The shift to virtual events - James Wilmott, Dan Craft & Paul Adamson

21 May 2020

Like many sectors and organisations, Forum Europe has had to be agile in changing its business model to reflect the realities we are living through, and the shift to purely virtual meetings and events has proven to be both a challenge and an opportunity. We’ve developed our Forum Vision concept, and it is worth highlighting a couple of standout points we have observed so far:

  • Timed right, virtual meetings can bring in participants from around the world that would otherwise not have been able to make the event.
  • Webinars have their place and are a great tool. But the participant experience can be enhanced in many ways, and in particular through online face to face networking. Not always necessary, but it’s important to have the tools available.
  • Engagement between policymakers and stakeholders has suffered, but not to the extent it might have done. We’ve seen an admirable willingness across the board to keep conversations going.
  • Virtual events are often at the mercy of technology and varying speaker bandwidths. But there are many things you can do to mitigate and prepare.
  • And finally, the necessity to think out of the box and to be more creative in the approach to events has been demanding but fun, both for our team and for our clients and partners.

Nobody can predict with any certainty what the future holds, but the circumstances have demanded a response. Read on for a few updates on what we are up to over the next few months and if you are interested in learning more about our virtual events offering, how we can start to integrate hybrid solutions over time as the appetite slowly returns for in-person events, then contact James Wilmott on +44 (0) 7760 160 618.


What’s coming up?

We’ve developed a fresh concept - our Under the Spotlight Series, which, over a couple of hours, is designed to give focus to particular areas of policy, but to also enable participants to engage and network with each other at a time when this is not as easy as it once was!

As part of this series, we’re covering The Green Deal on the 29th May, now timed to take place after the Recovery Plan announcement scheduled for the 27th May; a session on full fibre and the gigabit society; a debate on the 18th June timed to follow the release of the European Commission’s two-year review of the GDPR, and a series of events across the week beginning 29th June looking at the Digital Services Act, following the opening of the public consultation.

Also in June, and outside of the Spotlight Series, we’ve launched an exciting cyber security event concept – The Cyber Hub – which will take place on the 10th and 11th June, with our partners ECSO. Our 18th Annual Financial Services conference will now be delivered across 2 days, and our annual Spectrum Management conference across 5 days, during the week of the 22nd June, both of course entirely online.

In addition, our regional spectrum management conferences in the Asia-Pacific and Latin Americas regions are both now in the process of moving online and will be held in July and September respectively. We’re also running a number of invitation only events over the next 4-6 weeks covering tech and digital topics.

And finally, planning for the Autumn continues. Of note, we are organising a major event on Digital Sovereignty for the 29th September, with the support of several MEPs and we will be running our September USA Data Privacy event virtually. Alongside the vital job of supporting our existing clients transition their autumn and winter events to the virtual scenario, we are also pleased to be working with EIT Food on the delivery of their flagship event in December.

So, it’s busy. And we are hugely grateful to (and immensely proud of!) everyone in the Forum Europe team for all their hard work and energy during the last few weeks and months.

You can find full details of our published events here or get in touch if you’d like to have a conversation about speaking, sponsoring or organising an event.

Best wishes,

James, Dan & Paul
Forum Europe