How it began

Life was good

Bas and Ruben watch their dream fall apart. On March 15, 2020, it will be announced that all events are prohibited until September 1st. A strong, fast-growing company called EventInsight sees sales plummet to zero – nothing, zilch, nada. Literally every event will be canceled.

Are our cheerful friends going to let this get them down? No, of course they won’t! Enthusiasm and fanaticism is what keeps them going. Bas Krijgsman, co-founder of Let’s Get Digital tells us:

Life was good

Bas and Ruben watch their dream fall apart. On March 15, 2020, it will be announced that all events are prohibited until September 1st. A strong, fast-growing company called EventInsight sees sales plummet to zero – nothing, zilch, nada. Literally every event will be canceled.

Are our cheerful friends going to let this get them down? No, of course they won’t! Enthusiasm and fanaticism is what keeps them going. Bas Krijgsman, co-founder of Let’s Get Digital tells us:

A new challenge

Before Let’s Get Digital, we were called EventInsight, and we improved physical events. Then came COVID-19, and it was just a matter of time before our first event was cancelled. Before we could really react, the phone was ringing off the hook. We started with events in twenty countries, and within a few weeks, we had nothing more to do.

And now what? We suddenly had to do something completely different. That was very contradictory for me. From a business point of view, it wasn’t fun – but as an entrepreneur, I found it very interesting. Secretly, it’s nice to be able to work creatively again with a new challenge.

Let’s Get Digital

On a broke Saturday morning when I had a hangover, I had a hunch. I called Ruben and asked, “Why don’t we quarantine the whole team? We rent a camping farm somewhere in Drenthe, and turn it into a party; and at the same time, we transform our app into a digital platform.” “Let’s Get Digital!” replies Ruben aggressively. “Hey, good name Ruub,” I said nonchalantly.

That’s it, that’s the pitch. And no matter who we pitched it to, everyone loved it. Within three days, another event was planned, and our energy level was at 200%. Then we made a bold statement: “It will be ready in three weeks.” We didn’t know if that was going to work, but we were going to make it happen.

Let’s Get Digital

On a broke Saturday morning when I had a hangover, I had a hunch. I called Ruben and asked, “Why don’t we quarantine the whole team? We rent a camping farm somewhere in Drenthe, and turn it into a party; and at the same time, we transform our app into a digital platform.” “Let’s Get Digital!” replies Ruben aggressively. “Hey, good name Ruub,” I said nonchalantly.

That’s it, that’s the pitch. And no matter who we pitched it to, everyone loved it. Within three days, another event was planned, and our energy level was at 200%. Then we made a bold statement: “It will be ready in three weeks.” We didn’t know if that was going to work, but we were going to make it happen.

21-day work week

And we did. None of us really had experience with digital events, or had ever thought about it before. I think we had a 21-day working week at the time, just to get Let’s Get Digital off the ground. You should
have been there at the office – we plowed ahead like a train!

We set the bar high for ourselves by purposefully making it very different from traditional webinars. We wanted to match the experience of an actual event. We wanted visitors to say “I went to an event!” at
dinner, and not “I followed a webinar.”

This transformation was a huge challenge. From digital support at a physical event location, we suddenly became the event location… and digital support as well. But it worked out great! From 1 to 2 physical events per day, we’re already at 14 digital events per day. That’s quite a difference.

Offline? No way

I found it quite challenging to work in a different mindset again. All this also changed the team. We’ve gained a lot of experience, learned a lot, and have become even closer. Nobody can take that away from
us anymore.

Before the entire crisis, if you had asked me about digital events? I would have replied: events MUST be offline. People need to see each other, 100%. That’s really turned 180 degrees. Even after COVID-19,
you’re really not going to do everything exclusively offline anymore. Digital events save so much time, and you don’t have the hassle around it like you do with physical events. They’re also less harmful to the environment, and more accessible to more people.

Offline? No way

I found it quite challenging to work in a different mindset again. All this also changed the team. We’ve gained a lot of experience, learned a lot, and have become even closer. Nobody can take that away from
us anymore.

Before the entire crisis, if you had asked me about digital events? I would have replied: events MUST be offline. People need to see each other, 100%. That’s really turned 180 degrees. Even after COVID-19,
you’re really not going to do everything exclusively offline anymore. Digital events save so much time, and you don’t have the hassle around it like you do with physical events. They’re also less harmful to the environment, and more accessible to more people.