Navigator for events during 18–24 January 2021

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Not going to lie, I did enjoy the peaceful period during the winter holidays. In a way, it was surprising how less emails where there to delete after not checking my inbox for about ten days.

Well, all good old things come to an end, and the new good things can start.

New year, new hustle. January is taking off in a mild pace but some innovations in the eventscape can be seen already — Product School is making a live text chat session with a product manager at Google. Sincerely, I am curious how that will go. I am old enough to remember how EC held one of their info sessions on Slack, and it was impossible to keep a track on the conversation at all. Too many people, too less moderation, atmosphere of a Turkish bazaar but in text-only dimension. …


Happy Holidays!

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Woha, Christmas are around the corner.

2020 was both, a very long and a significantly short year. The main driver for digitisation whose impact will be felt long in the future. And an absolutely crazy year for travel and event industry.

There was The Great Event Migration when conferences rescheduled from spring to autumn season. Events ventured online. Everyone got burned out and simultaneously bored with the avalanche of online content. Some things have not been figured out yet, and building genuine connections on the web is still a daunting task.

This year was fast-paced and experimental. Judging from our impressions while tracking events in 2021, next year will be crazier and even more volatile. Ask us why if you are curious. …


Navigator for events during 07–13 December 2020

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Photo by Mikk Mihkel Vaabel, project EEBiH for RiNG20

Well, that was fun. We just made a big science festival happen online, and it was utterly enjoyable experience. Mostly thanks to the amazing team and partners, but also — there were less technical issues than expected.

It was a major shift in the roles for event organization though. Instead of being at the frontline of event and taking more of PR and representation responsibilities, I ended up doing quite a bit of backstage tech support and playing puzzle with content pieces for the programme.

It was fun learning and practicing new skills. There is certain muscle memory needed to handle beautifully mute/unmute, turn video on and off, send a particular slide to the main stream or put a spotlight on a specific speaker. It’s a bit like playing a piano — when you start you play each note separately but once you are more experienced you play a melody. …


Navigator for events during 30 November — 06 December 2020

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Alright. The guide this week will be short and sweet due to the fact that we are organizing our first big online event. It will be tiny bit larger than a regular Zoom call. Well, quite a bit larger, to be honest… And let me tell you: despite all the innovation in the online event space it is still not easy at all to do anything that requires even a bit of cooperation between different tools.

Anyhow. If you are interested in science, this Friday, 27th November, is dedicated to the European Researchers’ Night with online or hybrid events all over the continent. …


Navigator for events during 23–29 November 2020

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The random connection feature is a horrible idea,” my friend told couple days ago. We were talking about virtual event tech and possible ways it could develop in the future. Business networking is one of those problems that everyone knows about but none of the gazillion apps and web platforms seem to be able to address it properly. Random networking feature showed some promising signs, especially for people who are using events for sales. But even in agreement for potential benefits my friend was still very much against it.

It still seems too serendipitous to me” he said. And I had to agree with him. What might work for Chatroulette, might not be entirely appropriate in a business setting. …


Navigator for events during 16–22 November 2020

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Internet is ruled by introverts and the cats. Well, mostly our feline overlords take the crown, but there is a widely accepted notion that introverts on internet feel like at home.

This is largely true as the “internet” is predominantly an asynchronous communication channel while giving decent control over with whom one can interact. Posting, tweeting, chatting and emailing can all reduce social anxiety and make it easier to approach people one has never meet in person.

But hearing that online conferences “work well” for introverted people caught me by surprise. I am much more inclined to argue the exact opposite: online events are much more difficult for introverts than in-person conferences. …


Navigator for events during 09–15 November 2020

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What a week was this... There has not been much space to take a breath between USA elections and second UK lockdown while strict coronavirus control measures have been rolled out all over Europe.

One particular post stood out during this week of extreme anxiety: the map of republican vs democrat voters that switches from represented land to represented population size. Yes, it is not new (first version has been made to give perspective to 2016 USA election outcome) but somehow it struck the right cord now.

This gorgeous example of data visualization makes two things obvious. First, there are much less Trump supporters than the land map leads you to believe. Still neatly split to about the half of population, but it is more of a rural-urban divide than democratic processes being rigged. Second, less obvious point is that republican voters are in a possession of much larger portion of land and associated resources than the democratic population. …


Navigator for events during 02–08 November 2020

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Everything we do online, we do intentionally. And it is very tiring.

Just think about this: at virtual event absolutely nothing will happen if you will not click on a button, follow a link or type something in a chat window. And the worst thing is that you need to be absolutely certain of what you are looking for in order to find it. Serendipity is not a function of online world.

Online world is convenient. Or it is supposed to be. Everything seems to be at your reach, if you know what you are looking for and how to find it. …


Navigator for events during 26–31 October 2020

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First time I came across term ‘captive audience’ was in a discussion with a friend about those peculiar prices at the airports. Seriously, 11 euros for a small Mozzarella sandwich?! Are you kidding me?

Well… You can try to find something cheaper at the next gate. Venture to another terminal looking for better deals. But unless you have time, patience and an inclination to make particularly bad decisions (such as taking a trip to the nearest city), finding a cheaper sandwich is simply not possible.*

In a way, attendees are the ‘captive audience’ at in-person events. Anyone who had to wait 3 hours in a registration line for Web Summit will readily admit: jumping in and out of a large conference is simply not an option. And even for the small events it is highly disruptive and works against interest of attendees who want to make best from their time there. …


Navigator for events during 19–25 October 2020

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We have been talking a lot about virtual events since the lockdowns began, and one thing is clear: we looove to hate them.

Few days ago Gil Dibner tweeted “Jeez. I don’t even want to attend the virtual events I’ve paid for.” and it really rung the bell. Hell, sometimes it feels that I’d skip an online event even if someone paid me to attend.

They are that tiring.

They are abundant. They take your attention away from your work and still keep you glued on the screen.

And there is one more aspect that makes them quite different from their in-person ancestors: lack of FOMO. One can go on for weeks without attending any virtual conference, and still not feel like they are missing out on something. …

About

Aiste Lehmann

Building implementable structures from chaos of ideas :: Science geek @reevent_me

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