Virtual EUSBSR Annual Forum 2020 was a success
The City of Turku hosted the Annual Forum of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, even though circumstances forced the event to go virtual. More than 800 policymakers and political and economic experts attended the Forum in October.
“The event will be organized differently but just as well,” said City of Turku’s Manager of International Affairs Mika Akkanen at the end of June when asked about the arrangements for the EUSBSR Annual Forum. The related steering group led by Akkanen had just decided to organise the event virtually and the air was thick with question marks.
The project manager’s spontaneous but confident response has lived on as a guideline for the virtual implementation, which was considered plan C to start with. The event for some thousand participants had already been postponed from June to October due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“The arrangements were well on their way when the coronavirus hit. First, we decided to push back the conference, but in June we concluded that the situation would not have relented by autumn. Still, instead of cancelling the event, we decided to make it fully virtual. Even a hybrid implementation seemed too unsure an option,” Akkanen says.