In the following weeks, we will introduce you to the Eventex finalists – those extraordinary eventprofs who are competing for a Global Event Award. You will meet them in person come January at the special gala ceremony at Croke park but first, we would like to offer you a brief preview of their projects and products that transform events into cutting-edge experiences.

Best Conference Finalists

Connections Events by Connections

Connections Luxury, 3-6 April 2016 | Rocco Forte Verdura Resort, Sicily, Italy

Connections Meetings, 29 May – 1 June 2016 | Malaga, Spain

Connections Luxury, 19-22 June, 2016 | Phuket, Thailand

Connections Luxury, 16-19 October, 2016 | Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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Connections is the global networking and event organiser exclusively serving senior leaders and experts in luxury, wellness and meetings. The main objective is to change the conventional and corporate mind-set of how business and meetings should be done. Connections Events is proposing a new format of experiencing something together whilst discussing business, attaching an emotion to each meeting. This helps build trust between the different parties involved and leads to longer-lasting business relationships.

Every event is different, but the agenda includes a mix of interactive group experiences, targeted workshops and roundtable discussions of topical issues as well as one-to-one business meetings. Connections is brought to different locations around the globe, and the experiences are unique and typical of the region where each event is hosted in order to showcase not only the hotel but the destination itself.

Some of the most popular experiences this year include samba classes, slacklining, beach volleyball, batik painting, Thai boxing, wine on canvas, donkey riding, chocolate making and flamenco dancing. Wellbeing is also an important element of the experience – yoga classes, bike rides, gym or runs around the local area as well as healthy snacks and refreshments for the coffee breaks.

Each attendee receives a personal welcome and send off as well as a tailored booklet featuring their meetings agenda, useful information about the event and important details such as emergency numbers and wifi passwords. All our participants are fully-hosted and fully-managed – all they need to do is book their flights.

Connections don’t believe in ‘ten-minute business meetings where all you do is a quick sales pitch and a business card exchange.” Instead, they allow participants “to meet their counterparts for 45 minutes, encouraging them to get to know the person behind the business professional, so they will be more likely to pick up the phone and reach out to each other in the future and do business together.” By bringing the event to amazing places around the world, outside of crowded meeting halls, participants are inspired to be creative and to interact with each other.

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Engage Prague 2016 by Socialbakers

11 – 14 May, 2016 | Prague, Czech Republic

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Engage Prague is a leading social media marketing conference for international and local leaders, marketers, entrepreneurs, decision makers and social media experts to meet and discuss the future of marketing.

Thought-leadership, networking and education were the three pillars of this conference. In 2017, for the first time the event was held at a single location – all workshops and the main conference happened in the newly renovated Forum Karlin hall and the surrounding premises. Breaks and parties were organised at a piazza, which is centrally located between all the venues.

The conference attracts big brands and brings forward the people behind the campaigns – the practitioners. Speakers become a part of the event not because they are being paid for it, but because they want to share their knowledge and have a different kind of experience. The conference featured 28 three-hour long workshops facilitated by members of the Socialbakers education team and led by external speakers. At the end of each workshop, the teams presented their outcomes back to the group and a winner was chosen by the workshop leader.

As part of the event, there was a special unconference weekend outside of Prague. Over 40 people joined us at the beautiful Zbiroh Castle for a 2-day event to relax and exchange knowledge. Engage Prague also delivered te key messages through various installations and live performances.

The event welcomed over a thousand attendees from fifty countries, fifty speakers and forty journalists. Over 100 meetings were realised between the sales representatives & Engage attendees. 62 opportunities were created or influenced by the event worth more than 2,000,000 USD. The impact online was also impressive with over ten thousand mentions of #Engage2016 across all of the main social media platforms: Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Almost ten thousand viewers from a hundred countries tuned in to our livestream, watching a total of 3771 hours of our event.

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Pioneers Festival 2016 by Media Apparat

24 – 25 May, 2016 | Vienna, Austria

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With over 3000 visitors and participants from 80 countries, the Pioneers Festival  is one of the leading entrepreneur and startup conferences with a focus on innovative technologies. As specialist in event-organization and multimedia production, Media Apparat carries out the conference since 2012, always in close collaboration with the promoter.

