HIER opgewekt ‘best online conference in COVID-19 times’
42 Virtual meeting rooms
In November 2020, the ninth edition of Evenement HIER opgewerkt took place. Due to the corona outbreak, the conference was held completely online for the first time, and spread over three days instead of one. The organization used the Networkapp platform to facilitate the online event. “We can look back on a very successful event in which almost 800 people took part,” says Anouk Overbeek of HIER.
The organization was already familiair with Networkapp, as they used the more compact mobile version of Networkapp during previous live editions. “The app functioned as a program booklet and visitors could register with it for breakout sessions and plan appointments with each other.” The collaboration was therefore not new. “For the online edition of our event, we did look around at other platforms, but opted for the updated Networkapp desktop software, because our target group already knew the platform, it is user-friendly and has the functions we wanted. We also liked working with a Dutch company and the associated short lines of communication.”
Local energy transition
Evenement HIER opgewekt is an event for people working on the local energy transition. “Many of these people come from citizen energy initiatives, but also cooperation partners such as municipalities, network operators and other energy professionals join”, says Anouk. In addition to a plenary opening, the participants could choose from 32 webinars. There were also dozens of virtual meeting room sessions. “These were small talk sessions for a maximum of ten people, in which the participants had their camera and microphone on and could therefore easily establish mutual contact. The nice thing about Networkapp’s virtual living rooms is that they look cozy and you can decorate them yourself to fit your branding. That makes it a lot more fun than a boring virtual meeting. These sessions were also well appreciated by the participants.”
The organization invariably conducts an extensive participant evaluation afterwards. “The best compliment is that our event was named ‘the best online conference in COVID-19 times’. We are of course very proud of that. ” Next year the tenth edition of Evenement HIER opgewekt is planned. “Of course we hope to organize this on location as usual, but we have also noticed that for many people there are advantages to an online event. Perhaps – if circumstances allow – we will choose a middle course, a hybrid event combination of online and offline. There is a good chance that we will also work with Networkapp again. ”
"The nice thing about Networkapp's virtual living rooms is that they look cozy and you can decorate them yourself to fit your branding. That makes it a lot more fun than a boring virtual meeting."
Anouk Overbeek, HIER