That the team at Faber is proud of the company and the achievements they make every day speaks for itself. That they also want to share their knowledge and experience so widely is perhaps more surprising. That intention was shaped several years ago in the Faber University. The concept provides a one-day program full of information and interactive workshops, organized twice a year in clusters of three days. “For our current and potential relations, it is a special opportunity to get to know us better. For ourselves, this approach offers the unique opportunity to show what we can do in all phases and facets of audiovisual productions,” said Arjen Kijk in de Vegte, Division manager Corporate solutions.
Multicolored palette of functions
Venue for Faber University’s activities is its physical home in Sint Annaparochie. The program has since become a valued tradition, as evidenced by the complimentary feedback after each edition. “After two years of corona constraints, we were finally able to welcome our relations back to Friesland for Faber University in March and December 2022.” “Once again there was a multicolored palette of functions of the participants. We met project staff, technical producers, event managers, media specialists, as well as corporate end customers,” said Kijk in de Vegte. Interest in the technical sides of the event business is pretty much the biggest common denominator. Our goal is to introduce them to the possibilities that exist with the use of our hardware and other technical services in short and mostly interactive workshops. In practice, the level of knowledge does often turn out to be very different. “Of course, it makes a difference whether you are responsible for event production on a daily basis. Or whether you are involved in the planning and realization of, for example, visual technology during a major show. Nevertheless, we try to keep it as accessible as possible for everyone, with the range of workshops offering plenty of room to be further informed according to your own views and interests.”
Differentiation based on prior knowledge
Each edition, Kijk in de Vegte and his team try to make refinements and improvements in parts of the program, mostly prompted by the feedback that is always requested from participants after the event. For example, in the 2019 edition we decided on a content differentiation. “We then set up one day with a general outline and one, which was put together for advanced staff in event technology. One day the topics of display, camera, playout and digital passed by in purely simplified approaches. The other day the presenters went into much more depth.” The December 2022 edition featured an English-language day. Kijk in de Vegte: “However, the program did remain interactive both days; Faber considers that an important condition for its success. “After the joint part in the morning, the guests walk through the company premises with us and along the way are shown everything from maintenance to the repair of LED panels. But they also gain impressions themselves with Virtual Reality, green screen and cameras, for example.” In the studio converted into a demonstration floor especially for the occasion, specialists show numerous examples from audiovisual practice. The plenary part – logically – is recorded on camera. A high-end and curved LED wall was used for the presentation.
Especially for English speakers
Another innovation in the program is the day for international guests, which is slotted into the December 2022 edition of Faber University. Kijk in de Vegte: “We mostly work with international organizations that also work in English in the Netherlands. In addition, we have had international guests over from the USA and the UK.” An initiative that was embraced, because certainly that day was fully booked in no time. “We prefer to receive no more than 25 to at most 30 guests per day. We choose that very deliberately, because that way we can make everyone feel comfortable and personal contacts come into their own at the same time.” And that personal contact is widely needed after corona time also became clear to the Faber crew during all the days. “It was special for us anyway, of course. After all, our new building in Sint Annaparochie was completed right at the time when business contacts were almost all maintained online. A large number of our regular relations had already seen it.”
Impressive and educational
Faber University has scored high marks among its guests since its inception. The 2022 editions are no exception, either. Overall the last time again an 8.39. They praised the atmosphere and the quality of the program, but also the impression visitors got of Faber Audiovisuals as a company: “The positive atmosphere, the passion and the careful way of working,” someone wrote. And: “The hospitality and the fact that you share so much knowledge,” another states. “My impression is that the organization had everything well taken care of, so I wouldn’t change a thing,” says a third in the feedback. “We are obviously very happy with such feedback. Also with the comments placed, by the way,” says Kijk in de Vegte. It will all be included in the internal evaluation that follows, which in turn will contribute to the new series in 2023, 3 days in March and in 3 days in December. “Because there is no question that we will continue with Faber University. Those who would like to receive an invitation can register with us.”
Text: Henny Beijer