Speak the Future: Interview with Steven den Boer, Social Media Editor

Conferize’s “Speak the Future” series features speakers who are currently changing the conference world. Often described as the thought-leaders and knowledge port-holes to this world, which is why we are passionate about sharing their ideas, right here, with you! For more info check out our “Speak the Future” Manifesto.image

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I have worked in online communications for 8 years as a web editor for different organizations such as cultural organizations, insurance companies and the Dutch tv show ‘De Wereld Draait Door’. In 2006, I received my Master of Arts degree in New Media & Digital Culture at Utrecht University. Since 2010, I have been the social media editor for Radboud University Nijmegen. I am also a community manager and give advice and workshops on the use of online media. I have created my own virals, conquered communication crises and achieved success at the same time.

What is your favorite area of expertise to present?

Social media and higher education.

How did you begin speaking at conferences?

By starting to give lectures to students at the university – I discovered both the relevance of spreading my knowledge and the joy of doing it.

What have been some of the key conferences you’ve attended or participated in?

NCOSM 2012 & 2013 (National Conference on Education and Social Media in the Netherlands) and the J. Boye Aarhus 12 Web & Intranet Conference (Denmark).

Why do you think conferences are important today?

Online media is still changing and evolving so quickly that practical knowledge is more relevant than theoretical knowledge. That’s exactly why conferences are of good use.

Have you noticed any significant trends in the Meetings Industry in the wake of digital/mobile developments?

The urge to ‘unconference’. We want to gather with a large group, but prefer not to have everything planned out. We want to search for our own answers.

How would you like to see conferences change more in the future?

Not using technology as a must have, but as a useful tool in addition to the speakers. Putting a twitter wall next to a speaker is only annoying when it’s content is not being used.

As a speaker, what do you feel you need right now to strengthen your profile in the conference world? Tools, technology, network etc.?

I would like feedback from other speakers and design help on my Prezi slides.

Any conference nightmares?

Besides technology failures, I prefer interaction and discussion with the audience. My nightmare would be an audience that’s quiet and agrees with everything I say.

Advice to aspiring speakers?

Get as much experience as you can. It really helps to grow and get better.

To keep up to date with Steven and start following the conferences he is, check out his profile page

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