Author: Webmaster Vitalis

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Welcome to the French Alps !

High up in the French Alps, it’s exciting to imagine the forces that shaped these colossal peaks. The African and Eurasian tectonic plates collided some 35 million years ago, forcing the land skyward into a 1000km chain of saw-edged mountains.

Spanning across seven European countries, the Alps reach their maximum height in France, at Mont Blanc (4810m). Routes into the Alps’ otherworldly realms are many: aboard cable cars that fly to scary heights, or in the company of mountain guides who bring you out into the wilderness. Europe’s biggest, and arguably most prestigious, ski resorts are here, melting into flower-filled hiking country each summer. Winter or summer, this amazing terrain commands respect: the French Alps’ mirror lakes, ice-cold rivers and majestic glaciers form one of Europe’s true epics.

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Highlights in the French Alps

In Chamonix, skiers and sightseers are launched by cable cars to heights of 3842m on the Mont Blanc massif, while the glacial void of the Vallée Blanche is for the brave. Skiers and boarders have a choice of pistes along the valley, while in summer the lifts access hiking and biking trails. The town hosted the first ever Winter Olympics in 1924. Downtown Chamonix hums with life, streets are lined with Michelin-starred restaurants, sports gear stores and some of the French Alps’ fanciest hotels. And the night life is fantastic too. For great food, let’s head to the “Cap Horn” Restaurant, with its large and sophisticated main room that extends outside on a pleasant terrace with a spectacular Mont Blanc view. This place is suitable for all events, for groups up to 200 people. You will enjoy the various atmospheres the Cap Horn has to offer while savoring the chef’s cuisine based on top-quality local ingredients. This classic Chamonix eatery with its cosy vibe and great food comes highly recommended by our team.

Les Trois Vallées is the big one you’ve all heard about: vast, fast and by most measures, the largest ski area in the world. It’s impossible to get tired of all this terrain: there are more than 600km of pistes and more than 180 lifts linking eight resorts and three valleys. Among these are Val Thorens,, Europe’s highest ski village at 2300m, wealthy Méribel, and playground of the super-rich Courchevel. In Méribel, the 5-star “Kaila” hotel is sure to please the pickiest customers. Centrally located, just a footstep from the ski lifts, its rooms and suites are decorated with a luxurious and highly contemporary style, with a warm and comfy touch. Opened in December 2012, it boasts a 200sqm indoor swimming pool and a unique spa, which will guarantee ultimate relaxation. Last but not least, the restaurant l’Ekrin, decorated in black velvet, with gold and wooden tones, has earned one Michelin star. Chef Laurent Azoulay will delight you with original, daring and delicate dishes, with access to an exceptional wine selection.

In between Les Ménuires and Val Thorens, “Chez Pépé Nicolas” is an authentic alpine chalet and above all a very atypical restaurant. This conceptual place with a quirky look, described as “tradi trendy chic” by connoisseurs, has a fabulous team that will do everything to provide you a totally exceptional experience. On the menu, you get local specialties like raclette, tartiflette, croziflette, fondue, Beaufort cheese, etc. But also delicious grilled meats, and funky desserts that will make you beg for more. Once you’ve taken in all the great atmosphere, food, and drinks, just hop on the restaurant shuttle, or make a torchlight descent back to your hotel! 

Whatever you wish for your perfect stay in the French Alps, and whatever your budget, you can be sure that Vitalis will build a tailor-made experience that you will remember for many years to come! Please stay tuned for our next article about all the best group activities this region has to offer.

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Your virtual Annual General Meeting

Right now we must find new ways to organize conferences, trainings and events. Some events can shift dates or change their structure, however this is not true for all events, such as annual general meetings. Vitalis Events can help ensure the continuity of these meetings and avoid disrupting your business because of Covid-19.

Information about when the meeting will take place can be sent out in the usual way, even with remote participants. You can use specific tools to be able to see exactly who has accepted, declined, and who has yet to respond, saving valuable time and making it simple to follow up.

Customized platforms can be used for registration management and to ensure accurate contact information, in order to comply with regulations. Many organizations also have different categories of participants at their meetings where, for example, only some have the right to vote. This can be easily managed via our highly customizable digital tool. There are also confidence and security issues, which we easily take care of by validating that you have the right person attending the meeting and voting. We make sure our systems are secured through the blockchain.

Knowing who is being present at a meeting is extremely important when monitoring the voting process. At a physical meeting, it is easy to register each participant when they arrive, either manually from a list or digitally through ID scanning. When the members participate remotely, we solve this by sending a text message with a personal link through an app to each participant where they can go in and mark themselves as present. A meeting facilitator can then easily monitor user engagement.

At a virtual meeting with members calling in, it is important to know how the participants should ask questions. You can use elegant features on our latest platform, via a web browser or a cell phone. Participants ‘sign up’ to speak or you can have them type their questions directly and potentially have a moderator read them, noting who has spoken. The chairman can prioritize questions and manage the debate, even with virtual participants.

Voting by hand raising, which we often see at physical meetings, does not work remotely. Instead, we use an innovative electronic voting platform, secured on the blockchain, to enable each qualified participant to cast their votes when needed. First, you present the item on the agenda, then you ask participants to cast their votes when called for (by sending out a personalized and secure voting link), then when everyone has cast their votes, the result of the vote is displayed live on the screen shared with the participants. And, of course, you also have the option of anonymizing all the votes. Working closely with you, we make sure all the legal and confidentiality requirements of the voting are met.

