Crypto & fintech

This article was published on March 19, 2008

Conference organizers: please stop with panels


Conference organizers: please stop with panels
Ernst-Jan Pfauth
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Ernst-Jan Pfauth

Ernst-Jan Pfauth is the former Editor in Chief of Internet at NRC Handelsblad, as well as an acclaimed technology author and columnist. He a Ernst-Jan Pfauth is the former Editor in Chief of Internet at NRC Handelsblad, as well as an acclaimed technology author and columnist. He also served as The Next Web’s blog’s first blogger and Editor in Chief, back in 2008. At De Correspondent, Ernst-Jan serves as publisher, fostering the expansion of the platform.

Setting up panels: why are conference organizers doing this? So you have four entrepreneurs on stage, all really good in what they do – I assume. You ask a moderator to do her job. And here we go: an entrepreneur gives a mediocre answer, the others are just nodding. The moderator tries to spark a fire, yet the only daring thing the entrepreneurs do is trying to speak louder than the other. In my experience, it often goes like that.

Same thing with today’s panel: Simon McDermott (Attentio), Rodrigo Sepúlveda (Vpod.tv), Andrej Nabergoj (Noovo) and Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten (From the blog you’re reading now) are all skilled entrepreneurs. Some of them are even gifted speakers. Moderator Colette Ballou from Ballou PR is doing the best she can – making jokes, asking daring questions. Yet like aways, the result of a panel isn’t noteworthy.

I rather see these businessmen give four well-prepared short presentations. Discussion can follow afterwards, or on a backchannel (like the coffee break). Only then they’ll manage to share their expertise in an exciting and fairly thorough way.

Oh, I was just about to press publish, yet I wanted to share this cool quote: “starting a company is like having sex for the first time. You don’t know how it works, , it takes very long, but you’ll discover along the way”, stated Rodrigo Sepúlveda. Boris’ reply: “There’s one difference, if you have more sex you take more time.”

entrepreneur panel
Left to right: Andrej, Rodrigo, Simon, Colette and Boris