“Digital is better” was already sung by the band Tocotronic. Well, that’s not always true, but for conferences in the middle of a pandemic, there’s a lot to it. Many participants, but also speakers, are not allowed or do not want to travel at the moment. In addition, there is uncertainty as to whether, when and how the government will tighten restrictions. For this reason, we have been offering almost all VdS-Expert Conferences as live streams for several months now.
For the expert conferences in December, which under normal circumstances are part of the VdS-FireSafety Cologne, we went one step further: They were held exclusively online, as the travel situation was extremely uncertain. The exception was the two-day advanced training seminar for fire prevention and protection officers, which could be booked as both a face-to-face and an online event.
Almost 1000 participants at the seven conferences! Of these, only 45 attended in person.
The feedback from our online participants is consistently positive. This is not least due to the above-average technical and organisational effort we put into the Training Centre: Whenever possible, all speakers and moderators are on site at the Training Centre in order to be able to present a uniform lecture format with the best technical possibilities. The speakers give their presentations standing in front of real cameras, and only a few of them are connected to a laptop. The interaction between moderator, speaker and participants takes place via the carefully supervised chat. This creates a real exchange online, and the participants confirm time and again that the conference atmosphere really comes across.