The now global FastForward conference is renowned for connecting people from all corners of the industry.
Having hosted events in London, Amsterdam, and Sydney, it’s one of the most intimate opportunities to learn from some of the brightest minds, get cutting edge insights from those at the coal face, and build the network that will set you up for your career.
Founded by Media Insights Consulting’s Chris Carey, FastForward launched in 2013 in Amsterdam with the goal to keep the delegate number at 150; to allow for more meaningful connections.
Now, after a run in London – which saw Soundcharts CEO David Weiszfeld, Sony/ATV’s Felix Canetty-Clarke, and Australia’s own Van Picken and Jess Beston on the speaker lineup – Carey is readying the next conference in Amsterdam.
Kicking off February 13 and followed by two full days of discussion and networking, FastForward Amsterdam is set to tackle some of the most pressing issues, including the future of vinyl, the future of boutique festivals, staying healthy on the road, and the role of playlists.
While the full speaker lineup hasn’t been dropped yet, FastForward Amsterdam is set to be another heavy-hitter with Aditi Arora, the Senior Product Manager at Gracenote; Andy Hajitheodoulou, Product Design Lead at Kobalt Music; and Catherine Luckhoff, Founder & CEO at NicheStream, all attending.
TIO caught up with the Chris Carey to gain insight on just how beneficial the conference is for Australians wanting to make the trek to Europe.
FastForward isn’t the new kid on the block anymore, has much changed since the inaugural event?
I feel FastForward has come a long way since its first event, but remains true to its values.
Year One was honestly a spontaneous experiment, to test the appetite for an honest, open and robust conversation. Now in year Four, following three years of positive reviews, we have continued to push boundaries, addressing controversial topics head on and bring quick to address key issues.
True to its core, the focus of FastForward is still the future of the music industry, and the conversation still very much takes place between people who want to take that future and shape it.
What kind of conversations should attendees at FastForward Amsterdam look out for?
FastForward Amsterdam aims to bring together all corners of the music industry. In Amsterdam there will be panels on the future of vinyl (is it growing or declining?), the future of boutique festivals, staying healthy on the road, the role of playlists, and many more.
What’s the benefit for Aussie industry figures who are looking to attend?
The best bit of FastForward Amsterdam is that you have easy access to bright minds across the European music industry, in a very small space.
Too often it’s easy to be in the same areas as the key people you want to meet, but it’s impossible to meet them. FastForward is a deliberately small event, with a strong focus on networking, meaning that anyone you want to meet you can.
It’s a long way to come, but once you arrive in Amsterdam you will be engulfed in FastForward for the two days.
Conferences are well-known for being the conduit of professional relationships. What kinds of partnerships have been forged in the past because of FastForward?
I’m thoroughly proud of the content at FastForward, but the most important part is the people who attend and get to meet each other.
This is a great question. My favourite success from FastForward is a gent called Dan Lee. Dan came to FFWD Year One as a student. Year Two he came as part of the volunteer staff team to help me with social media. Year Three he’s out in Amsterdam again, this time as a full time employee of our first ever keynote speaker and her newly formed digital marketing agency, Deviate Digital.
Dan isn’t our only success story. People have landed lecturing jobs, internships, jobs and commercial deals (Island Records and Insomnia esports) based on meeting the right person at the right time at FastForward.
If you’d like to attend FastForward Amsterdam, you have just under one week left to grab a Super Early Bird Delegate Pass.