The lead partner of the E-bussed Interreg Europe project, Turku University of Applied Sciences, held an online workshop for project partners on the world of video conferencing. Recently, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic situation, more and more events are being held in cyberspace, so this two-day event has tried to support better adaption to the changed situation.
The training was led by Inka Mäkiö, service organizer of Turku University of Applied Sciences. On October 5, 2020, for the first time, after a brief introduction, she started with the use and non-use of cameras and microphones, such as when it is appropriate to use them and when it is appropriate to keep them off or muted. The ground rules and behaviors that should be followed at all events, including virtual ones were discussed as well. They talked about the role of “facilitators”, who always remain neutral on each topic and support participants in better collaboration.
Just as human behavior is an important factor during meetings, different types of conferences greatly influence people’s attitudes. For instance, it matters if they attend a seminar or strategic planning or who the invited people are, what the nature of the conference will be.
The second time, on October 12, 2020, participants first touched on the topic of the appropriate methods. It is very important to choose the right methodology for online meetings so that they fit smoothly and adequately to the needs of those present. Implementing these, as well as the active presence of facilitators, it is not always enough to avoid conflict situations and problematic situations. In this case, it is paramount that the appropriate rules of conduct are communicated and adhered to by everyone, preferably without putting them in an awkward position.
The last topic was the aftercare and documentation of the events. It is extremely important that the organizers keep in touch with the participants after the online events, ask for feedback, and they will also inform the participants about the results of the meeting and their usability.
The two session training was also useful to the South Transdanubian Regional Innovation Agency, as it participates as a partner in three Interreg Europe projects. This allows the company to reach the target audience even more specifically during virtual programs.
The eBussed project is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund and Hungary within the Interreg Europe Program.