The Coronavirus pandemic has amplified the need for better digital communications and virtual events. Our cooperation is built upon talking to each other, sharing expertise, and networking. Together, we find and implement better solutions for regions and cities without re-inventing the wheel.
In March 2020 we all suddenly had to adapt our traditional cooperation patterns to a new, rather contact-less reality. Since then our Interreg community has learned a lot about different kinds of online activities for different purposes. On this page we want to share these with you because we believe that #cooperationiscentral to better communicate what we do.
BEFORE YOU START
When planning an event - be it physical or virtual - it is important to know what you want to achieve in view of a specific audience.
Do you want to involve people in what you do? Or show what you have achieved and inspire? Or do you want to train and build capacities of people?
Video conferences allow people to engage with each other. They can share their thoughts, views and ideas in real-time. All participants can share their screen, write on e-whiteboards or upload content for other attendees. There are many tools you can opt for: In our programme we have tried out Jitsi, Zoom, Teams and GoToMeeting and they all work fine.
In webinars and large web conferences people lean back to hear something new. They might take notes and ask questions in a brief Q&A session towards the end of the meeting. They are not there to co-lead or teach. They are learners and observers. When organising webinars you can choose tools like Interactio, GoToWebinar or Cisco WebEx.
Virtual exhibitions will maximise the impact of your messages and stories if done well. Such events, possibly combined with a physical launch event, can increase your outreach tremendously. For our programme we have created the Interreg CENTRAL EUROPE story map and constantly develop it further. With our partner programmes we are celebrating Interreg's 30th anniversary in an online Interreg exhibition.
Tutorials that are recorded and published online save time because they make repetition obsolete. They assist people in acquiring new skills or using new tools whenever they have time to learn. For our programme we have created a few playlists on our YouTube channel: for example on how to apply with us or how to work with us once you get funded. Tutorials can also be embedded in websites and shared on other social media.
After deciding on your event strategy and choosing a tool, it is about time to get started with more practical things.
You will have to set up the event, advertise it, start and moderate and also - eventually - document it. Rather than re-inventing long lists of tips
we recommend to dive into the following webinars and tutorials of our colleagues from the Interreg community.
Our colleagues from Interreg Europe have organised a 2-hour webinar with very useful advice on how to host online events. They recorded the webinar and all tips, links and materials are available on their programme website.
WATCH THE WEBINAR
The Coronavirus pandemic affected many Interreg projects, which had to cancel most of their physical events. They had to react swiftly and many of them went digital in just a couple of weeks. As a result, they often attracted a much broader audience than they ever imagined before. Communicating their final products and achievements in virtual events of various shapes turned-out to be a big success. Get inspired by the following good practices.
The TalkNET project focused on optimising the coordination among freight transport stakeholders in the central Europe area. Promoted by the North Adriatic Sea Port Authority – Ports of Venice and Chioggia as lead partner of the project, the online event registered over 150 participants among authorities, stakeholders and experts of the logistic sector. The conference hosted international speakers and discussions about eco-innovative and multimodal solutions for the freight transport.
WATCH THE TALKNET CONFERENCE
The Social(i)Makers project helped to boost social innovations in central European regions. In the final event, a Zoom conference, the project presented the outputs developed including a social innovation toolbox, platform and community strategy. The event participants could interactively participate in the discussions sharing their social innovation experiences in various breakout-sessions, and thus experience the community feeling.
WATCH THE SOCIAL(I)MAKERS CONFERENCE
The CEETO project encouraged low-impact sustainable tourism to preserve natural areas. The project developed innovative tools for managing and monitoring sustainable tourism and presented these in a virtual final conference. The conference was attended by over 200 participants who followed presentations and contributions from a broad range of experts on sustainable tourism. This way they could learn about key outcomes of the project that are now ready to be taken up by others.
WATCH THE CEETO CONFERENCE
The KETGATE project connected business support organisations and research institutes to help small and medium-sized companies access key enabling technologies (KET). The project partners developed a brand new online network as the basis for a KET ecosystem that will make innovation more accessible to businesses. In their virtual final event they successfully launched this network and rolled it out to a wide range of future users.
WATCH THE KETGATE CONFERENCE
✔ THEY had clear INTERNAL roles from moderator to Presenter
✔ They defined clear RULES for conference participants
✔ They had A KEY MESSAGE for PEOPLE to REMEMBER
✔ They chose a good Content mix and speed
✔ They used cliffhangers to keep people tuned in until the end
✔ They documented and FOLLOWed UP ON the EVENT