"The goal is to create 'goosebump moments'"

Jakob Grandin, Gather Festival and Trädgården

Hello Jakob! Do you have a business card?

No. Not on me anyway.

If you had one, what would your job title say?

Cultural entrepreneur. Previously, it would have been “Gardener”, but I'm not as busy with that anymore, so now I'm probably just a cultural entrepreneur.

We’ll come to that soon, but first explain ... gardener? Yes, I helped start the Trädgården (The Garden) nightclub in Gothenburg. Back in 2003. Trädgården is a place for gathering popular culture, where the goal is to create 'goosebump moments'. Often in the form of music and also in an urban and changing environment that is safe, inclusive and where everyone is equal. But over the last two years, I’ve spent my time on many other projects. The big challenge now is to transform Trädgården from a nightclub into a destination. And that’s the same challenge we have for Nobelberget in Stockholm, which I also helped to get started.

Exciting! And now you are more of a cultural entrepreneur. Your big project is the Gather Festival, which will be in its third year in 2019. It’s presented as "Not your average conference". Tell me more.

I saw there was a gap for a meeting place where future issues are discussed by people who are different and who think differently. Diversity is the key ingredient of Gather – diversity in bodies, personalities and knowledge. There must be diversity, and there must be acceptance because we are all different and think differently. That’s what’s needed for change, and it’s part of Gather's core vision.

So how is the Gather Festival set up?

We invite over 50 speakers and more than 100 artists and musicians. The three-day festival at Nobelberget has five themes, such as "Humans & Machines" and "Democracy & Power". We have a wide range of speakers from all over the world: architects, investigative journalists, entrepreneurs, investors and professors. Gather is a festival based on commitment and activism, also from the participants, where it is ok to question and create in our "lab". That's tricky to do – change is hard! But we seem to succeed; 9 out of 10 say they will be back next year, and 60-70% make business contacts at the event.

And why do you use Confetti to package Gather?

For several reasons. To start with, it's easy to build an event site, and we can make a "white label" and put it on our own website. Many in the organization can also join in and create mini-events during the festival; For example, we do all "labs" as separate sub-events that people sign up for directly in Confetti. Another important reason is that I know Martina Elm and the Confetti gang well; I've been around from the start, the tool works great and the team continues to develop it.

That’s good to hear. So, what is the key to a successful event?

Understand your guests and visitors and have close contact with them. Listen to what they say, challenge them, give them what they didn’t think they needed and make sure they're never bored. Then they’ll most likely recruit new visitors to your next event.

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