Comms Connect update — tackling the challenges

Comms Connect (WFevents)

By Paul Davis
Wednesday, 29 April, 2020

Comms Connect update — tackling the challenges

With recent developments relating to the COVID-19 coronavirus, events all over the world have been postponed or cancelled, with our local Comms Connect mission-critical communications conference and exhibition series no exception.

These are obviously very challenging times, and those of us in the events world are having to deal with issues we’ve never faced before and which we could not have conceived of just a few months ago. With a ban on gatherings and travel hugely restricted, it’s just not possible to run any ‘live’ events currently. So we’ve had to look very closely at our calendar, at what we had planned and when we might realistically be able to run our face-to-face events again.

Our first move was to postpone our New Zealand conference until the first week of September. But we then took the view that moving it to a date later in October was the best idea, giving more time for all stakeholders to plan their participation after restrictions lift and for our marketing campaign to have the time it needs to have impact.

With Comms Connect Sydney it was different, as the last quarter of the year was already busy. A lot of the same clients exhibit at both the Sydney and Melbourne events, and, while the audiences who attend are largely different — with the Sydney event attracting more than 90% of delegates and visitors from NSW, most of whom don’t make it to Melbourne — having both Sydney and Melbourne events just a month or two apart at the end of the year wouldn’t have been ideal in the current climate. So we have decided to postpone the Sydney event until June 2021.

And so, with the New Zealand event now in October and Sydney now not running until 2021, what about our flagship event, Comms Connect Melbourne, and other initiatives we have had planned for the broader critical communications community?

Well, I’m happy to report that it is full steam ahead for Comms Connect Melbourne in November. We may see some impact on international travellers this year, but we’re taking plenty of bookings for exhibition space and sponsorships and we’ll be seeking submissions for speakers shortly. We look forward to welcoming everyone to what will be the first real chance for the communications community to catch up with each other after an extended period of limited contact.

In addition, as you’ll have seen, many event organisers are looking at what they can do to fill the gap. How can they deliver quality content and training opportunities to their audiences, and keep them engaged and up to date? Well, we’re no exception and are currently working behind the scenes on some plans to run training workshops, panel discussions and micro-conferences.

We know there has been disappointment about Comms Connect Sydney, from delegates/visitors and sponsors/exhibitors. But with these new initiatives, we’ll be able to offer the community what it needs and wants — access to experts from the sector, with all their experience, and access to potential customers for our sponsors and would-have-been exhibitors.

Paul Davis is Events Director for WF Media. WF Media is the publisher of GovTech Review.

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