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. For more info, check out our “Speak the Future” Manifesto.
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I am an independent Dutch journalist with well over 20 years of experience in Dutch mainstream media. I started out in radio, then moved on to anchoring the Dutch news programme for children and later the regular national news on TV, as well as broadcasts in the socio-cultural field. Since 2007, I have my own company Hunk-arT for freestyle multi-media journalism, media training and hosting conferences/events.
What is your favorite area of expertise to present?
My main interests lie in the fields of education, health, culture, social media.
How did you begin speaking at conferences?
After leaving NOS Television in 2007, I was asked by the Speakers Academy® to join their ranks. Before that, I had hosted several high-profile cultural events during which I caught their attention.
What have been some of the key conferences you’ve attended or participated in?
I am host to a large variety of conferences, ranging from (international) political debates for Dutch ministries to European awards ceremonies with attending royalty. I have also been involved in many TED events in the Netherlands. It is the variety that pleases me.
Why do you think conferences are important today?
Conferences are great platforms for exchanging new ideas and networking. A room full of people with one single agenda for the day can get the flow flowing!
Have you noticed any significant trends in the Meetings Industry in the wake of digital/mobile developments?
No conference is complete anymore without social media. Organizers should be aware of that and be prepared. Any conference gets more depth from the extra input and output via social media.
How would you like to see conferences change more in the future?
I would like to see the social media aspect strengthened even more. The input from outside is often more direct than from inside the room, adding more transparency to the subjects discussed.
As a speaker, what do you feel you need right now to strengthen your profile in the conference world? Tools, technology, network etc.?
I am looking primarily to broaden my network outside of the Netherlands. Having been raised on four continents (in six languages), I have developed a global look on things. As I am a part-time inhabitant of Jamaica, the Caribbean would be a great area to cover. For historical reasons (and for the impact I could have there), the continents of Africa and Asia are appealing too.
Any conference nightmares?
Heavy snowfall a few years ago was the cause of an almost empty room at a conference. It was called off after a few hours.
Advice to aspiring speakers?
Be YOU! Nobody else can be the you that you can be! – #hunkarism
To keep up to date with Aldith and start following the conferences she is, follow her here
If you would like to participate in the ‘Speak the Future’ series and be listed as a speaker, do not hesitate to get involved and contact us
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