Meet Vincent Buyssens, Community Manager of APBC
"A tight-knit creative network is instrumental to the success of the knowledge economy. With limited resources, the City of Antwerp has to be sure it gets the best return on investment."
As Community Manager of Antwerp Powered By Creatives (APBC), Vincent is in charge of facilitating networking. He helps creatives connect with each other and with external industries. One of the initiatives he undertakes is the yearly creative economy networking event for the City of Antwerp.
Breaking down the boundaries of traditional networking
Before the event, participants posted requests and offers using the Conversation Starter web app. When there was a match, meetings were planned by Conversation Starter using an automated scheduler that optimized timing. Immediately prior to the event, a personal overview of planned meetings was delivered via SMS to each participant’s smartphone. Vincent provided meeting points so participants had a smooth networking experience.
"Conversation Starter gave us the chance to respond to challenges of community members with specific events in the future."
Conversation Starter users at Creative Antwerp Networks generated requests and offers that served as the creative community’s pulse. The City of Antwerp and APBC gained an overview of how the community members were performing and the challenges they had.
What users said
"I have already worked for two clients whom I’ve met using Conversation Starter. It's the most effective way to make promising connections at events."
Web developer - PandaPanda
"Conversation Starter removes the awkwardness of approaching someone you would like to meet and start a natural conversation. It does all the heavy lifting—pairing you with someone who genuinely wants to help you and steering the conversation in the right direction."
Yves Van Laer
Digital Project Manager - MIA Interactive
"We generally communicate with our clients and prospects via email and telephone. Conversation Starter gave us the chance to meet them at Creative Antwerp Networks face-to-face. It’s nice to put a face to a name and strengthen our ties."
Management assistent - VideoCrew
"Conversation Starter keeps the interests and expertise in the requests and offers short so people can glance quickly and focus more on the face-to-face meeting. In short, Conversation Starter is a user-friendly tool that helps you to connect with the right people in a crowd of hundreds."
Marketing Communication Specialist - VOV Lerend Netwerk