Basic Event Information
Date: October 1 and 2, 2018
Location: Zagreb (Lauba Gallery – People and Art House)
Organizer: Komunikacijski laboratorij
Client: Komunikacijski laboratorij
Event type: CROSSOVER
EVENT CATEGORY: CATEGORY CROSSOVER
Event description and key objectives
Future Tense is a project designed by agency Komunikacijski laboratorij and it was the first Croatian and regional B2B conference on futurology with strong impact on media and wide public. Until the launch of the conference, theme of futurology was completely unknown to the wider public in Croatia, while being continuously present in the rest of the world. One of the main reasons for organising the conference was the lack of any discourse about futurology and the fact that the public and media space in Croatia is congested with issues on past and not the vision of progress. Apart from changing that agenda, our goal was to make sponsorship partnerships with leading Croatian and international companies and to enable the C Level Executives the opportunity to open the dialogue, exchange topics and ideas with colleagues from different industries and world-leading futurologists. With the sponsorship support of the private sector, we also achieved the goals of profitability, sustainability and longevity of the conference, which will be organized also next year.
In order to provide conference sponsors the additional experience, know-how and networking opportunity, the day before the conference interactive workshops led by futurologists were organized as well as exclusive Future Tense CEO dinner with CEOs and futurologists. The main event featured four futurology presentations and a CEO panel discussion with representatives of Croatian hi-tech companies from various industries.
Considering that this is a project designed and performed by the agency Komunikacijski laboratorij, the biggest challenge was to ensure the commercial sustainability and profitability of the project so we could provide the best professional standards, premium content and unique experience for partners and guests. An additional challenge addressed the issue of recognizing the potential of the conference content among all stakeholders since the topic of futurology was not present in the public and media at all. Since it was the first, the challenge was also to set properly the KPIs and SMART objectives (specific, measurable, accessible, realistic, timely) in order to determine the weaknesses and strengths of specific event elements.
Organizationally, it was a very complex high-production fully digital event (no printed materials at the event) that involved finding and selecting key note futurologists that will fit conference needs, coordination and preparation of a CEOs for presentations at the conference and media communications, preparation of tailor made sponsorship deals, co-ordination of multiple media sponsors and their needs to provide exclusive content as well as securing payment via cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Ripple and Ether.
The Future Tense was the first Croatian and regional conference that hosted only keynote worldwide famous futurologists who shared their predictions on future development of technology, business and living. This content was unique and different from any conference held in Croatia before. Aside from theoretical predictions, the futurologists transferred the ideas and know-how and ensured participants guidelines and advice how to integrate them into their business. Given the positive feedback from the participants and partners of the conference the second conference will be organised in 2020 with several partnerships and futurologists already confirmed. Apart from exclusive content, highly creative element was the logo that is not static – it is an online bot that continuously changes in real time, based on twitter hashtags related to topic of future. Also, this was the first Croatian conference with the possibility of paying a certain number of tickets with cryptocurrency: Bitcoin, Ripple and Ether.
In addition to the innovative theme of futurology not presented on a conference in Croatia before, the innovation was the visual identity the type of which was never seen in Croatia. Conference logo is an online bot – a visual that is unpredictable and constantly active depending on Twitter hashtags. Depending on the presence of predefined words – hashtags on Twitter, the animation is generated and begins with the rotation of the cubes that are being decomposed, searching for answers beyond the known frame, just as futurologists do. The visual is one that builds the vision of the future with its own symbolic language and everything starts with two points that represent the robot’s eyes – a look into the future. Some of the hashtags that affected the change of visual identity conference were future, business, foresight, innovation, change, machine learning and sustainability. An innovative moment of the conference was also the possibility of paying a certain number of tickets with cryptocurrency: Bitcoin, Ripple and Ether.
The planning and organisation of the conference started in January 2018 and culminated in a two-day event on October 1 and 2, 2018. On the first day, futurologists held tailor made workshops for top and middle management of sponsorship companies. Participants had an impact on the content of the workshops by closely defining the topics with the futurologists. The same evening, an exclusive CEO Future dinner was organized for 30 guests – CEOs and board members of the sponsorship companies and futurologists with the opportunity for additional networking.
The second day, the conference was launched. Four futurologists talked about the future of business and the trends they envision. Keynote speakers Morgaine Gaye, Gerd Leonhard, Aric Dromi and David Birch spoke about the development and impact of technology on humanity, smart cities, micro and macro-food trends, and the future of payment. CEO Future Panel was also organised during which CEOs from banking, ICT and FMCG industries discussed on how to apply future forecasts in business planning and strategies. The project achieved media partnerships with the leading commercial TV company (NovaTV), radio-station with high reputation among conference stakeholders (Yammat.fm) and the outdoor advertising company (Europlakat).
The project achieved specific goals as well as a general goal – the first regional and Croatian conference on futurology was successfully organised and a solid base was established for a second Future Tense conference that will be organised in March 2020. Many specific goals were also achieved – the venue was sold out with 410 participants at the conference. Desired structure of the participants was achieved, including stakeholders from the CEOs to the entrepreneurs and representatives of the public administration and media representatives. Partnership with leading companies from their sectors (banking, ICT and FMCG) and with the Zagreb Tourist Board was successfully realised. Regarding business goals, profitability and sustainability of the project was achieved in the first year enabling longevity of the project.
The theme of the futurology was communicated intensively weeks before and during the conference. PESO model was integrated in communication strategy to generate maximum results – 32 media representatives attended the conference and the project was represented in the media 214 times with 70 percent of TIER 1 media. The reach of up to 215,000 Facebook members has been achieved.
Besides successfully reached quantity results, high quality of the communications was achieved. The topic of futurology was strongly represented in the media during that period. In conclusion, an important first step towards changing the public agenda and moving from past themes to the themes of future, success and moving forward.
Regarding the partners/sponsors of the conference, media have recognized these companies as ones looking forward and actively participating in the development of their industries as well in the development of a community in general.
The use of sustainable practices
Since this was fully digital high production conference there was no printed material on the conference. In a context of business sustainability, the conference is guided by the organizer’s vision and a sense of a responsibility to be the leading voice in the industry and to use the best practices from communications and event management industries in launching themes of futurology and progress in a local community. In order to do that, it had to be designed commercially viable and profitable from the first year to fulfill its objective of longevity.