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13 - 15 October 2019


Festivals are the ultimate place to be. Great fun, my hero’s on stage, people of my age and interest, etc. After a decade of gamification, let us welcome festivalization as the new medicine for more happiness and energy for participants. This may transform conferences;participants get more time together and experience is key.

What can we implement and to what extent?

FRESH 19 will build on the Barcelona FRESH where many performances enriched the conference. We will have artistic and other performances that have a connection with conferences. They will be included in sessions or in breaks for all to discover. A conference-art Showcase-fastival allows other artists to demonstrate their unique and creative activities for meetings, conferences and events.

Have a look at our video from FRESH in Barcelona as a sampler of what to expect

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Start: 13 October 2019
End: 15 October 2019
Meeting Design Institute

Turnhout, Belgium

2300 Turnhout Flanders

Some speakers

Paul Gudgin

Freelance Festival Director and Festival and Event Management lecturer. Former Director of Edinburgh Festival Fringe and City of London Festival
Paul Gudgin
  • Paul Gudgin

    Paul has over 30 years’ experience in the management of festivals and events including the Aldeburgh Festival, Bury St Edmunds Festival, City of London Festival, Durham International Brass Festival and 8 years as Director of the world’s largest arts festival, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

    After receiving a degree in music from the University of Surrey, Paul’s first festival role was for the world-renown classical music event, the Aldeburgh Festival. He subsequently became Director of the Bury St Edmunds Festival before heading to Edinburgh to manage one of the main music venues, the Queen’s Hall. Here he was able to maintain a strong association with festivals as the venue hosted events by the Edinburgh International Festival, the Edinburgh International Jazz Festival, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

    After 4 years at the Queen’s Hall, Paul was appointed Director of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and over the following eight years saw the event double in scale reaching 1.6 million ticket sales in his final year. Paul contribution to Edinburgh’s cultural life was recognised when he was made the first recipient of the Arts and Business Scotland Award for Leadership and he was awarded an Honorary Degree by the University of Edinburgh.

    Paul then established his own consultancy working on a wide range of festival projects internationally as well as taking up a position as Visiting Professor of Festival and Event Management by Leeds Metropolitan University then subsequently Senior Consultant at Edinburgh Napier University. He has been engaged to deliver consultancy training by a host of organisations including the British Council, Events Tasmania, The New Zealand Association of Event Professionals, Festivals and Events Ontario, Rotterdam Festivals, the Australian Centre for Events Management, Calgary Arts Development, Tourism Queensland, Svenska Kulturfonden, Sweden Festivals, Abu Dhabi Tourism Development Co, Association of Irish Festivals and Events, The National Arts Council of Korea.

    He is currently Artistic Director of the Durham Brass Festival and presents the Festival and Event Management Masterclass which has been delivered in 25 countries worldwide.

    Read more

Marijn Venmans

Owner and Operational Director

Bass Events
Marijn Venmans
  • Marijn Venmans

    Marijn is the owner and operational director of Bass Events – Belgium’s leading promoter in the Hard Dance event scene. Bass Events is responsible for some larger events like The Qontinent (Weekend Festival in Wachtenbeeke), Reverze (Indoor Event in Antwerp, Sportpaleis) and Flashback (In/Outdoor Event with multiple edition and venues).

    Besides Bass Events, he also organises the Sunrise Festival (Weekend Festival in Gierle) which every year welcomes a variety of artist from different music genres like House, Urban and Hardstyle.

    His love for organising events started when he was just 16, and this flame has never stopped burning since. Nowadays, he is turning his passion for events towards a more eco-friendly path and is trying to make a socially responsible difference with his latest project: Sustainable Solution (The Call of Nature).

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Jan Van Doorens

Director of programs at the Department of Sport Sciences

University of Applied Sciences, Thomas More Turnhout
Jan Van Doorens

Maarten Vanneste

Founder of the FRESH Conference
Senior Meeting Architect consultant

Meeting Design Institute
Maarten Vanneste
  • Maarten Vanneste

    Maarten Vanneste, started his company ABBIT in 1982. It grew from an AV company over production to a full-service meeting design company. After more than 30 years he is seen as a Meeting Industry leader and visionary with a focus on meeting design.

    His CMM's business-plan project became reality as the Meeting Design Institute (2006) - a member based organization that educates and exposes meeting planners to meeting design and its toolbox. In 2007 Maarten wrote the ground-breaking book ‘Meeting Architecture, a manifesto’. This became an industry bestseller that lead to an international movement and educational projects.

    Maarten is an influential innovator, author, trainer and a speaker. For his relentless work and influence in the Meetings industry, he received the IMEX Academy Award in 2005 and the MPI RISE Award for Industry Leadership in 2011.

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Inge Lauwers

Director of the Department of Sport Sciences

University of Applied Sciences, Thomas More Turnhout
Inge Lauwers

Theatre Stap

  • Theatre Stap

    Stap is a theatre that exclusively works with actors with Down syndrome. They have been involved in film, TV-series, conferences, events and more.

    At the fresh conference you will discover several aspects of this wild bunch of creatives. You will be moved by their film, touched by them and smile during their break interventions. The meeting industry’s attention for inclusion is growing; we built a session on inclusion with the STAP actor’s input. FRESH shares things you haven’t seen before, so you here you will get your FRESH ideas for inclusion first-hand…

    All the art you experience at FRESH can be booked, STAP is available for your international meetings too!

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Conference Art Festival

Theatre STAP

Theater Stap is a professional theatre company creating performances in which mentally disabled people take centre stage.
  • Theatre STAP

    Theater Stap is a professional theatre company creating performances in which mentally disabled people take centre stage. The performances’ artistic quality legitimises the company’s unique position within Flanders’ mainstream theatrical landscape.

    Theater Stap strongly believes disabled artists possess the capacity to move their audiences while performing. The company offers the actors a working space to develop their talents and individual artistic careers. In collaboration with various professional artists Theater Stap creates productions putting first the actors’ authenticity, increasing the visibility of disabled people and livening up broad discussions about theatre.

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