Interview with Patrick Roubroeks, Founding director of XSAGA. Patrick has a curious and creative look to the world around him. He sees and grabs opportunities where someone else wouldn’t see them. He combines and switches effortlessly between the world of events and the world of marketing communication. Roubroeks is an advisor in the world of ‘art and culture’ and frequently gives readings titled ‘Inspiration 2.0’. He also writes monthly columns for professional journals like FZ, EventBranche, High Profile and Greater Venues. For the last two years, Roubroeks has been a chairman of ‘De Grote Prijs van Nederland’, chairman of the board of the ‘Amsterdam Poëziefestival’, and a board member of the ADCN (Art Directors Club Nederland).

“Everything is experience; experience is everything”

Q: What do you desire the most at the moment?

Waking up on the weekends during lock-down and when my wife asks me with a smile on her face: “What time do we need to be at the theatre?” I miss the fun before the event, being together, experiencing something that really touches you together. Something that only seems to exist at that moment. An experience that will keep you occupied afterwards for a long time. I miss this Opium for the mind!

Q: Why do you love organising events?

In our great profession, we can experience all possible technical disciplines, creative ideas to come together all at the same time. Light, sound, technical aspects, singing and dancing… all driven from one idea, one directed experience with one orchestrated goal. I see it as a great privilege to be involved in creating and developing these lasting memories.

Q: Can you present the tool or app you use the most during the corona crisis?

Deliveroo J Teams J.

Photo Credit: XSAGA

Q: How would you explain to a client why organising events is essential?

“Ut est rerum omnium magister usus”Experience is the teacher of all things – Julius Caesar

Q: Is it easier to organise digital or live events?

Not easier, however different. A digital event needs different tools and resources to generate the desired effect. A digital event is experienced in a different setting and requires not only from the ‘sender’ but also from the ‘message’ and the ‘recipient’, a different approach.

Q: Is organising digital events cheaper than organising classic events?

That is challenging to say, as a solid preparation is necessary for both events. The use of technology is inevitable. A digital event has the potential to generate a larger reach due to its digital reproduction, however, has a larger challenge to create the same impact as a classic event where visitors are present live. The attention of the consumer ‘within a digital event or a classic event’ has a completely different field of competition.


“Technology should always serve the people and the idea, and not the other way around”

Q: If the future of the meetings industry will be green, where do we start?

All changes start with yourself. “Be the change you want to see in the world,” Mahatma Gandhi said. For our 20th anniversary, we are organising an event where several stakeholders will draw up a manifest taking the first steps to change private ambitions into collective ambitions.

Q: What will be the key trait of a great event organiser after the corona crisis?

After the crisis, the personal meeting will be of greater importance. Real contact has been scarce the last year. The importance of sharing this experience by the individual visitor will also increase enormously in the coming years.

Q: What is your view of the future? Where is the meetings industry headed?

Our motto for now and the future is “Everything is experience; experience is everything”.

Q: What is the most surprising fact about organising events?

As the famous Italian poet, Cesaro Pavese said: “We don’t remember the days, we remember the moments.” That not only applies to the people that organise events, but also the participants, who we create these events for!


Q: High Tech or High Touch?

High Touch FIRST, High Tech SECOND!

Technology should always serve the people and the idea, and not the other way around. Technology is a resource, not a goal.