshow all around the Balkans and Eastern Europe and we just visited cities and we did pitch competitions there. I think in 2012 it was like 15 cities or so, and it was a big road trip, and it was just a lot of fun that we hung out with people from all the small countries. And over the years, it got a little bit out of hand. I think in 2016, we had events in something like 60 cities or so all around the world. And we even did one in Gaza. And I mean, in very, very exotic places. Yeah. Which was truly humbling and a truly great experience. There is one place that we still would love to go to, or I would love to go to, we haven't been to North Korea. That would be something which would be interesting. So, it was something which was important to us because we loved to travel, love to meet people in other countries. And especially we love to meet entrepreneurs and every ecosystem has its own footprint, their own way of doing entrepreneurship, their own maturity level, et cetera. So, it was very different. If you go to Romania, then when you are in Tokyo, then when you are in San Francisco, et cetera. But to all these places we went, and we did our, our parts on shore. 

      Peter: That was an insanely organic journey. So, it's so motivating to hear that never actually started by thinking strategically no offense, but just going with the flow building of the community. And I also love that the fact that you said that you see that events will turn into communities in the short-term future. And I'm not sure. What do you mean by that exactly? But what, I mean, if you do have an agenda or you do have some ideas to share the actual event that you're organizing is just the pinnacle of that of sharing and it continues after the event leading into different relationships, something like that. 

      Manuel: Essentially, we did this, we went everywhere, and it was, of course, it was a logistics nightmare. This was not really a business. This was not something that needed to generate a lot of money. A lot of profit. This was something that we'd like to do. And we thought it was something worthwhile to when we saw that we had an impact, we saw that people liked that we came to places where nobody else went to and people really felt a connection to PIRATE. And that's, I think one of the most important things about community, is to be relatable. And we were relatable. We were very authentic in our approach. Also, people realize that we were not out to make a lot of money or to commercialize this, but we just genuinely cared. So, let's fast forward what we think, what the future might hold, and what we think where events are headed. We believe, that with events, the industry has accelerated something like 10 years now, and it's happened in a year and we would have been where we are today in maybe 2030 or something like that. We were slowly shifted to digital, basically like retail changing to e-commerce over time. And we have really accelerated that. The big question is how much of this will be going back to the old way. Is there even an old way? And we believe that a big chunk because this change has been going on for so long. And we still don't know when we will be going back that, with every month that we are in this new, normal, and this new setting right now that people will get more used to the digital tools. And, the tools really were lacking the functionality to really bring great online experiences. But we are really starting to see a difference. And with PIRATEx, we have from the event tech landscape, and we also have an event tech directory. So, we have a directory with all the event softwares out there. It's more than 350 for software solutions right now. And if we really look at that, there is a solution for every kind of event. And of course, there will be a big consolidation coming. But the change is massive and the acceleration in this space is massive. And once we really see this, or once we can really grasp this, I don't think that we will completely shift back to a physical. It's not only that we have gone from physical to digital, but all of a sudden we start to realize that digital has certain advantages as well. We are doing a PIRATE Live event in August, September for five days, which is not the PIRATE Summit because that's something you can't really replicate, but it's something different. And we really want to bring the PIRATE spirit also into an online event setting. And we have done, something like 120 productions or 140 official event productions in the last, 10 months. And we want to put all the expertise that we have, so the startup expertise, plus the online event production expertise into this event. And all of sudden we are not talking about, okay, what is the, what is the European audience? We are talking about a global audience. We would never have spoken about that before. We are suddenly able to reach certain speakers that would have been hard to reach, otherwise. We suddenly have a lot of possibilities to do things before the event, that would have been a lot more difficult to do. And we can do things after the event that are a lot more difficult to do. And of course, also during the event. And if you look at this, then we believe that there will be a big unbundling, of what is happening in normal events. If you go to an event, everything happens at one time in one place because everybody is there  

      Peter: And you're missing out if you're not there.  

