We asked a few questions to Andreas Andersson and Joakim Birgersson, two “old” swimmers with roots in Sjöbo, Sweden, who started what became AppInConf during their studies in Lund almost eleven years ago. We asked them about the new virtual platform, coming and the are now part of the Invajo Group.
Is it true that swimmers are often successful in studies and professional life?
Haha ... is that so says Joakim Birgersson CTO and adds: There may be something in it, you are at least forced to learn early on the importance of planning your time and doing your schoolwork to keep up with training both before and after school and we both had that with us into adulthood. Andreas also continued to Triathlon, but that wasn't for me.
The are many reports of satisfied customers who have used the virtual platform. Can you explain to the uninitiated what your virtual platform is?
Joakim Birgersson: Scientific or medical congresses and conferences have a number of given elements in addition to speakers and participants such as abstract management, e-mails, exhibitors and sponsors. We have simply developed a platform where we can now conduct full-scale conferences completely digital.
Specifically, what does it mean for me who participates in that conference?
Andreas Andersson, Head of Sales: First and foremost, it means that you do not have to travel all over the world if you live in Australia and the conference takes place in London for example. In addition, we make sure that regardless of whether you are a participant, speaker, moderator or exhibitor, you have the same opportunities for information exchange, discussions and networking as if it were a regular conference. For example, parallel lectures that previously took place in different rooms are now streamed in different channels. The moderators receive questions via chat and exhibitors get their space via a so-called virtual stand.
What do you think customers appreciate about the virtual platform?
Andreas Andersson: It is of course a different experience for the participants than they may traditionally be used to, but we do not feel that it is negative, on the contrary, there are many advantages to this format. On a couple of occasions for example we let the lecturers upload pre-recorded lectures. When it was time, the speakers only needed to be connected for 30-45 minutes on a link to answer questions that the moderator received via chat and asked orally. It has also been very appreciated that moderators have easily gained access to the uploaded material before the conference which has helped them to improve the quality of questions and discussion, which has thus further increased the scientific quality.
Will the virtual platform replace the other platform?
Joakim Birgersson: As Andreas says, it is a different experience. I do not think that virtual conferences will replace traditional conferences outright. However, after listening to what our customers say, I believe these different formats will complement each other. For example, Instead of live events annually, you can see each other virtually every other year or offer participants to choose how they want to participate, virtually or on site. Or even have more frequent digital meetings between the big conferences.
In the end of last year, you were acquired by Invajo. What does this mean for you and your customers?
Andreas Andersson: Above all, it means that we broaden our offering and have more resources to be able to develop faster. Invajo but also Memlin, which was acquired at the same time as us, approached a broader target group with slightly less complex events, where users to a greater extent and without our involvement handle the platform on their own. It is an interesting track that many of our customers requests as well. Then we (AppInConf) have technology that is requested by Invajo's customers, so we have many exciting projects underway where the synergies will be clear.