Visual Media Conference set for three-day return

Richard Stuart-Turner
Thursday, June 3, 2021

The eighth Visual Media Conference (VMC) will take place in September and will run over three days for the first time.

The VMC will take place from 21 to 23 September
The VMC will take place from 21 to 23 September

Traditionally a one-day event bringing together the digital and print industries to examine the trends, technology, and innovations affecting both, the VMC is organised by BPIF specialist interest group Creative Digital Industries (CDI) in conjunction with Boss and founding partners Precision Proco Group and Creative Race.

The theme of this year’s free event will be Sustainability through Innovation, which CDI president and VMC founder Robert McClements told Printweek would take a two-pronged approach.

“Sustainability is two different elements, although they complement each other. First and foremost, it’s got to be business sustainability – the commercial elements of it and the justification for looking at sustainable business.

“That then complements environmental sustainability; environmental will be an important part of the conference, but the overriding consideration is business, commercial, and economic sustainability.

“I think it’s going to be a very broad range of topics, which could include restructuring a business, coping with Covid, envisaging the new economic environment – all of those things are part and parcel of the discussion.”

The linear conference will take place from 21 to 23 September and will provide a hybrid programme of live-streamed and virtual events, with content released throughout the three days.

McClements said he envisaged the event’s opening and closing sessions would likely be held live in person with a panel, and streamed to the audience, but that no location had yet been fixed for that.

“We’re going to make sure that we can do something that’s worthwhile, and if the opportunity presents itself to do more of that with a live presence then we will do, but at the moment we’re making sure that we’ve done all the risk assessments so that we know we can proceed.”

The aim is to bring a “TV schedule of content” from international keynote speakers providing panel discussions, Q&As, webinars, and podcasts. The content will be available at fixed times, but also recorded and shared online to view at leisure.

“We wanted to do something that was different to make it accessible and we felt that the format of expecting people to log in for an entire day doesn’t suit what we’re doing with something which is properly different and innovative,” said McClements.

“So in our mind we’ve got bookends at the very beginning and the very end, and what people choose to do between those two points is very much a personal journey.”

The VMC went virtual for the first time in 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic; it had previously been held at the Rose Bowl in Leeds. McClements said the virtual event had attracted 550 delegates, from the UK, throughout Europe, and the US.

“With the VMC we’ve managed to create something that is a blend of communication technology and marketing communications, and what we were able to do in 2020, and what we’re building on in 2021, is to sit that within the wider context of business sustainability; it’s a combination of technology and business strategy,” said McClements.

“It’s both recognising the importance of printed communications but sitting it within its true context of the things that complement and compete with it. And then at the next level it’s looking at the business models which are sustainable in the new economic environment.”

For more information, and to register your interest for the event, visit: visualmediaconference.com.

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