SMART COUNTRY CONVENTION: A PIONEER FOR DIGITAL CONVENTIONS
The Smart Country Convention (SCCON for short) is an event organized by Messe Berlin and Bitkom that has been bringing together top representatives from the federal, state and local governments since 2018. At the convention fair, which took place as a live event in the past, everything is about digitization in the public sector. Modern administration, digitalized authorities and networked cities are more important for our economy than ever before. In 2020 and 2021, SCCON was implemented as a special edition with the rooom eventCloud.
Taking new paths together
In 2020, the SCCON team found itself in a situation where new solutions had to be developed. Canceling the Smart Country Convention was not an option - with the convention on the topic of digitization, a digital event format was a natural choice.
After the successful hosting of IFA 2020, Messe Berlin's first large-scale hybrid event, rooom's trailblazing event platform was well remembered. So it was decided to develop a platform for SCCON together as a pilot project. A new and improved version of the event platform was initiated - as an agile startup, rooom was able to react quickly to the needs of SCCON.
"We all need to learn to use digital tools and establish new formats for events. rooom supported us in this process by developing a user-friendly and intuitive platform for our event."
Helga Marta, Project Manager Expo | Messe Berlin GmbH
Even though the project broke new ground, the Smart Country Convention's "Special Edition" platform proved to be a success and was used again the following year.
Developing demand-oriented solutions
The event specialists at the Smart Country Convention know exactly what customers need - both visitors and partner companies. This made it possible to set specific requirements, on the basis of which the existing event platform was to be further developed. The result was a tool that would be perfectly suited for the implementation of virtual and hybrid conferences in the future.
A high level of user-friendliness and an intuitive interface were the top priorities for the hosts. There also needed to be a convenient backend for managing the content so that the project team could assist exhibitors and partners quickly and easily in the role of "convention managers". In addition, the project was divided into different stages and required a different presentation of the content before, during and after the event.
Content and other requirements included:
- Exhibitor profiles that could be maintained by the companies via self-service
- Different categories for the presentation of the partners
- Overviews for program and speakers
- Presentation of products and services of the partner companies
- Jobwall for the presentation of job offers
- Networking with matchmaking function
In order to announce the program and exhibitors in advance and without logging in to the platform, we enabled iFrames with content from the event platform to be embedded on the SCCON website. Since not all users have access to certain browsers, a system check feature was implemented to check the technical requirements for participation in advance.
Working closely together, a powerful platform was created in a very short time. The software developers and project managers of rooom jumped straight into action to meet the needs of SCCON to their fullest satisfaction. The team from Messe Berlin and Bitkom also got to work and developed content for the users.
The result was impressive: In October 2020 and 2021, everything was about the latest trends, solutions and strategies for e-government, smart cities and smart regions on two days each. An extensive stage program with top speakers from politics, the digital economy and science was streamed live from Berlin and then made available on demand. Exhibitors and partners were able to present their companies as well as products and jobs on their own microsites. This was done completely without 3D visualizations using a 2D interface. In the networking area, participants could network with each other, exchange virtual business cards and even receive contact suggestions based on common interests. With 10,000+ participants and more than 150 speakers on three stages, the first digital Smart Country Convention came to an end.
"Thanks to the flexibility of rooom's event platform, we were able to target the Smart Country Convention perfectly to our audience."
Helga Marta, Project Manager Expo | Messe Berlin GmbH
Reutilization as a multi-event platform
The initial plan for 2021 was a hybrid event, but two months before the event it was decided to implement a fully digital concept. The fact that the basic structure of the platform was already in place was an enormous advantage, because it could be easily adapted and reutilized. With a small team, a successful virtual event could be set up in even less time than in the previous year.
SCCON 2021 in numbers:
The highlights of SCCON 2021 included keynotes by Margrethe Vestager, EU Commissioner for Competition and Digital Affairs, Jens Spahn, Federal Minister of Health, and Julia Klöckner, Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture. In order to be able to broadcast the program smoothly, on-site support was provided by rooom. The program is available as video-on-demand until April 28, 2022.
Watch the trailer to get an impression of the Smart Country Convention:
For the Smart Country Convention, it has proven useful to focus on a high-quality program as well as the functionalities of the event platform. While the rooom eventCloud offered numerous new features compared to the previous year, a conscious decision was made not to use interactive networking modules such as video shuffles or roundtables. Organizers can learn from the Smart Country Convention by clearly defining the focus of their event and aligning the event platform to provide the best possible experience for participants.
An insight into the future
It is certain for SCCON that physical events will continue to be the focus. However, a digital event platform offers the chance to develop new solutions and to complement events with hybrid concepts. In this way, a broader target group can be reached and the formerly mainly German audience can be expanded on an international level. New tools and features can be cleverly used to unite physical and virtual worlds.
The Smart Country Convention was a great project to optimize our platform for virtual and hybrid conferences. The rooom eventCloud offers event hosts a wide range of options for connecting participants. As a top event for digitization in the public sector, SCCON was able to take significant steps into the future of virtual and hybrid congresses. The event, which originally started as a pilot project, is now a successful example of the reusability of the rooom eventCloud.