International Confex: Live events in demand
International Confex may have been delayed due to new government regulations, but there is still an appetite for the live event format and discovering what the ‘new-normal’ will be for the events industry.
We spoke to two members of the International Confex advisory board to discover how the event will shape up come 1 September 2021. The two members are: Miriam Sigler, director, Ways and Means Events; and Emma Barr, events and training advisor, The Royal College of Midwives (RCM).
An in-person world
Online events have carved a space for themselves during the pandemic, however moving away from the virtual events format and back towards a live event structure was a key talking point for both of our advisory board members.
MS: “Virtual has served a purpose and it has opened up a whole new set of tools for us that will enhance our events going forward, but you can’t beat face to face. Networking is more fluid and natural when in person, chance encounters, picking up on unsaid cues is easier and is a far less isolating form of communication”
EB: “Live events are vital to keep morale and energy levels up, it is essential that members feel engaged with their association and a part of it. While virtual events have provided the RCM with a wider audience, they can never replace those water cooler moments or the opportunity to meet industry colleagues you wouldn’t usually have access to. Live events build momentum and give you space to completely immerse yourself in an event without distractions from daily life.”
Short- and mid-term themes vary for Barr and Sigler, but both are aiming to take learnings from the pandemic and improve their event offerings.
MS: “Our key themes are getting back to the joy of events whilst maintaining the elements of the last year that have worked, for example our focus on mental health and personal prioritisation; protecting ourselves whilst doing the jobs we love!”
EB: “For 2021 I am focussing on sustainability and how I can keep the positives of the last 18 months when transitioning to face to face again. I am also concentrating on promotional items that aren’t throw away but have a life after an event. Another theme is member satisfaction and making sure they feel valued as we slowly return to love events and ensure all feel comfortable with the changes.”
International Confex will take place 1-2 September 2021, you can register here: www.international-confex.com