      Manuel: Exactly, exactly. That's why all people come together. But there are people that don't come for the content that are not interested in watching keynotes, right? Because they can do that on YouTube. They are interested in the networking. Others want to learn. So, there's something for everybody. If the place is not a factor anymore, and you can really unbundle this, then suddenly, the keynotes become podcast. Then suddenly, a learning experience might be an online course. And you can bundle this very nicely into a community setting, not thinking about one time event, but thinking about this more as a journey throughout the year, and then having this light tower event moments that we believe that communities need to start in certain interest verticals to really be strong. You cannot go too broad in the beginning to really have a real purpose. Why should I participate in this community? Why should I go there? From this very focused go-to market in the community, you can bring the community expertise. So, an event always it has this live component. So, you don't sell tickets anymore. You sell memberships, you have very different relationships with the sponsors. So, you have a lot of opportunities. You have very different upsell opportunities that you don't have in an in-person event, et cetera. This is going to de-risk typical event business, because you you're usually, you would do a lot of work. You put a lot of work in, and then later you see if everything works out, if you hit the revenue targets, et cetera. With this model, it's a lot more stable. It's more like a SaaS business, like software as a service.  

      Peter: You're mentioning so much interesting stuff. And I just want to reply to some of the things that you mentioned. So, for example, I think it's interesting to see the same parallel trend in remote work. So, the tools were always there, right? So obviously there was a technological advance. With the tools in a short-term period, forced by the situation that we all have. Right. But it was always there. I think the second point is important as well that the demand, was not there yet. So, people didn't demand it, that they do need to work anywhere, to go to events anywhere and just remove the location from the equation. And I think that's still important for the events as well. And the second thing that you mentioned, and I think it's amazingly interesting is that what is a stretched out community gathering or community content consumption sequence, shall we say that happens like all the year, times to time? And what is the difference between a community event? And you mentioned one great key word is live. So, the event is live and that is why it's an event, but it doesn't mean that it's for a particular location, it's just on a platform where you can join from anywhere and share the experience with the community members live. And that's interesting to see how the tools are catching up to meet that demand. Because I mean, everyone knows this obviously, but, but an event is much, much more than just a video call.  

      Manuel: Yeah. We have been debating and I think, or we at least have a problem, really a solution. What is an event really? Because we found this one component life, really what ties every event together. So, people doing something at the same time, but also then we all come into a space. Where I think events are not going to be called events anymore. I mean, look at the Twitch stream right now and they are, to be honest, they are far ahead of what we are currently doing in the event industry, space. And there is a lot what we can learn from these kinds of industries, the gaming industry, the self-streaming industry, et cetera. What is an event really in the end? I don't mind that much. We look more on. Okay. What kind of value does this deliver? Or what does this of. The participants that, or the community members, how can we integrate these kinds of mechanics? I mean, look at Twitch, all the possibilities that you have there, people have built their life on Twitch, basically, right? It's a fascinating platform that a lot of organizers don't even know, uh, check it out, really, check it out, look at what the, what the most popular people on Twitch are doing and how they generate money and how the whole ecosystem works. Because a lot of these kinds of things, we can learn a lot from it there. And we are just scratching the surface.  

      Peter: Livestreaming is one of the parts, of course. Yes. But there's one section that I'm missing from these platforms like Twitch. It is collaboration, right? Should have an idea, of course, but that you follow our share in that case, it's live streaming something on the page, but it becomes a community event from the idea of collaboration because I, as an attendee or shall we say member, as you said, you're not selling tickets, but memberships as a member, I do have a voice. I do have an impact on this live, whatever it is for now, let's go live event.  

      Manuel: Yeah, I absolutely agree. I don't want you to discriminate against this. This is an event, it's not an event. This is good, or this is not good, but it's more, I'm looking at if this works for the audience.  So I'm also, if you look at PIRATE Summit, we were never about, okay, great content, that goes one to many. We're always about, okay, everybody here is a potential speaker because everybody has a story to tell. So, everybody could be on stage and share something. This PIRATE Summit has always been invitation or application only. So, it's not, everybody cannot get a ticket, but we screened, curated, the people that came there, always with this in mind: "does this person have a story to tell that seems relevant to the audience?".  And if you have this kind of a way, you don't have necessarily have to get the big keynote speakers because the magic is going to happen in the small peer to peer exchanges. I mean the peer-to-peer learning sessions. This is what we have always found. And we will in a PIRATE Live this year, we will very much try to replicate that. So, it's very much this collaboration kind of thing. We connect the founder in Singapore to the founder in Dubai, I don't know, connect them and have them exchange stuff and really learn from each other. And maybe a relationship of whatever, like a business relationship, a personal friendship or whatever may emerge. This is what we'd like to do. This is what the PIRATE Summit’s mission is.  

