How one congress embraced the festivalisation tendency
With regards to event developments , festivalisation could be simply the ticket for injecting lifestyle into a tired conference. Here’s how one association made a carnival of technology, art and motion.
Festivalisation is among the coolest children on the function trends block at this time. Borrowing elements from songs shows, artwork installations and carnivals, festivalised activities like Austin’s SXSW and Canada’s C2 Montréal display the type of creativity, enjoyment and focused interest that often elude conventional meetings.
“The increasing convergence between your business and creative industrial sectors, in addition to boredom with the meeting industry status quo, are usually disrupting how organizations style their conferences to raised engage significantly fractured and distracted audiences,” wrote Greg Oates in his Skift record on festivalisation as a meetings sector megatrend back 2017.
It’s once and for all cause that festivalisation is on top of everyone’s set of event trends to consider this 10 years . But, while commercial occasions like C2 certainly are a organic fit for festival-like encounters such as VR artwork installations, can whimsical components create the leap to the planet of severe scientific conferences? Where can you fit festivalised times in between a huge selection of poster presentations and hotly debated symposia? And will you develop a carnival atmosphere without compromising the integrity of the tough technology?
Here’s what occurred when one scientific congress tapped into this occasion craze and additional a multidisciplinary splash to its conventional programme of activities.
A science-large congress with an extended history
The yearly conference of the International Ornithologists’ Union is really a heavy-weight scientific occasion with a brief history stretching back again to 1884. This prestigious quadrennial aims to create together around 1,500 bird researchers and conservationists for weekly of packed development that runs from morning hours late into the night time. “The Congress is sort of the Olympics for ornithologists, they would like to go to it at least one time in an eternity,” states Shawn Cheng at MCI Canada.
However when the congress found Vancouver in 2018, the neighborhood chair had some special day concepts up his sleeve. Vancouver lies on a significant migratory bird route, therefore the town is usually something of a haven for bird watchers. “There exists a huge connection right here for researchers and bird enthusiasts. Which is what the neighborhood chair wanted to utilize,” says Shawn, who performed a crucial role on the look team for the 2018 occasion. “He didn’t need the congress to become simply for ornithologists, he needed it to end up being much larger.”
Festivalisation has been an ideal event trend to greatly help them make it happen.
Harnessing nearby power
The organisers started with the thought of linking the meeting with an area bird festival operate by an avian scientist. However they also knew there is plenty of energy they might utilize in your community. Bird tourism is really a multi-million dollar business, and the study the MCI team completed on its prospect of the spot impressed Vancouver town officials. “The town noticed how this collaboration would advantage them, so folks from local authorities just like the tourism bureau and the parks section joined up with the event’s organising committee.
“From the logistics side, this is a dream become a reality.”
With an area festival to utilize and town officials onside, the group set to function preparing the IOCongress and Vancouver International Bird Event . As soon as they got began, the function ideas flowed quick and thick.
Transformation by festivalisation
The initial plan was to carry the bird festival independent to the congress, however the team slowly embraced the festivalisation occasion trend throughout. “We'd have both of these different events happening simultaneously, targeting different sets of individuals,” says Shawn. “But after we started the look process, we identified several areas where in fact the two occasions could connect. Also it became this type of natural fit that people made a decision to do things jointly to activate the amateur birder human population and take the technology out in to the public.”
Festivalisation encouraged some really creative conference style . The group collaborated with local companions like performers and poets to produce a week-long program bursting with multidisciplinary activities around Vancouver. Proceedings kicked off with a bird parade, naturally. Over 200 volunteers, local musicians, entertainers and delegates donned handmade bird outfits to parade by way of a local recreation area and over the Vancouver seawall to the Vancouver Convention Center.
The bird parade completely flight
Canada Write-up topped off this instead surreal view by unveiling limited-edition stamps in honour of the event also to spread conservation consciousness. The team furthermore held events round the town like bird-viewing tours and first country performances. And the event had a general public lecture series including audio speakers like Booker Prize-champion Margaret Atwood and award-earning conservationist Purnima Barman.
An extremely untraditional expo
The congress expo and poster hall (house to +1,000 scientific posters) furthermore obtained a revamp. The group opened its doorways to the general public for the very first time, and set up a open public theatre with a collection programme of occasions to entice the crowds. “The group Musicians for Conservation furthermore relocated their yearly exhibition into our business show. It produced the expo extremely untraditional,” states Shawn. A signature occasion of the week-long performers’ show had been the unveiling of the Silent Skies mural. A 100-foot installing 678 endangered bird portraits painted by musicians and local school kids.
