The motto for this year’s ProfTreff on 6 October 2020 was: “Future. Now. Live meets digital.”
Clemens Baumgärtner, Head of the Department of Labour and Economic Development of the City of Munich, and Wolfgang Kerkhoff, Business and Convention coach and a member of the Board of Munich Congress Alliance e.V., were confident: “We will not be abandoning in-person interaction in the long term; conventions will happen again.” They also emphasised the benefits of digital formats, for instance increased reach and the elimination of travel times.
The event at the Gloria Palast cinema was attended in person by around 100 scientists from Munich’s universities, institutes and research centres, as well as representatives of Munich’s conference sector, while another 100 or so guests participated virtually.
Organised by the Munich Convention Bureau and the Munich Congress Alliance, the ProfTreff 2020 event saw the launch of a trailblazing hybrid event for Munich’s conference sector. Hybrid events – in other words, live events with additional virtual participants – bring together both conference types and offer new opportunities for knowledge transfer.
Digital publications and live streams have long been part of academic events. COVID-19 has catapulted communications into the virtual realm, as well as boosting innovation. The pandemic has also accelerated the digitisation process.
Speakers at ProfTreff illuminated the future of digital and analogue events using specific examples of best practice. Prof. Dr. med. Lars E. French, Director of the Clinic and Polyclinic for Dermatology and Allergology at the University of Munich, discussed whether digital transformation was worthwhile for large conferences. Prof. Dr. med. Anton Scharl, President of the German Society of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, also spoke about innovative conference concepts.
Felix Rundel, Executive Director at the Falling Walls Foundation (a not-for-profit institution that brings together the worlds of science, economics and society, and is devoted to creating breakthroughs across borders and disciplines) and Sami Benchekroun, co-founder and CEO of Morressier (a Berlin-based start-up that operates a platform for scientific discoveries and is aimed at making the latest research findings quickly and easily accessible) presented an outlook on the digital future of scientific conferences and the associated opportunities in terms of academic exchange.
ProfTreff was set up in 1989 as a multi-disciplinary communication platform for the congress industry and academia. It enables professors to promote Munich as a conference and congress location within their international working bodies, and everyone involved shares the common goal of attracting more events to Munich.
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