CONVENTA BEST EVENT AWARD – WINNING IDEAS
Kongres Magazine talked to Patrizia Semprebene Buongiorno, whose projects won them the award for the best B2C event and best in creativity award, about her opinion on events and groundbreaking projects.
Q1: What do you think about the Conventa Best Event Award competition. Where do you see it going in the future?
The Conventa Best Event Award has rapidly evolved, including, for example, digital and hybrid meetings, and I think that it will be able to reflect the market, catching the emerging trends and promoting innovation.
Q2: Why do you think your project convinced the international jury?
I think that the jury recognised the creativity, innovation, determination and problem-solving attitude that led to support clients achieving their goals, despite the extremely difficult situation created by the pandemic. Of course, it was also important to be supporting clients who were brave and decided to turn limits into an opportunity, to experiment with new ways of interacting and involving their audiences, venturing with courage and trust during a challenging time for all organisations.
Q3: Do you think that event awards are important in the eyes of existing and potential new clients. Do they (still) have weight?
I definitely think so. Awards are important for event organisers since they motivate competition for excellence and for clients to represent an interesting showcase of successful projects to take inspiration from, despite a way to better know the competencies of specialised agencies.
Q4: What are the qualities and values that you want to transfer to your events?
Each event has its own goals and value to communicate, so the most important thing is to deeply understand the client’s needs, event untold, and translate them into coherent experiences, and being able to promote a change in the audience. The main values we try to follow at AIM Group, regardless of the event typology, are, for sure, quality, ethics and innovation.
Q5: What are some of the most common mistakes that companies and organisers make when organising events?
One common mistake I can easily have in mind is when as an event professional, you have a consolidated client which every year ask you to organise the same event, and you tend to repeat the same formats, re-propose best practices, take a known path, and do not experiment with alternative ways to communicate content or engage people. We must never be tired of innovating!
Q6: Which competencies of event organisers need to be strengthened the most after the corona crisis?
Of course, we need to develop new skills, and at AIM Group we promoted education and training involving our teams in order to become more tech-savvy, updated on new opportunities, with a wider approach to organise the enriched, hybrid events which require more complexity. But we must also outline that many skills of expert event professionals, like problem-solving attitude, the deep knowledge of event and communication mechanisms, creativity and flexibility are of a big value also in the new context.
Q7: You have created many amazing events in your career. Is there an event that you have particularly fond memories of and is always stuck in your mind?
Among many successful and exciting events, I had the chance to attend, I would like to mention the European Congress of Cardiology – ESC 2016, which brought 30.000 people to Rome. Organising such a huge event demonstrated how important collaboration among event organisers, scientific associations and the destination is. We were able to overcome big challenges and realise a memorable event.
Q8: What has been the most difficult event you have organised in your career?
ESC 2016 was the most challenging and difficult event as well. We have been working on it for several years, we knew that thanks to the wow-effect and appeal of Rome the attendance will be huge and, as a matter of fact, it surpasses the expectations, so we had to work hard to make all go smooth.
Q9: We are constantly talking about future trends that will shape the meetings industry. But what past trend shaped your company and events the most in the last 20 years?
During the last 20 years, I think that event organisers moved from a more operational approach to focus on communication and content, developing new formats, new tools and new ways to foster the exchange among people. We can say that we spent our last 20 years trying to make each event really different, unique and effective – much more than in the past when the conference format has consolidated – thanks to meeting design technique. In the last years, we pivoted digital and hybrid formats and expand the range of experiences offered to participants, who became the real protagonist of the event – much more than in the past, when the brands and speakers were used to one-way communication. The present is augmented, with each participant experiencing its own event journey, mixing on-site and digital environments, choosing at their convenience the place and time and ways to interact with organisations and other participants.
Q10: What was your main source of motivation for choosing a career in the meetings industry? Does the profession still excite you in the same way?
Yes, I have fun and am excited and stimulated like the first day. What led me to choose this job is that it is based on exchange, on meeting other people, spreading knowledge, travelling, opening up to the new. Thanks to this work, I met people of all kinds, from all over the world, with a daily personal enrichment that still stimulates me today.
Q11: What are you reading, watching, listening to at the moment?
I am reading a biography of Caterina Sforza, an exceptional woman of the Renaissance. In general, I have a great interest in history, in the traditions of peoples and cultures, which I approach both with films and books because they are really often a source of inspiration for me and for the present.