      Peter: And you also mentioned sort of that your original goal in the organic journey wasn't to make money out from the summit itself. And I do believe that should be true for all events as well, because it just simply intensifies the importance of networking. So previously when you did have the events or flying, obviously people traveled for various reasons, but networking was one of the most important factors that you can meet with those who are within your industry. And they are important because they are in the event as well. And I think it's interesting to see how this demand of great networking opportunities will transfer into the online or digital work, because that's also important.  

      Manuel: It's important. And that's also one of the areas which we don't have enough, great tools yet. Networking is hard, especially, to  have this drink at the bar moment, you'll meet somebody at the bar, et cetera. However, on the other hand, I think there, if you look at online, it has the possibility at least to be much more efficient with your network. And not lose all the personal touch. So that's why we, for example, built intro.chat , which is basically a speed networking tool to integrate into your event and basically have randomly people assigned to you. So, you're a match in speed dating sessions, basically like Chatroulette, but just for business or not. And this brings a tremendous value to really meet people quickly. So, if you really think, ahead of that, you can do the matchmaking much, much better and have more relevant people matched to you. If you insert a few things like I'm looking for, I'm offering. And then I can really imagine being on a physical event, but getting out your mobile and going, it's still like 5,000 people in the physical event, but meet the person in the 5,000 people event that really fits what you are looking for. It's, it's much more efficient to do that via a mobile app. So, I can even be transported back to the physical world because online just it's much more efficient.  

      Peter: Yeah, at Veertly we do have these networking solutions and that we found is that it's important to understand who you are talking to, and you can have that option more efficiently online. I mean, everyone knows the guy who walks through the offline event and makes them two minutes, intro speech, and pitch to everyone, literally to the waitress as well, which is not efficient, but obviously you can skip that with a digital tool. It's much, much more efficient. So, you mentioned that we are not selling tickets anymore or not having attendees anymore, but we do have memberships and members. And you also mentioned that that sponsorship. Some sort of making money through the event will completely change as well. And I think there is a huge contradictory section between sponsorship and a community. So how sponsors can enter a space like this, how do you see, what would it be the future of sponsorships within community building? Can you sponsor a membership site or, or what kind of options that you can have for example, that Veertly we do have the customization option where you can show your brand on the platform, but that's just one option. People will probably have more.  

      Manuel: Yeah. If you think more in a content way, and I think there's a lot of opportunity there. Suddenly, if you become a content platform, if you become that, then suddenly people want to give you, their contact. And you don't even have to do much. So, it's very, it's excellent content and they want to provide it to you. Of course, they have a certain angle. They are product service, whatever is going to get mentioned, but it's really something educational. We are going to teach your community something, something valuable. People could always opt out, right? So, you always must provide value also in these kinds of contexts. And this is something that we are currently exploring, and we see high demand for that. So, it's, there are different maybe also something that event organizers also date because they saw the stage time, which we at the pirate we haven't done in the past, because we always wanted to separate that or just say, okay, this is not some sales content. Nevertheless, a lot of corporates have understood, or a lot of potential sponsors have understood that the way to reach people with your, just like this content that we are creating now. Right? Of course, this has a positive effect on Veertly , but we are not talking about the advantages that Veertly has or whatever, but we are discussing, maybe a potential future for a segment of the event industry will be.  

      Peter: I think, I think it's always about creating value, creating, creating value for those who are already your customers, or will be your customers anyway. Yeah. The prospects  

      Manuel:  Difference to physical events is you have the audience sitting there. It was hard for them to run away. Right. So, you could push more direct, more like sales kind of content  

      Peter: I wanted to go  back on that, because you mentioned that how you organize the whole event in PIRATEx and was the changes in the event industry online that yes, I think there is a huge consolidation in terms of content as well, because now if you don't like what I see or what I hear within the stream of the keynote speech online, I just pretty much, go to Facebook and whatever. So, I just tune out, even close the tab. I don't care. Right, exactly.  

