The SCOOCS Forum 2021 - Review and outlook on the future of events
On the 27th April 2021, after weeks of preparation, the time had come: the first “SCOOCS Forum“, an event organized and hosted by SCOOCS about the future of events, could take place. The occasion was the SCOOCS first anniversary. For a year now, SCOOCS has been offering the possibility of implementing digital events professionally and easily with the help of the many and continually expanded features.
The one-day forum was held digitally via SCOOCS and focused on the exchange of experiences about virtual events, tips, and best practices as well as outlooks on the future of the events. Event planners from a wide range of fields were able to come together for exciting presentations and stimulating discussions on all facets of digital and hybrid events. The exchange took place either in groups during the lectures or in private digital rooms.
The future of events: how will virtual and hybrid events shape the event industry?
Forum participants had access to exciting presentations by a total of six speakers. The speakers were united by their extensive professional backgrounds and many years of experience in the event industry. The presentations offered a lot of input and lively discussion.
After the welcome by the founder Prof. Dr. René Bohnsack and the key-account manager Mariana Sarmento, the participants of the event were surprised by a virtual magic show. Afterward, everyone could enroll in the various virtual rooms to listen to the interesting presentations and participate in the discussions.
Motoki Tonn, founder and CEO of dexp.one, spoke about the various organizational necessities of successful hybrid events. He paid special attention to the conception and brainstorming in the initial planning phase of events, with some significant differences to consider compared to other formats.
In her contribution on engagement, Jessica Lopes, event manager at HYPE Innovation, highlighted the problem that (active) participation does not mean the same thing to all stakeholders, and also manifests itself very differently in different types of events. The behavior of participants in virtual events differs significantly from the one from physical events. Thus, different definitions of engagement should be established for each one of the different formats, to be able to better track success.
Svenja Brosius and Christoph Kreutz from SIGS DATACOM GmbH, on the other hand, told in their case study how they faced the challenge of implementing a large trade fair event in digital format. The question of how to get participants onto the platform was discussed, as were the tasks of the organization: some things turned out to be a success, others proved to be more of a mishap. Along the way, they had to develop suitable solutions for the fair. The registration for different types of events such as workshops or lectures had to be thought out in advance so that these events could run smoothly in parallel.
Perspectives on digital communities and the sustainability of virtual events were presented by Geanne van Arkel and Henkjan van Offeren. The biologist and sustainability ambassador for AmbassadorWise and the founder and CEO of StudioCollegare highlighted the opportunities of digital communities, platforms, and events: They offer a much more inclusive and easier access and can be easily adapted in their design to different target groups. The advantage of the stronger sustainability of virtual events is also not to be neglected. Of course, on the other hand, new difficulties can arise with digital communities. Therefore, for a successful implementation, questions and concerns of the participants must be carefully addressed, and deliberate opportunities for networking must not be missed.
A virtual forum? An online Agora about the future of events!
After the “SCOOCS Forum 2021”, about the future of events, the feedback from participants and speakers was very positive. Such as this feedback from Jessica Lopes: “Thank you again […]. I can’t wait to take part in the next forum and your client community on a regular basis! Thank you for offering us a space to learn from each other, share our experience and struggles, and extend our network of peers.“.
The SCOOCS team also considered the forum a great success. Rita Vieira emphasizes the networking opportunities: “The SCOOCS Forum was an amazing opportunity to network and to learn from great event professionals about the present and the future of the event industry. In the future, we would like to continue these networking moments with the SCOOCS Talks – monthly talks where we will be sharing new ideas about the event industry!“.
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