Partners put their heads together and came up with an animation that lit up the building next to the bridge – the KPM Tower. The building has a river- facing wall of LED lights and ESPID’s branding was broadcast on there. WHY GO TO THE EFFORT? Seven years of planning and relationship-building had been ploughed into creating a successful in- person event in Rotterdam, but the pandemic rendered it unfeasible, and the stark truth was ESPID’s delegates weren’t going to experience Rotterdam. So why did Rotterdam Partners and the municipality continue to be involved? “Rotterdam is a city that values innovation, experimentation and the daring spirit to enact change where change is needed. We wanted to recognise initiatives that reflect the ‘Make It Happen’ mentality which is part of our motto. “The ESPID congress, even in its totally virtual form, is an ideal of this and gives us the opportunity to show the world something of our pioneering spirit.” “Wewanted to recognise initiatives that reflect the ‘Make It Happen’ mentalitywhich is part of our motto.”

THE CHALLENGES “Our client was busy with the reality of the pandemic.They toldus ‘We are on the frontline’ so the congress unfortunately wasn’t their priority,” Idit explains. “One of the challenges was the time we had to get it ready. Who has time now to invite speakers, to plan sessions?” Overcoming this challenge involved splitting the workload between ESPID’s board, Kenes Group and Rotterdam Partners. ESPID provided the content and Kenes Group provided the virtual solution. “We wanted to take it off their desk,” Idit adds. Providing a virtual solution for ESPID’s 87 live and semi-live sessions was no small task, but Kenes Group made it its mission to ensure the online event closely resembled the in-person meeting and “felt like the conference days,” Idit explains. “They were able to interact with the speakers, ask questions, talk to their colleagues and this was our focus – to make them feel like they are belonging to something.This was the main challenge.” THE HIGHLIGHTS As the Dutch say: “De uitkomst zal het leren” or “the proof is in the pudding” and the feedback from participants proved the online meeting was a success. “The feedback we got during and after the meeting and on social media, was so positive. People said that they felt they were part of something. For us it was important that they felt like they were meeting for coffee,” concludes Idit.


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