At the end of 2019 I was at the Sofitel Warszawa Victoria hotel, where I hosted a great charity gala, combined with an auction. Several hundred chicly dressed people celebrated in a beautiful ballroom. I didn’t suspect that it would lead to another gala – just over a year later – but without any in-person audience!
VISAU, a company that has been organizing events from the technical side for years, quickly adapted to the new situation. In cooperation with Sofitel, they turned the ballroom into a studio with state-of-the-art technology for the production of online events. It was equipped with three LED screens in high resolution, spectacular LED striped ceiling, active lighting, media server and streaming station, which one can read about on Hotelarz.pl.
I was impressed with the space, especially the arrangement for the Leader program gala of the National Centre for Research and Development. It is the most important of the NCBR initiatives, thanks to which dozens of scientists can develop their research every year. In the 2020 edition, over PLN 100 million of funding was awarded. 63 brave people who took up the challenge and wanted to initiate original scientific research have created research teams and will be able to continue their projects.
As a host, I felt the importance of that evening. My task required originality because although we were all impressed by the achievements of scientists, we could not shake hands with them. Thanks to the apt idea of the organizers, we exchanged a personal presence with a virtual one. Not only did they see their ideas on the big screen and hear applause, but they could also connect with us. Although we had to award dozens of people, as an event host I exchanged a few words with almost each of them. I asked about the projects, bringing up interesting points for discussion. Sometimes I noticed some detail in their clothes or the arrangement of the home interior, and it served as a starting point for the conversation. I was not afraid to speak to them openly and without a written script. Thanks to these choices, we could bridge the distance of this online evening.
I am aware that at a time when we are connected only by the internet, establishing cordial, lively contact is even more important than ever.
What the organizers have to say
Maciej in total