February 2014: Semico aims to offer a Congress App to all its conferences as a standard tool.We feel that the time has come to take all the congress printed matter to the electronic level and thus increasing
even more the level of service for the individual delegates.
Together with our partner, Conference Compass, we have decided to make that extra effort to offer to our clients the opportunity to have that all so important Congress App where it can make a difference. The aim is to remove that invisible barrier for the association or organiser that seems to prevent them to take full advantage of that fantastic piece of congress technology.
By doing this Semico is once again implementing its Corporate Social Responsibility policy. Indeed, Congress Apps are green, produced locally and do not involve any potential child labour in faraway countries. Furthermore the empower the delegate before, during and even after the actual congress. They are the perfect proof that technology can enhance the quality of the meeting for the delegates.
Green and save moneyIt’s hard for conference organizers to “be green” if they are printing a mountain of bulky program books and venue maps. Conference apps can reduce or even eliminate the need for printed materials on-site. If the app offers note-taking capabilities, it can help cut down on the paper that attendees use as well. All of that saved paper adds up to saved money!
Before, during, after...There are few better ways to keep your conference and sponsors in front of your attendees than having an app on their phone. Attendees will want to keep information-packed apps on their phone even after the conference is over. The app becomes a useful tool for finding reference information and acts as a constant reminder of just how great your conference was in the first place.
2014 - The Future is Now !The Apple tagline “there’s an app for that” resonates with people because it really does seem like there is an app for everything you can imagine. Apps have now been around long enough that Smartphone users have expectations for quality and features, so it is not enough to just have an “app” for your event. The best conference apps (i.e. the ones that attendees use repeatedly) are those that help them be productive and get more out of the event with full feature sets and useful tools.
We are in the people businessAttendees don’t come to conferences just to see presentations – networking is a big factor in their decision to attend. Meeting up with friends can be arranged via email or text message, but finding a way to make new connections is the challenge. Conference apps can help facilitate networking by providing detailed information about presenters, authors and exhibitors. Attendees can get in touch with presenters and exhibitors directly within the app and schedule a time to meet.
Partners & Exhibitors : better Return On InvestmentExhibitors spend a lot of money sending materials and staff to conferences with the expectation that customers will want and be able to find them. Conference apps can offer enhanced exhibitor listings showing additional links, key products, sales staff, product catalogs and direct links to their location on the venue map. Forget bags and pens, sponsors want more meaningful options for connecting with attendees. Conference apps can act as a revenue generator for organizers by offering a variety of sponsorship opportunities. For example, premier sponsors could have custom pages and/or logo placement on main menu screens that link off to more detailed content about the company. An app can also facilitate promotion of sponsored sessions or special workshops.
Maximal FlexibilityJust image....It’s the night before the conference and your keynote speaker just called in sick... or you discovered a typo in your program... or you need to change session rooms. If you are limited to printed materials you are in trouble. Conference apps make pushing out program updates easy. As long as attendees have access to the internet (either via WiFi or cellular data networks), they can receive program updates as soon as they are available or the next time they connect.
In ConclusionThese are just a couple of elements that helped us take the decision to implement this policy. In fact we feel it is just common sense.... Together with our partner Conference Compass we want to invest in our clients and invest in the future of congresses.
January 2014: “Semico goes to Brussels”.The long awaited “Semico Brussels Office” is opened in the Capital of Europe.
Our already talented team, is joined by Mrs. Belgin Topkaya, as the third partner and the Brussels Managing Director.
Interview with Belgin:
How many years have you been in the industry?I have been working for the congress and meeting industry for nearly 20 years…
I started in the hotel industry in 1994! 20 years of experience in business and the special events industry, producing corporate events and congresses for local and international clients.
Why did you decide to join Semico Group?I held various managing position in hotel and meeting industries….I’m now joining a company, Semico Group but above all I’m joining 2 persons I admire. Lieve Ectors, MD and Luc Niville, BMS , the founders of Semico Group in 1993.
I'm proud to have my name associated with theirs, not only for their professionalism, but because of the deep integrity and commitment to the highest values I've seen in every interaction I've had with them. They are committed to ethical, transparency and they drive for excellence! That's where I believe the future (and the present!) lies for our industry, and that's why I'm proud and pleased to be part of this team.
What makes you passion for the congress and meeting industry?Obviously the Meeting Industry is not a lonely planet. We are all connected, being inspired and influenced by many other industries. I love how every day is different, it keeps me refreshed and engaged — I like it. I'm constantly challenged to be more strategic and improve upon the work that I do. I like to help clients solve business problems and by helping them I have the feeling that I also increase the value of their meetings … and contribute to the succes of their business. The part I love most about my job is seeing my clients’ expectations exceeded. Within Semico Group we know WHY people attend meetings and events. They want to experience something new and meaningful.
According to you, what is our industry’s biggest challenges?In this uncertain economic situation, people delivering meetings have to develop new skills so they are better placed to maximize the potential of every meeting. Meetings and events still run the risk of being one of the first items to be cut from a corporation’s budget when the economy turns.
The second challenge is the evolution of technology, which changes everything about how we communicate internally and externally.
We are between young and older generations among delegates. We need to find the right level of technology adequate for both groups. Technology is a tool (not a aim) supposed to make our work more efficient and easier but not every type of technology is suitable for events.
Semico Group, by getting to know our clients and focus on the targets of the congress, we try to find which technology really enhances the quality of meetings and the interaction among delegates.
Although we strongly believe that we’ve seen only a fraction of what mobile can do for the meeting industry, we are convinced that the value of Face to Face meeting will never be replaced by technology.
The lack of transparency of the world today especially affects the meetings industry in all its variety. Trust and transparency are the magic ingredients of any successful collaboration and Semico is committed to work with open books and full transparency.
Security, data protection is one of the most important and complicated challenges specially for event organisers. We have our own protected servers.
Semico is also an Association Management Company… These days, more than ever before, many associations need to have a much clearer picture of their mission to membership to make their members committed and active. They focus on how to remain relevant to their members, their mission, and the future members they will have to attract.
Semico helps associations transcend today's challenging business environment by reviewing the position in terms of the strategic plan on a regular basis and readjust according to changing realities. Every association is different!
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