maandag 13 december 2010

DE conference 2010

Straight upon our arrival back home an e-mail arrived. "We're sending you two mails. This is the first one: we're ever so sorry about what happened!" The second e-mail read: "This is the second mail: now that your back, would you be available to assist us with DE conferentie?" (DE conferentie is that national version of DISH). How could I possibly refuse? Actually, on the plane I had already said to my husband that I would be delighted if DEN and I could keep up with our tradition. And yes, we could! I have been with this conference from the very start, being one of the developers of the conference concept. I couldn't help but reminisce a bit. When we started out with the conference in 2004 we were so happy with just over 100 participants. It was a new conference back then and although DEN and I as well were convinced of the need the proof of the pudding is always in the eating.

From the get go the conference has met the need. The number of participants has grown steadily over the years. This year was no exception: over the course of two days we had 500 participants. More wanted to come but we were simply full so we had to close the registration. Amongst the participants were many new faces, first timers at this conference attracted by this years theme: education and digital media for heritage instutions. So we have managed to reach a new traget group! Coming from archives, museums and libraries the participants reflected a good mix of the cultural heritage sector. Also in terms of knowledge: some have just started thinking about doing "something" with education and digital media, others could quite possibly succesfully apply for a job as innovator with google or the likes:-) The digital heritage price went to Deventer library.

As an organisation I think we have grown tremendously over the years of developing and organising this conference. From the conference bags and the badges to how we run things to the information market: it's all so much more professional then when we started! Which is really miraculous when you realise that the people at the DEN office organise this conference, do all the administration and everything else involved with this event in addition to their normal jobs. Arianne for example does the entire office management while organising this conference. Janneke and Ralph do their normal communication tasks in addition to the conference. The same goes for the Director and all other DEN people involved. To be capable of that and then run a conference in good spirits with guests, speakers and sponsors feeling comfortable and very welcome is a true victory. I am delighted, proud and honoured that I was a part of this years conference again!

PS: below a picture with Janneke, Ralph, Arianne and myself. And no, Janneke and I were not on purpose color coordinated!

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