The 5th IFES MasterClass in Amsterdam

27.12.2018 | IFES Press Releases


From 10 to 12 December the 5th IFES MasterClass took place in Amsterdam. Under the title stop talking and start doing 30 participants met. They came from Hong Kong, Mexico, South Africa and of course Europe. Their declared goal: to overcome blockades in the sales process. “Presenting sounds so easy … and if done right it is” was the conclusion after the two seminar days.

Han Lenhouts and Jean Pierre Brouwer, the two mastermind of this year’s MasterClass, brought renowned speakers and trainers to the start, such as Pieter-Paul Visser or Riemer Rijpkema, both acquaintances in the Dutch live communication scene. But the undisputed highlights were Marius Smit and Fares Boustanji. Smit is the founder of the company “Plastic Whale”, an initiative that has set itself the task of clearing the Amsterdam canals of plastic waste. But that’s not all: the discarded bags, bottles, buckets – and everything else you can find – have turned into heralds of excursions or, more recently, furniture. All clear up-cycling products that are far away from “eco charm”, but real design highlights. Smit used his own example to show how you can win people over to your ideas by motivating yourself and believing in the project. Initially ridiculed as one of the many eco-spinners, he now runs a company with 30 employees and has sponsors like the city of Amsterdam or PWC who support his ideas for up-cycling plastic waste.

Fares Boustanji is completely different: thrown off track by a burnout, the trainer, also known as “Bird Man”, sought a retreat as a falconer. It soon became clear to him: “You also have to communicate with birds – but this happens much more directly. Birds react much more sensitively to body language, voice modulation, facial expressions and gestures. Or to put it another way: If I manage to get a bird of prey to trust me, I am also able to gain the trust of a human being. The art here is to get involved with one’s own needs and to understand them intuitively.

The IFES MasterClass was the somewhat different Sales Seminar. No “tschakka” or “we are the biggest” but a training aimed at strengthening the competences of the individual.


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IFES is the International Federation of national associations and individual companies active in the design, conception, production and services used at exhibitions, tradeshows and events.

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