Nowadays is our final look! #IOCongress2018 closing ceremony, Sunday at 6pm at the Vancouver Convention Center by the Digital Whale sculpture. It’s already been an incredible week! Hope everyone will come by to state hello before most of us have to state goodbye. #vanbirdfest pic.twitter.com/qpsEEcIqRu
– Rah ❤️🏳️🌈❤️ (@Rah_Bop) August 26, 2018
A social media marketing strategy to obtain the occasion trending
Being an event development, festivalisation and social media marketing were virtually built for every other. Therefore the team put an idea set up to capitalise on the additional attention. Area of the International Ornithologists’ Union eyesight is to disseminate understanding of birds and a lot of the delegates had been currently involved in grassroots conservation, therefore the team designed an electronic marketing strategy directed at using social media marketing for advocacy. They caused the British Ornithologists’ Union who hosted social media marketing periods for delegates and released helpful posters round the congress.
“We furthermore produced a social media marketing hub at the congress in a high-traffic area. A location that people will come and get more powerful WiFI,” says Shawn. “Probably your intention in the beginning would be to charge your telephone or verify your e-mail. But maybe you’ll browse the poster that’s about social media marketing, and the united kingdom society had individuals there to speak to. Everything helped.“
A meeting trend delivering serious advantages
The advantages of going to traditional scientific activities are well-documented, however the delegates around for the IOCongress obtained lots of non-traditional advantages from festivalisation too. As the congress carried on using its scientific content material uncompromised, delegates furthermore attended the festival occasions throughout the 7 days. This gave them an extremely different degree of engagement compared to the specialist articles of the congress. “If you’re a bird scientist, you almost certainly like artwork about birds too. Therefore having events just like the artwork exhibition alongside the expo involved them in different ways and gave them a mental break.”
Plenty of avian researchers spending some time raising public recognition about birds and conservation. “Sufficient reason for the Vancouver Bird Festival we opened up the door to the general public. The researchers felt like the occasion passed the data that they’re so enthusiastic about to the general public. It empowered them a little more.”
Do you start to see the #BirdsonParade today? Bird lovers flocked around Coal Harbour to start the International Bird Event and the #IOCongress2018! @IOCongress2018 🦅 pic.twitter.com/nY3B2XemJI
– Tourism Vancouver (@MyVancouver) August 21, 2018
And on the expo front, festivalisation shipped an increase inside footfall that captured the eye of exhibitors. “Our exhibitors weren't just the original ones. The congress generally attracts 10-20 exhibitors, but also for 2018 they got around 80 exhibitors (like bird tourism agencies and regional retail companies) who have been keen to activate with bird enthusiasts on the list of general public,” states Shawn.
And as the festival lent an extremely visual factor to proceedings, the 7 days was loaded to the brim with push and social-media occasions. From MCI’s records , the function got 54M mass media impressions, 245K Twitter impressions, and 150+ push mentions, and also international press insurance coverage.
Shawn’s 5 top strategies for festivalising your occasion
As James Lancaster writes in AMI , “[Festivalised activities] have reimagined the meeting format – and folks have got responded with enthusiasm. Which should probably audio alarm bells for associations intent on utilizing the same meeting template ad infinitum.” Therefore if you’re seeking to enliven your annual getting together with through festivalisation, listed below are five non-negotiables for effectively experiencing this event trend, in accordance with Shawn.
1. Ensure that your field and place are ideal for this event pattern
Festivalisation isn't for every meeting. Ecology and conservation are usually fast becoming hot subjects, but it addittionally helped that the goal of the IOCongress chimed with nearby appetite for safeguarding birds in Vancouver . This made both an ideal pair.
2. Identify existing local occasions that this event utilize
“I’m confident the reason why our event was successful was that people didn’t Develop a festival. We currently had one. We simply relocated it and extended it.” A preexisting event offers you a ready-made neighborhood network of individuals to function with and can save loads of groundwork. Therefore scope out what’s currently on the market.
3. Focus on an area committee with eyesight
“ The main element thing is if the local seat or committee wish to accomplish something different and also have a eyesight. In 2018, everything began from our chair.“ Thus good out your organising committee , and when they’re not thrilled by this tendency, put it back again on the shelf.
4. Obtain the support of regional officials for the festivalisation
“Minus the involvement of town officials, big public activities just like the bird parade possibly wouldn’t have occurred. They took treatment of the application form. And because we'd municipality and tourism up to speed there was also assistance for the press outreach.“ So research your facts on what your event could advantage the location, as soon as you’ve got some cool, hard numbers, look for local support.
5. Develop a story the mass media will flock it
“ Our work was to make a good tale,” says Shawn. The extremely visual character of the general public bird parade intended it took flight in public areas imagination. Also though the event occurred on a mid-7 days afternoon during school vacations, it still were able to attract a huge selection of spectators. “ Just how that it proved was pretty excellent; it’s still a meeting I discuss.”
Dee shifted back again from London to greatly help Ex Ordo inform their tale. Although she discovers it tough to get turmeric lattes along with other hipster nonsense in Galway, she enjoys authoring the weird and amazing world of analysis conferences.