Conventa day 1 2023 131 foto Marko Delbello Ocepek

Every year in august, the Conventa Crossover Conference in Ljubljana proves it's dedication to raising the level of events worldwide. The two-day festival of likeminded shows an unprecedented willingness to explore, experiment and celebrate true creativity.

As can be expected from this guiding-light-event, there's a lot of learnings to be picked up, bringing - as Gorazd Cad always likes to say - "POWER TO THE MEETINGS".

For the past five editions, Masters in Moderation have been heavily involved in shaping this great conference. A big thanks goes out to all of the team that allows us to truly show the power of our profession.
This time around, Juraj Holub took the stage to guide participants through the pitching sessions (for those shortlisted for the Conventa Best Event Awards), the inspirational congres and the awardshow. Colleague Jan-Jaap In der Maur played his role as jurymember, general observer and writer of this blog. He noticed some interesting trends and made some insightful observations.

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Higher standards

The entries to the awards clearly proved that the overall standard of events is rising. A somewhat smaller competition like this, with mainly regional entries from Newropa (central and eastern Europe), tell us that it's not only the big eventagencies that are doing a great job.
Not rarely working with more average or even low budgets, the rate of profesionalism and creativity clearly shows that our industry is maturing at every level.

Why? ROI!

At the same time, event agencies and meeting owners are still struggling with the why of their events. And since the objective in many cases is not defined into detail, it's still hard to prove the ROI of projects.
Only a handful of award-entries were able to present tangible results, surpassing general, but unsubstantiated claims like "the client was very happy"or "we had a great impact on the brand experience".
On our way to becoming thé key player in communication and marketing, the industry still needs to work on this.

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Sustainbillity or greenwashing

More and more event-professionals are taking Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) serious. At the same time, there's still some greenwashing going on.
A special word for two initiatives:

  1. AIM Group took it upon themselves to have one of their projects assessed for sustainabillity and succeeded in getting the Boyden-conference certified as sustainable. And yet, probably even this certification still leaves something to be desired. But let's support them in their effort to truly get the client on board of the SDG-train and to make efforts measurable. Intention is step one, accountabillity is step two.
  2. Creative Pro try to make the (events)world a better place, by taking initiative themselves. With their Odpadnesh-project, they found a way to recycle waste from badges etc ánd provide work to the socially disadvantaged. I would love you all to embrace this initiative and help them grow!

Smaller is better

In our view, the most exciting projects pitched, were the ones where a small and simple idea was executed to the max. Being able to explain your concept in one simple sentence really helps focus.
Forcing your self to bring the format back to one sentence and one simple thought, really helps to cut out everything that is distracting from the end-goal.

A special shout out in this case goes out to Rekurai Agency for Wishday and to Grand prix winners Universum 8, for Judith Polgár vs the world.

Online & hybrid are standard

Not too long ago, we struggled with the choice between in-person, online and hybrid; remember? Well, that time is over and a seperate award-category for online and hybrid is no longer needed. The jury found that a great event is simply a great event, no matter it being in-person, online or both.

Lack of interaction

Content driven events (congressen, conferences, seminars etc.) still suffer from a lack of interaction and should - in our view - be more participant-centric. I mean: it has been long proven that sit and listen is the worst way of learning, inspiring, growing and changing.
Sure, speakers (we prefer the word 'expert', or 'content provider') can play an important role, but they shouldn't be our default setting.

Conventa Crossover is leading the way in this aspect of meeting design, bringing several fresh formats to the stage. But even for this frontrunner conference, there's room for growth and for giving more room to participants.

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Speaker Support

Let's be honest: not all speakers on all stages are full-professionals. In many cases they are invited primarily for their expertise and not for their speaker-skills.
So, let's help each and everyone of them perform better and let's offer better content to participants, by designing a personalized format for every speaker. Some - but not many - will perfom best, while presenting. But other may communicate better with participants in an interview, a case study, a game show, a campfire conversation, a facilitated group-Q&A, or one of the other dozens of options.

In conclusion: we are already looking forward to Conventa Crossover 2024. To the expriments, the energy and the creativity.

Pictures by Marko Delbello Ocepek

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