Events are not about the university, they’re about inspiring and connecting people

Peter Van Rompaey, Euprio Conference Poznan 2019 speaker

Peter Van Rompaey - Belgium

Peter Van Rompaey has been senior advisor corporate communications in the Marcom department at Vrije Universiteit Brussel since 2008. He previously worked as a television journalist and presenter (TV Brussels, VT4, VIJFtv) from 1993-2008, and as a newspaper journalist (De Morgen, Het Laatste Nieuws) from 1990-1993.

He is an expert, coach and trainer in public speaking and presentation skills. He is the author of several articles on the subject in Dutch language publications (a.o. Ad Rem, Tijdschrift voor zakelijke communicatie). He has given interviews on Belgian radio (Radio 1 - VRT) and an analysis of Trump’s speaking style in Belgian national newspaper De Standaard (Nov 2017), along with conference presentations on public speaking. Peter has a Master in Communication Sciences (VUB, 1988).

Every university and higher education institution organises many small and big events, and official and prestigious ceremonies throughout the year. Some of them, such as the honorary doctorate award ceremony, have a long tradition. But 21st century universities have multi-layered communities and audiences with whom they must connect in order to thrive, such as alumni, donors, policymakers, business and industry. That’s why we should completely rethink traditional ceremonies and (corporate) events, and come up with new kinds of internal and external events.

One thing is for sure: never waste a good event! You can’t have a strong and productive network without carefully thought-out events. Peter Van Rompaey is a senior advisor in corporate communications at Vrije Universiteit Brussel. He will share his team’s experiences, successes and failures, and how to work on events to make events work for you.

Full description
A decade ago the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (1834), located in the heart of Europe, decided to reshape its traditional academic ceremonies. The university as an institution shouldn’t be the focus of interest, but the experience of the audience. No more dull ceremonies with an endless series of long speeches, but attractive events that make people enthusiastic about the university, its values and its projects; appealing events with a clear objective and a central theme.

In this workshop, participants will see concrete and illustrated cases of internal and external events. Why do we organise events in the first place? For whom? What kind of outcome do we expect? Is there a call to action? How can we turn university ceremonies into attractive ‘shows’ through improved design, a multimedia approach, audience interaction and performing artists? Particular attention is paid to the quality of the speeches and presentations. How can we help speakers to prepare and deliver a first-rate speech or presentation and get their message across?

We will also discuss the event communication. How to reach targeted audiences? How to increase the impact of your event on social media?

The second part of the workshop is interactive. The participants will share their experiences, successes and failures regarding the events organised by their own institutions.