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The fourth edition of the Storymakers Event is a fact! Team Cherry LAB & Friends was at Hotel de GoudFazant before dawn. The IJ of Amsterdam looks glorious in the early morning. We look back on an amazing event full of happy faces, inspiring stories and new insights. In case you missed Storymakers, in case you want to know why you have to be there in 2019 or in case you were present, but in the need to look back and enjoy this day again. You can appreciate the beautiful pictures of our lovely photographer Chris König and hopefully we will see you in 2019!

Early birds

Representatives of 40 different brands are walking in around 8 o’clock for a kick start with a croissant, coffee and some fruit. After that we had kind our workouts building the Shop & Stop Market, that Rogier and John laid the foundation for on Sunday afternoon.

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120 content creators present!

The famous flu luckily got to a small group of content creators only, which meant that we could welcome over 120 bloggers, YouTubers & Instagrammers! The delicious lunch and the goodie bags filled with presents form Sunny Cars, Curacao and Germany Travel were ready. The GoudFazant, Iza, Birgit, Fabienne and Isabelle took care of a warm welcome.

Symposium: influencing as a business

Tessa aan de Stegge, founder of Cherry LAB and trend watcher, opened the Symposia as she does every year. Different speakers and professionals were talking about the trends in influencer marketing. In the morning we organized this for all the brands and in the afternoon it was the content creators’ turn. The most important trend that Cherry LAB saw is that the influencing is being a fulltime job for more and more influencers. We are estimating that at least 50% of the content creators that were present at the Storymakers Event are professionalizing themselves by using a broader business model and that they get their full income from that. The theme of the fourth edition was all about that: ‘influencing as a business’. This development makes that the collaborations between content creators and brands are more than just a deal in exchange for content and that influencers are growing to become 360 degrees ambassadors!

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Trends, trends, trends

Cherry LAB is also seeing that relevance is slowly winning from reach, and that is why there is a growing appreciation from brands to micro and mini influencers with a specific audience and high engagement. We can also throw the prejudice of blogging being only for young girls off the table. For example, blogs that create content for a 50+ audience are growing! And lastly, even though the influencer marketing is a whole new element in the marketing mix of a lot of brands, we find that there is a lot of confusion in the way of working with journalists and influencers for the brands. The power of influencers is reporting their own personal passions and that is why they build a loyal group of followers. The content is in that way not objective, nor put in a journalistic way. Unlike journalists, influencers are not receiving any salary and that makes them put a fare on their services.

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Speakers: Switzerland Tourism & ANTOR

The Symposium got a lot of color thanks to the diversity of the speakers. Cherry LAB asked ANTOR to give some insight in the way destinations are organized and in what way content creators can collaborate with them. Representative Tirso Tromp presented an interesting statistical study to their members. He ended with four tips. One of them was clearly the most important. Tirso advised content creators to give more body to their role of advisor of destinations. Switzerland Tourism did the making and learnings of their pop-up photo gallery that they made in collaboration with influential Instagrammers. In short? Co-create with Instagrammers and bring offline and online together. In their case Switzerland did that with their pop-up gallery at Utrecht Centraal Station which brought a lot of looks and a big audience!

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Speakers: content creators & surprise

Of course the content creators themselves were speaking at the event! Chris König told about his first year as a fulltime photographer and Instagrammer. How it all went down from just an RV. He also gave the audience a preview of the campaign he is going to do with Nikon and Beekse Bergen. Maarleen from knew how to touch the audience with a personal story, she explained how she built a business around her blog and how this ‘other way around’ way of working brought her good things. The new face of 50+ and founder of, Karin Barnhoorn, spoke about the 360 degree way of working that she prefers while doing collaborations, which makes the content and the ambassadorship for brands like Cathay Pacific come together. Sabine de Witte, founder of gave insight in the way of inspiring a high end audience. In her ‘Andaz-case’ there was a broad campaign where she brought together the experience of the Andaz Hotel in Amsterdam, Yoga Nidra, SOXS and other brands for her followers in a creative offline way. Zoë Wilde told the audience about the zentrepreneurship that she likes to live by in 2018 with Her goal is to create a sustainable business model. She does this, amongst other things, through her offline event Moderne Hippies Markt where she brings her followers together with bohemian brands. Lastly, Patrick van Gils shared the tips & tricks about personal branding and pitching.

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Germany Travel: #GermanySimplyInspiring

The destination Germany had some extra attention in this edition of the Storymakers Event. They were present with their Germany Travel team from Amsterdam and as much as four different German partner destinations: Berlin, Baden-Württemberg, Bayern and Hamburg. During the Symposium for the influencers Loes, Monika and Aniek took care of the eye opening presentation #GermanySimplyInspiring full of facts. We learned amongst other things that wanderlust is in fact a German word.

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Engagement: online & offline!

During this edition of Storymakers we wanted to reinforce the mutual understanding between the brands and content creators at the Symposium to give the Shop & Stop Market a flying start. The speakers and the audience were being challenged to be vulnerable by sharing knowledge and by asking questions. It was a little exciting at first, but it totally worked! The microphone was red hot.

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Shop & Stop Market

After the Symposia and a healthy lunch, it was time for the high point of the Storymakers Event: the Shop & Stop Market! Networking with the goal of putting together a win-win collaboration is the central point of the event every year. Forty brands and destinations gave everything this year and content creators were standing in line! The influencers could, amongst a lot of other things, drink green smoothies at Sunny Cars, be on a swing on the beach on Curacao for a little while, have a job interview to be a content creator for the Limburg Lonkt campaign, taste chocolates from Oostende, crawl inside a tent of Nigor and speed date with all kinds of destinations: from Antwerp to Philadelphia.

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German vibes

The surprising German vibes where also noticeable at the Shop & Stop Market! The cozy German corner next to the bar, made sure that everyone could get their hands on a fresh cup of coffee. At the end of the event German wines, trendy sodas and pretzels were served next to the very Dutch ‘bitterballen’. Who does not know them?

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Storymakers Event 2019

Do you want to be present at the next Storymakers Event in the spring of 2019 as a content creator or as a brand? Send an email to

Tessa aan de Stegge