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Today we have the chairman of the Career Service Network Germany, Rouven Sperling, as a visitor on our blog. In his function, he is also active in organizing the annual convention of all Career Service Institutions at German universities. After having already tested various event-app providers, all of which proved to be unsuccessful, he finally encountered LineUpr in 2018.
In this interview, Rouven tells us what experiences he has made with previous event app providers, how they have optimized their conference communication with LineUpr and what role digitalization plays in all of this.
LineUpr: Hello Rouven. Thank you for taking the time to do this interview. Please briefly introduce yourself and the Career Service Network Germany.
Rouven: The Career Service Network Germany (CSNG) was founded in 2003 as an umbrella organization for career services at universities. The network works closely with the German Rectors’ Conference (HRK) and today has nearly 200 members. Universities as institutional members and Career Service employees as individual members are involved in the foundation for the establishment and expansion of pre-vocational offers of the universities as well as for the vocational orientation and vocational preparation of students. I am working at the Technical University Wildau as the head of the local Career Service and I also volunteer as Chairman of the CSNG.
LineUpr: You used LineUpr for the annual meeting of the Career Service Network. What happens at this event and who participate in it?
Rouven: The annual conference is the overall conference of the association, in which only actors who are involved in the process of shaping the transition from studies to work participate. Every year, we focus on a new field of action – in 2018 it was digitalization – and further developing the standards for the professionalization of Career Service work and enabling task-specific qualification of its members. Furthermore, the annual conference also serves to build networks outside the regional spheres of activity of the individual universities.
LineUpr: Did you also use printed products to market the event or to distribute information locally? If so, which and why?
Rouven: Due to the increased inputs and the higher costs, we have increasingly strayed from printed products and are only printing the conference brochure on paper. This is usually about 40 pages long and includes the programme as well as a short resume of the speakers and organizational advice. In the future, we would like to do this procedure more electronically, as information can change after being printed.
LineUpr: You speak to precisely one argument for event apps. Have you used event apps in the past? If so, what are your experiences with it?
Rouven: Yes, we have indeed tried several apps and tools. The beginning of 2014 we made our own programmed version, but it was not used because the porting on iOS was too complicated and the registration process for the App stores was quite cumbersome. Then we tried out some competitors, but all of them required quite a lot of preparation and had to be installed as an app. Entering the data was very cumbersome and was not very intuitive.
LineUpr: And how did you use LineUpr before, during and after the annual meeting?
Rouven: At the annual conference in 2018 we had a lot of venues spread over Bremen. Here LineUpr was a great help to find the different places. In addition to the location information, the participants mainly used the conference programme and the opportunity to quickly point out any changes was also very well received.
LineUpr: How did your visitors react to the app?
Rouven: The feedback was invariably positive. Even participants who had less technical affinity handled the app quickly. It was excellent that the app worked for everyone – whether Android or iPhone.
LineUpr: We saw that for the first time this year you started the conference with a BarCamp. That’s really a very creative format. Why did you decide to use a BarCamp and how did the participants receive that?
Rouven: The Barcamp was a premiere and extended the previous two-day conference scope to three days. It was definitely a very welcome addition to the usually rather rigid programme of meetings and it, above all, promoted the exchange of content between the members and also the discussion. We will continue to maintain this format as it provides a great deal of interaction.
LineUpr: Keyword digitalization. How will the Career Service Network Germany and its events change as a result of this development?
Rouven: The conference app will definitely be a solid element and we want to use more features of LineUpr in the future. For example, the survey option, which is currently also being conducted in paper form. The largely platform-independent access and scalability make LineUpr the tool of choice for us in any case.
LineUpr: That was the best final statement one could ask for. Thank you for this positive feedback. You can find more information about the CSNG on your homepage.
We are already looking forward to the next annual meeting. Until then, good luck with your events.