Tuesday, August 18, 2020
Originally planned to take place on 23 April, the hybrid multisite conference “BOCOM – Experience Borderless Communication” will now take place on 3 September with a new concept. The Covid-19 pandemic accelerates the digitalisation of communication and collaboration in unprecedented ways. Experiences with new virtual and hybrid formats see a rapid increase. In this context, the BOCOM conference is more relevant than ever as a platform to reflect these experiences, exchange know-how and generate new ideas. In addition, BOCOM will provide an opportunity to, for the first time, scientifically evaluate a hybrid event that takes place in different locations.
The corona pandemic has propelled the world on a new level of digitalisation, in particular with respect to communication and collaboration. During the last months, most of us have made experiences with virtual and hybrid formats or tried new tech solutions. However, what does really work and which formats are really helpful from a user perspective? On 3 September, the BOCOM conference provides a chance to reflect on existing approaches, discuss insights won in recent months and jointly work on new solutions. BOCOM is the first hybrid event to be scientifically evaluated: The Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO will assess how a multisite conference affects attendees, e.g., with regard to knowledge transfer or networking, with the aim of generating recommendations for action and supporting the creation of agile and customer-focused future event formats. BOCOM will also be analysed from the perspective of the ecological sustainability of a conference that takes places in different locations. This part of the research is supported by the German Federal Environmental Foundation and carried out by CO2OL, a specialist sustainability consultancy.
Combining face-to-face meeting and virtual event
The agenda of “BOCOM – Experience Borderless Communication“ covers four main topics, which play a key role for future human communication and collaboration and have in recent months become even more relevant, i.e., “Overcoming Borders”, “Human Machine Interaction”, “New Work & Collaboration” as well as “Sustainability”. The practical set-up of BOCOM digitally connects locations in the Netherlands, Austria and Germany. Attendees in local hubs in Amsterdam, Vienna and Essen tune into key notes and discussions broadcast from BOCOM’s central hub in Berlin’s Design Offices Humboldthafen. Some speakers are digitally connected from other physical locations. Alongside the main stage in Berlin, parallel lab sessions enable attendees to meet in smaller discussion groups and to try new technologies. A “Speakers Corner” feature allows for follow-up conversations with some of the keynote speakers, a “VR lab” showcases 3D visualisations of venues and in a “chat lab”, innovative start-ups and technology providers present their solutions for the communication of the future.
As the number of attendees had to be limited due to Covid-19, attending the event in Berlin or in one of the local hubs is only possible on invitation. To ensure safe proceedings for everyone attending the physical event, BOCOM implements corresponding hygiene and safety measures, such as a one-way system between floors or a separation of the conference space and the space assigned to interactive event formats. Participation in the individual labs can be booked in advance through the event app. To enable as many guests as possible to attend BOCOM on site, the event is divided into a morning and afternoon session with alternating groups.
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