      Manuel: So, we are suddenly, we are in the attention economy right before we could lock people up in one room and say, you must just endure this. Right. And they were checking their phone and zooming out, but they were still there. So, everybody pretended that this was something valuable or people are aware where it's sitting there. Oh, you're competing with the next browser tab and if you don't continuously deliver exciting, great content, of real value, people will just like you said, they will go to Facebook, whatever, or they will close the tab and worse. Then you are going to lose them for the rest of the day. Maybe if this is a daylong session or whatever. So, you really want to try to engage people well, and to not have bad content. So, the agenda curation matters a lot more. Yeah. So, if you are doing online events, what really makes you stand out? And there is no time to bullshit anymore because people will just leave. They will squeeze in certain talks in their agenda, right. They'll just say, okay, this event, maybe it goes for six hours. You get, look, watch these two, these two keynotes. This is all, uh, so also the agenda making you must have great titles. So, it's more important now to have the right speakers  

      Peter: And it's not linear. That's also important, I think, but so linear events it's, it's working well. If you do have as you said, closed people in the room or something, but now people are just tuning in and tuning out. Right? I've discussed this with many others that, for example, the attention time for a content, how it's short now, but still, we do have long podcasts and long videos and people are still listening those. So, I think it's the issue of tuning in and tuning out. So, you must have fragmented content. Primitive agenda if that's even a thing now, but yeah.  

      Manuel: Listen with a keynote and podcasts. I also think it's a little bit different. I really believe that the keynotes of the traditional events they're going to become podcasts because it doesn't make sense to force somebody to listen through a two-hour Joe Rogan session live. Why, if it doesn't fit my schedule, I mean why? Right? But why shouldn't I listen to it in a week from now in two months from now, right? When I have time, when I'm doing something else and can listen to that, I have a hard time to just lie in my bed and to listen to podcasts. I always need to do something, but which has a very low cognitive load. This is cleaning something or walking or doing something. Okay.  

      Peter: Or doing the very American thing that you can ever do, commuting.  

      Manuel: Exactly, exactly. So, driving, right? Perfectly example, or sitting in the bus or, whatever. It makes sense. Just lying down a bit. I will just fall asleep. Maybe it's just me. I don't know. But when I have a Workday and then between three and four, when a certain keynote is there, I don't necessarily want to listen to the whole thing. I want to participate though. If you have this live thing again, if I can ask questions, right? If there's an important speaker which I'm fascinated by then you can also give the content out for free, but tell your members: "Hey, you going to be the ones to ask the questions".  

      Peter: This is why clubhouse is gaining traction, by the way 

      Manuel:  The hype has died a bit, but I totally agree. There is something emerging there with, with voice where people can directly interact and I totally see that, and this can be, we believe very much integrated and very valuable. Then you have the content, you have a speech, you maybe have a Q and A session, but then you maybe have just for the members or really a get together with a speaker afterwards, half an hour, really get together off the record. Just for the community. This is something extremely valuable. You cannot get that, get this kind of interaction because this is life. This is really, this is an event I don't need to listen to it, or this is not, it's not possible if I do it a week from now, this is something I must attend now. So, if you can get into a room with Elon Musk at the clubhouse, when you know, Musk crashed a clubhouse a couple of months ago. Of course, a lot of people would love to ask questions. Right. And if you can provide a moment like that to your members, that's something valuable. That's something why people sign up for your community for your event.  

      Peter: This is so amazing because you can even brand your room with Elon Musk and that's a sponsorship. 

      Manuel: Absolutely 

      Peter: But still, you do need someone to go into the room. There should be a demand and there should be a content or value story that you create within the sponsorship. So, you're not sending Molinos anymore, I guess, in the lobby area. Yeah. It's just a super interesting.  

      Manuel: Absolutely agree. So, there are a lot of things that you can do as a sponsor, which are not that different from what you had at the physical events, but the dynamics are a little bit different there. Of course, in your physical events we also had sponsored rooms, stuff like that, but you have giveaways to certain partners. There are a lot of things. And also, a lot of things that I cannot even think about, which are very natural to what other online platforms are currently already doing 

      Peter: You are working with a lot of startup companies and you're active in the entrepreneurship space. And obviously you kind of look ahead ahead of the trends or the curve. And I personally feel really engaged and motivated by this talk, but there is a question in my mind, since we started speaking, how corporate clients or big corporations, when you have the chance to talk to them, react to these future trends that you explained here right now? 

