Director & Founding partner

DDG Smart Marketing, The Netherlands


Ester de Graaf is one of the two founding partners of event marketing agency: DDG Smart Marketing ( She is the founder of event-recruitment and -training agency SEM ( ). Behind the radiant smile, you will find a seasoned professional with tons of experience in the event marketing industry. She lived in London, Paris and Frankfurt for a few years, worked for an advertising agency and was marketing manager at large IT companies before she decided to start her own event agency. It didn’t take long before DDG was overseeing European events for big names in IT. Ester’s fortes are inspiring clients and finding creative solutions. She also enjoys scouting new talent and coaching event professionals to more prominent positions. That is why she started DDG-spinoff: IamSEM!

Wanderjahre for event managers

Wandering is such a great German tradition. Young men were sent away from home to explore the world, get odd jobs and practice their skills. This happened in medieval times, but we can still make use of the same tradition today. That is why DDG supports the efforts of Ester de Graaf (one of our founding partners) to launch an interim agency for Smart Event Managers, develop online training for young talents via and form a community for event professionals. You can find this Semmunity on Linkedin and Facebook!

We think joining this group is a great way to build a platform for event professionals to network. A positive environment to share experiences and help colleagues with tips and advice. The main goal however, is to motivate young professionals to learn online and develop skills on the job. That is also why Ester is actively involved with the talent she places on projects or interim jobs and keeps developing new online courses. Some of her SEMs are future event managers in large organisations, others will start-up their own event companies. But first they should enjoy their wander years and get a feel for our industry.

on June 17 • by