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The desire for contact with other people

© Cytonn PITB Berlin NOW, ITB Berlin NOW Convention, MICE, Tagungen, Kongresse, Daniel Poulsen, SAS Institute, Nick Pupa, DSM Group, Toby Frowen, Amgen, Michael Bourke, Novo Nordiskhotography

ITB Berlin NOW Convention discusses the future of virtual events and meetings

How will conferences, meetings and other events be held in the future? This topic was discussed by four experts from different companies on Wednesday at the ITB Berlin NOW Convention. Their conclusion: there will be no return to the pre-2019 situation, and virtual meetings will remain an important part of the world of meetings, although the need for face-to-face gatherings will return. “Curiosity and an open mind are necessary when planning for the future: an open-mindedness to new technologies as well as curiosity about other people, their ideas and experiences", explained Daniel Poulsen, Senior Content Marketing Specialist for the SAS Institute.

Nick Pupa from the DSM Group emphasised that, in his company, holding virtual events has meant that data has been evaluated very systematically. On this basis it has been possible to optimise processes and activities. As Pupa pointed out: “Admittedly it is difficult to conduct virtual events really well, but 'digital first' is very definitely our approach now."

The importance of evaluating data was also emphasised by Toby Frowen, who is Senior Manager in Global Lead – Global Meetings Management for Amgen. “Over the past twelve months we have also focused on making more efficient use of our data. One result of this data analysis has also been a recognition that many people want more face-to-face meetings and personal contact in the future", according to Frowen.

Michael Bourke, who is responsible for Clinical Meeting Management at Novo Nordisk, also drew attention to another aspect. His company plans to be CO²-neutral by 2030, and all its processes are being adapted with this objective in mind. In the future a decision by Novo Nordisk to give preference to virtual meetings will probably not be made because of COVID 19 but primarily for reasons of ecological sustainability.

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