The event combines several elements of a conference or congress with brand new technological achievements and the entertainment value of a music festival. Aim of the event is to give true tech pioneers a global stage. The event supports start-ups to realize their visions, find suitable investors, and establish business relationships with leading brands.

The participants attended lectures, workshops and have been able to inform themselves about the presenting start-ups and their business models, visit different pitches, gather valuable contacts and even watch the implantation of an NFC chip live. Pioneers developed its own match-making algorithm to connect participants in the most efficient way based on their business needs and interests. Furthermore, the attendees were able to arrange 30 minutes meetings with each other based on a simple one-click solution before and during the event. 12.000 meeting requests were sent in total and 1.600 meetings were organized. Two days, 500 startups from all over the world, over 300 investors and about 2500 participants as well as a multitude of robots, 3D scanner and several virtual-reality experiences. The 2016 edition of Pioneers Festival showcased Viv for the very first time in Europe, the new company and Artificial Intelligence technology built by the original inventors and founders of Apple’s Siri.

In 2016, over 2000 international media articles were published about Pioneers Festival and over 75.000 people watched the event via live stream! VIP guests of this event were wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, venture capital legend Tim Draper and Austria’s chancellor Christian Kern.

Thematically the seven core areas were structured as follows: finance-technology, energy, transportation, lifestyle & entertainment, life sciences, business and productivity as well as the manufacturing industry. Focus of the visual orchestration were the seven different eco-systems, presented via different LED-towers on stage, the theme was communicated all-through the event-experience as well as event-design. Aside of the personnel management for the this event Media Apparat´s work also included the staging of several show-acts, 3D-Mapping, robot installations, stage design and a number of smaller elements of the show.

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Westland Family Conference  by Masters in Moderation

8-9 April 2016 | Kapellerput, Heeze, Netherlands

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Westland Cheese is  a market leader in Holland. Running a fully family-owned company brings special challenges discussed every two years at the Family Conference. Based on the Event ROI Institute Methodology, Masters in Moderation determined the event and behavioural objectives, addressing the issues of family unity, engagement, informed decisions and loyalty.

Objectives were set in a carefully executed process, including multiple brainstorming sessions, personal interviews with family members and a thorough analysis based on the ROI Pyramid. The Meeting Design was shaped according to the MindMeeting Methodology, using Experience Concept and Content Flow. The Experience Concept was that of a first day in school, the moment of getting to know each other, learning how to cooperate, listen, share and respect rules.

Head-designer Mike van der Vijver followed a strict ‘procedure’ resulting in energizers, discussion formats, stories by the teacher, presentations (on creativity, cooperation and game design), the family game, puppeteering, graphic design etc.

The meeting was fully designed for engagement & interactivity. Typical Dutch friends-booklets were exchanged, there was playing ‘in the yard’ and the teacher/moderator read stories to the group. The invitation was sent in a lunchbox, in which participants had to take some food to share. The heart of the design was a family-game, for which the participants had to come up with the rules before it could actually be played which got them to talking about the relations in the family-company. Finally, there was reflection on learning, in the form of a puppet theatre and a class-report by the teacher. This format accommodated this family perfectly, since they love to play but need some guidance in listening.

In a landscape of meetings and events looking for the wow-factor, this project chose the opposite direction: less-is-more, basic, analogue and paying real attention to each other approach. The meeting delivered high impact for a very low budget on only € 40.000.

Masters in moderation prepared the event for over a year. And the day after the conference, preparations for the next edition in 2018 had already started.. During the planning stage, the organisers set clear and measurable objectives which will be surveyed in the course of 2017 in order to observe the effect of the meeting and to use it as ‘building material’ for the 2018 conference. The first company meetings after the conference seem to indicate that more people show up and more of them really interact. The family game that was designed during the conference has been re-used several times, as a token of this family building a more coherent company.

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The winners and runner-ups will be revealed at the gala ceremony at Croke Park, 24 January 2017. Register now  and join the league of extraordinary event professionals!

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