This week our host Mark Felstead talks to Tim Nievelstein about his work as an event director and bringing his movie and TV editing and production skills and values to the world of digital and hybrid events.
Tim worked for many years as an editor on the production team for Stefan Raab – Germany’s premiere late night TV talk show host and one of the most popular figures in the country. Stefan Raab broadcast for 16 years without missing a show.
With events having to change and master new omnichannel delivery methods and borrow from the world of TV production and entertainment high values to create digital ‘fireworks and noise’, as Tim puts it, it is to directors that are brought up as digital production natives that clients are turning if they want to produce quality events online.
So, listen to the ‘Tim takeaways’ teased out by Mark Felstead as Tim also talks about his appreciation of Berlin as a ‘vivid city’ for events and of the new-found professional pleasure of receiving authentic, direct reactions from live audiences to his event direction.
This crossover from a TV director to the ‘new normal’ duties of an event director post-Covid will have many in live events and experiential creation rethinking how they spend their budgets and about how they, too, can raise the bar on production standards.
Tim describes himself as the ‘Spider in the Web’, conducting the events orchestra. And he is certainly raising the game for digital events and helping drag us kicking and screaming into 2021!
He also cautions on the need to involve digital storytelling techniques early in the process for best effect, and notes that quality has improved fast over the past few months as event organisers are forced to think more about staging, lighting and other production values more than ever before. “We all have ingrained viewing habits of watching television for many years,” says Tim. “And an average digital event can still look like TV from the 1960s. The key, he says, is to “stay hungry to make it better every day.”
Tim has been in Berlin this January working on the main congress of this year’s digital-only version of The Grüne Woche (Green Week agricultural tradefair) – one of the big three tradefairs in Berlin. Sadly the virtual version this year does not have a public element, but Tim has been working on the digital conference part of the event.
While he seems to be the right man in the right place, at the right time with his box of expert digital skills, Tim may miss the slightly brighter TV lights, but says he has learned to live without the necessary TV hairstyle! His final words are that he sees 2021 as a year of hope. “People are already making plans to meet up in person for events in the fourth quarter and ‘smell’ each other again at live events! Nothing can replace face-to-face with all the emotions involved.” In the meantime, if you need a digital Spiderman to direct your action, you know who to call.