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September 29, 2022

Anna Heijker, owner of Pitches & Presentations: ‘Traditional event programs comprising of three keynote speakers and a panel discussion don’t work anymore’

You came to Romania in 2012. What makes doing business in Romania interesting for you?


‘I came to Romania to work as a marketing manager for an NGO, in the frame of a project of the European Union and I was initially going to stay for six months. At the end of this period I discovered entrepreneurship and I received requests to provide trainings in presentation skills and persuasive communication from the Dutch-Romanian business community. When I established Pitches & Presentations, I was the only trainer in Romania who delivered trainings on pitching. Next to providing trainings on pitching and presentation skills, I can regularly be seen on stage myself as a moderator or debate leader. I work for multinationals and for 70% of the startup accelerators and incubators in Bucharest.

In general Romania is becoming more popular as a country to do business in. For example, last week I was a speaker at the seminar ‘Establishing your Business in Romania’ in The Hague, which was organized by e.g. the Netherlands Enterprise Agency and the Dutch Embassy in Bucharest. There were around sixty companies present, which completely filled the room. This was not the case a few years ago.’


You built your company from scratch. How did you do this?


‘I think it is important to look for the right places to network. I am a member of Impact HUB, a co-working space and community of entrepreneurs, where I meet so many people working on their businesses and NGO’s every day. I am happy to be part of this group of positive, enthusiastic and ambitious people. I am also an active member of the Netherlands Romanian Chamber of Commerce. I can recommend all Dutch companies and Romanian companies which do business with Dutch clients to become a member. The network is strong and during the events a lot of knowledge is being shared. Besides networking I also pitch ideas, which lead to business opportunities.’

You are moderating business events. What are trends in the events industry?


‘I am seeing a trend where event organizers are finally beginning to understand that the traditional event programs comprising of three keynote speakers and a panel discussion don’t work anymore. The new way-to-go is generating a lot of interaction with the audience. In doing so it is important to engage an audience with the topic of the day. By doing this you are able to guarantee that participants of an event really do go home with newfound knowledge and inspiration. A consequence of this trend is the fact that event organizers are starting to involve me at an earlier stage, so I can advise them on how to design the program of the event.’


Speaking about 2016, what are your plans with Pitches & Presentations?


‘I am currently expanding the business in the Netherlands. The event industry in the Netherlands is more mature and I want to bring innovative solutions for audience interaction to Romania. For example, there are apps that can be used for live interaction which I want to start using at events in Bucharest.’

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