      Manuel:  It's fascinating. The big event, organizers haven't even understood what is coming, but we see a big wave away from trade fairs because all a sudden trade fairs weren't happening and the sales force could not really go out and really go to the clients, but they are doing zoom meetings and all a sudden they say: hey, this works right! So, what we are really seeing at PIRATEx, a big uptick in corporates that want to do their own like small trade fairs for their clients and the budget that was allocated for the big trade fairs, they are just going to their clients themselves. And this we saw on a smaller scale before, but now it's just, there's a massive demand there. And with a lot of those people that we talked to, they were also very unsure, whether they will even go back to trade fairs, certainly they're thinking about, okay, we are going to cut back the, spent for the trade fairs and we are doing our own stuff. So, we are directly selling marketing, exhibiting to our customers and we have, don't go via thee trade fair anymore. This is going to be hugely disruptive for the whole trade fair business. And for a lot of event organizers. We believe there is going to be, and this is the biggest market that we see, which will come out of this, this way, that there is an education on the corporate side and all a sudden they don't need all these traditional structures anymore, but they just do it themselves  

      Peter: Actually, skipping the middle, man. Yeah. And you can just copy and paste some, well not copy and paste, but amend and tailor, the whole process of building a community, have a pinnacle, even to live, something to this new trade fair process as well. You can do that within your own network with your own business partners. We are talking about global brands with partners all over the world  

      Manuel: Absolutely. And the thing is the market for community. It's nearly limitless because everybody can build a community around anything basically. And people can also be in separate at different communities. So, if you have a brand for something, and if you have a compelling message, you will always be able to, to gather people around this. I'm not saying it always needs to be thousands hundred thousand, but that doesn't matter. You can build communities worldwide, even around certain topics. And that has been that way with socials. But it's, I think it's really accelerating again or being re-imagined with all the  events going online because they bring all the communities there and people want to belong to something.  

      Peter: Yeah. Say I highly agree. And by the way, when everything is so parallel with remote working as well, because now that you don't well, not many people have like one single big job and the one single big office where they are going into or where they can belong to obviously with their key chains and whatever, but now everything has changed. And yet people are seeking the house for communities where they can communicate their values with. And again, values are important. Cool. I loved it. Thank you for all the insights, but then I do hope that, that there will be a time in the near-term future where you can resume traveling. And I'm not sure it's a good wish for you to have the chance to organize a Pirate Summit in North Korea. But I would love to see that and entrepreneurship, even in North Korea.  

      Manuel: Yeah. It's something on our bucket list, but it's also not our top priority. So, maybe someday. We are all looking back to a traveling again, to be honest, if I look at my own behavior right now and at my own let's say needs or what I think what I will be doing in the next years, I think I will usually cut down on travel. Yeah. I like this lifestyle, to be honest to you also talk to you now and not necessarily have to meet up, but also to speak at a conference in Singapore, then a conference in Cape Town, and then in London at the same day, I think there's a lot of value to this and yeah, I just hope that we will be able to combine both worlds well in the future. We haven't talked about hybrid  

      Peter: We haven't talked about a lot of things  

      Manuel: we can resume for the next episode though, for the next, the next time that we talk. But yeah, there is so much going on and maybe as a closing and reveal this for the first time here now 

      Peter: I love announcements, please. 

      Manuel:  Every actually, we have a theme for every, for every Pirate Summit. And we haven't announced for Pirate Live a theme, yet. We have settled on a one. We always want to do something with resilience and grit and those kinds of things. But we have settled on something a little bit more for thinking and according to the PIRATE name and thing that we have, it's going to be ‘Raise Your Sails’. And it's really going to, trying to talk a lot about what we believe, what the future will hold. And this time there's so much hurting of course, but so much change that we also see it's the time of the entrepreneurs. And we hope that a lot of people will also see an opportunity in these changes and that they are going to raise their sails and really, yeah. Sail out there and go onto this journey. This adventure of what entrepreneurship is we could use that, that spirit more these times. Entrepreneurs are problem solvers and shapers of the things. And again, so raise your sails  

      Peter: And sails are not location-based anyway, so it doesn't really matter where you are. I mean, you can still win and, and finish the line. Yeah, I love it. Cool. Thank you for coming. It was really inspiring.  

      Manuel: Thanks so much.  

      Peter: I think we should resume to another episode because we haven't talked so much at topics within this industry, but for now we must close. So, I hope we could provide the valuable insights for you on the event industry. 

      We will cover more topics in our upcoming episodes. And as always, we will follow up this show with more content on our site at veertly.com. Thank you for listening. 

      Outro: Thank you for listening to The Veertly Show, we will follow up this episode with more content on our site at www.veertly.com. So make sure to check it out. Please subscribe to the show on your preferred podcast listening platform, so you won't miss out on our next episode until next time and stay tuned. 

       

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