Beyond the boarder

Written on September 29, 2014 by Vanessa Dezem Baida in News


Photo by Jean Marc Joseph

OFFF is one of the most creative festivals around the world. It is more than just a Festival hosting innovative and international speakers, it is more than a meeting point for all talents around the world to collaborate, it is more than feeding the future. It is a community where speakers and participants can learn, stimulate, and inspire each other that results in bringing innovations. Héctor Ayuso, Director of OFFF, shares his valuable experiences and viewpoints with us. 

1. To begin with, tell us more about you. What is the core value of OFFF? Through OFFF, what attendants and speakers would be able to learn, gain, or achieve?

OFFF’s value stands for the idea of what the attendant or the speaker have experienced in the Festival. Whether it’s about changing perspectives, gaining new experiences, learning about new techniques… We always make sure that OFFF attendees, from professionals to students to curious people, take something for them at OFFF. 


2. Along with the advancement of technology, there are more and more options for artists and creators such as online platform like Behance. What is the important role that OFFF plays as a festival that takes place physically?

Nothing will ever beat the human interaction and that’s one of the main reason OFFF has become the meeting point for everyone coming from all around the world. Being face-to-face, sharing talks and inspiration, experiencing the same atmosphere in one big room is something magical and essential.


3. For festivals, events, conferences, it is important to design space in which people can have a distinct experience. How do you design and create a space to provide such an experience?

When you make sure that you are creating the event that you would love to attend as an attendee, you are able to see through your attendees’ perspectives and that’s how you know that the experience they’re about to have is truthful. Not to forget to mention that all along the way, taking risks will always be part of the event which makes you discover new boundaries.


Photo by Jean Marc Joseph

4. How do you differentiate yourself from other festivals and events as Barcelona is one the biggest international conference cities?

Since the beginning, we started as an intuitive community and we continue as a intuitive community with fresh ways to create things and ever since then we still hold on to this essence in the Festival for 15 years in a row. We always feel that we are part of the attendees and that we are making something important for them, something that may change their life.


5. Business-wise, for many emerging event creators, one of the biggest challenges in the early stage is finding sponsors and partners. How have you proved the effectiveness of being a sponsor of OFFF? By the number of visitors? Revenue?

It’s very important to state the fact that we never focused OFFF as an event to make money, it’s an event for emerging artists to attend, share and collaborate together. Our sponsors become part of the event, not as “sponsors”, but as part of the community that helps creating the Festival. We make sure that they get involved in creative ways inside the Festival and become part of the OFFF experience.



 Photo by Jean Marc Joseph

 6. To invite great speakers, have interesting installations, and attract sponsors, you need to bring lots of visitors, To gain a large number of visitors, it is necessary to have great speakers, creative contents, or interesting partners. It is like a chickenandegg dilemma. What was your solution regarding this point?  

We never agree on the equation of “big names = big audience”. What makes OFFF gain such loyalty from its’ audience is the fact that OFFF focuses on the content rather than who’s giving it. We know that new artists will always bring something new, even offer some sort of innovation. OFFF has always found the perfect talent between experienced speakers and emerging artists. That’s what the value of the Festival stands for. We are proud to be taking part of inviting artists that first spoke at OFFF and are now pursuing their dream jobs!


7. On your website, you put emphasis on “Community”. What are significant factors to cultivate a community, accelerate communication, and generate a positive cycles within the community?

A community shares, collaborates and creates a space where boundaries don’t exist. Everyone is at the same level at the Festival, whether you are speaker or an attendee. That’s what creates a huge community while sharing the same experience and the same things without considering any VIP values!


8. What kind of roles does the community play in OFFF?

OFFF’s community with its’ modesty, friendliness, simplicity and inspiration helps create such a successful Festival, isn’t that the most important role?




Photo by Jean Marc Joseph

 9.What are your goals in 5 years?

We go through every edition’s work year by year, making sure that we will never repeat ourselves. Most importantly, our goal is to never follow a certain formula nor a pattern. It’s all about challenging and putting ourselves in risks in order to do something new and different for our audience.


10. Give us some message for people who wish to organise festivals, events, and conference in the future.

Always find your inspiration, do what you love, share it with the world and make a change!



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