For the digital format of an event to work well, you’ve got to master its logistics.
Our Sales Director Stéphane Boehm is from the Grand Est region in eastern France, but several years ago he settled in our beautiful region around Nice. He joined the key4events teams in 2006 with a strong background in medical IT and therefore a great network of contacts in science, especially in the field of respiratory failure with ANTADIR (French association for in-home healthcare) and the CPLF (French-language Pulmonology Conference). This is a real asset for key4events, on both a personal and technical level.
Tell us a bit about your job
‘As Sales Director, I’m involved in many fields, especially our business offerings, client relations and product marketing. I’m always on the lookout and ready to listen to clients to find the right solutions. Whether it’s the CPLF (French-language Pulmonology Conference), the International AIDS Society, the ERS (European Respiratory Society) or many others, our clients turn to us as they know they can expect from K4 close attention regarding technical aspects, practical issues, business lines and interpersonal relations. Overseeing our business relations always involves good people skills.’
Tell us a bit about your everyday life
‘I’ve come a long way from when I’d make badges myself using my felt-tip pen freehand to tackle operational contingencies. Today I work a lot with European and global associations and professional conference organisers whose event requirements are fully met by our solutions.
In recent months more than ever before, our strategy has been based on a solution we’ve polished : the e‑conference, which already partly existed at key4events before the health crisis, especially for managing clients’ inability to travel, for ecological or financial reasons for example.’
Tell us a bit about your challenges
‘Because of Covid, requests for virtualising events have increased. With our on-site and online expertise, we already had the building blocks for offering this kind of solution. In 2020, we just had to put them together to meet new challenges.
The first challenge was to reassure the client, whose aim was still – and will continue to be – to bring communities together, share expertise and create business opportunities at their events. Whether virtual or not, a conference should build bridges between people.
Our digital solution has to keep alive these notions of gathering, sharing and creating leads or contacts. In the market, the all-virtual solutions from pure-play web-based firms aren’t enough. For the digital format of an event to work well, you’ve got to understand and master its logistics.
Our challenge is now to make the hybrid solution more widespread.
These past months have been about all-digital events. For the second half of 2021, some international clients are preferring to carry on using the virtual format, but others are starting to turn to the hybrid conference. For example, there’s the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature). Their conference is a huge international gathering on the subject of biodiversity. The organisers turned to us to envisage all scenarios to best adapt to whatever the situation might be in September.
It’s clear the all-digital business model has its limits, especially in terms of profitability for organisers who can’t apply the same registration fees or stand bookings as they can for on-site events. Some also turn to us for online platforms to use all year round, with content libraires and mini-events to build up community loyalty. But it’s no secret : many players can’t wait to get back to on-site events, though they’ve also learned much about what a virtual format can offer.
So, for several months, key4events has been developing all its solutions to integrate a hybrid format and stay smooth in all situations. Our interaction application now works perfectly on site in conference rooms and online in virtual rooms, offering exactly the same interface. Interaction should never be held back!’