Allowing time between the items on the agenda is important, so that participants feel that they are not stressed when making up their mind and voting. Just as during a physical meeting, unexpected decision points can arise. With our platform, you can quickly add questions and response options into the voting tool and send personal voting links to approved voters. These results can be shown to all participants live as well, making the process seamless.

In short, with everything going on, it can be really nice to have someone in place to facilitate the online experience and make everything secure. You can trust the Vitalis team to provide you these high value-added services during the pandemic, and implement your virtual annual general meeting. Just get in touch with us !

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Digital Studio Events

When times require it and new challenges arise, every event professional adapts and sometimes even reinvents himself/herself with new additional services. This is exactly what we have done with our partners. We have put in place state-of-the-art production, transmission and broadcasting services for digital events. Whether an advanced webinar or webcast, we have the right solution for meetings and events of all kinds, in the current COVID times. We give you access to professional studios where we film and broadcast your event, and alternatively we can make it happen at your place, with our equipment and know-how. We offer technical solutions (capture, projection), organizational solutions (staging, presentation), and broadcasting solutions (creation of live content, communication on social networks, press relations with international TV channels).

Studios are configured and adapted to the format of the event, to the number of panelists. The sets change depending on the theme, attention is given to the backdrop and the furniture. Speakers are taken care of upstream so that they can work on their speech and appearance, the aim being to give a professional tone to virtual events such as when broadcasting live shows on TV sets. The events industry is thus undergoing rapid change and is reinventing itself at the rate of health developments linked to COVID. These new formats will undoubtedly still be used after the pandemic with the aim of retaining a large audience and will be combined with face-to-face participants. That being said, we remain huge fans of Live events, meetings in person, and we’re eager to get back to organizing “real” meetings, on top of our innovative digital offerings.

Please get in touch with us to work out the format and solutions for your next event !

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Back to live! FFER 2020

Finally, we are back at a live medical congress!

The 25th congress of the French Federation for the Study of Reproduction (FFER) is currently being held in Clermont-Ferrand, France, at the Polydome convention center from September 23 to 25, 2020. The teams of the Clermont-Ferrand University Hospital and the private clinic of La Châtaigneraie welcome in Auvergne all those concerned by Medically Assisted Procreation. This year’s congress takes place in a special context. It was to be the first in France following major changes in bioethics laws. Ultimately, it will be the first in this field to follow the COVID-19 epidemic, the greatest crisis that humanity has experienced in 50 years and likely to upset our values.

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These days are placed under the sign of conviviality promoting meetings and exchanges between the centers, biologists, clinicians, pharmaceutical laboratories and industrialists involved. Collaboration between practitioners (doctors or biologists) and industry remains a necessity and is the source of the progress that has taken place since the creation of the FFER 25 years ago. This synergy will continue in order to provide patients with access to scientific progress and the best chance of having a child.

The participants are enjoying a relaxing setting near the plateaus and volcanoes of this beautiful region right in the center of France. Vitalis Events is of course totally delighted to be able to finally coordinate a live event of such importance again! We look forward to organizing many more events in the coming months, and we hope to be able to move away from purely digital events that were becoming the norm, towards both live events and a mix of live/digital that people are now expecting.

Please get in touch, and we will show you how we can organize your next fully Covid-compatible event, and grow your business again.

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Then vs now

Events, whether a private party or a promotional corporate event, have always played a part in connecting people and communities. Technology advances have changed the way in which people plan and host events.

The earliest events and gatherings promoted peace and friendship between tribes and clans. Did you know that the first known event planner was Cleopatra? She hosted very fancy meetings to attract lovers. Cleopatra entered one meeting by sailing down the Nile River on a boat filled with candles, perfume, and lavish food, in order to impress Emperor Marc Antoine. Back then, messages were hand delivered and it could take weeks if not months to deliver them.

The French royalty continued elaborate parties and events. Rich aristocratic women were in charge of event management and entertaining the King. The most notable was Madame Pompadour, the mistress to King Louis XV of France, and Marie Antoinette. Numerous feasts, festivals and weddings required skilled planners, to coordinate the music, food, costumes, and themes.

The Industrial Revolution created the need for meetings and events to expand beyond parties for the rich, in order to grow businesses. With stronger economies and increased manufacturing, it became necessary for people to set up meetings, trade shows, and events in order to collaborate and grow sales. More transportation options, such as rail lines, meant people could attend more events and meetings.

In the 20th century, the growth of event planning as a profession took off with the investment of wealthy families who required the services of planners to handle the preparations for their wedding, parties and receptions. The complexity of events, both personal and corporate, began to require professional help to organize the various elements, from sending invitations to managing caterers.

The introduction of mobile phones and the internet had an enormous impact on event planning. Communication can happen at any time of the day and from anywhere in the world. A person can create, find, register, and document an event by using one small portable device.

Prior to the 1990s and 2000s, event organizers had to use hand-written registration processes and all documents were physically mailed. It could take days to reach the right place and documents could easily get lost. Now, documents can be emailed or uploaded instantly and registration forms can be filled out online.

Before the internet, attendees had to pull out a physical map to find the location of an event, which was sometimes difficult and stressful. Now, you simply need to type an address into Google Maps to receive step-by-step directions in real time.

Do you want to know who’s attending an event? You once had to call your friends or ask them in person. Now, through social media and events organization websites, attendees can see virtually who is interested in or attending an event.

Before the internet, flyers, posters, and word-of-mouth were popular ways to advertise events. Now, people can search for events by using websites like Facebook. Users can type in their location and find hundreds of events they may not have even known existed.

The most considerable change technology has provided is to have more control over event management. Software and websites allow people to build advertisements for events with user-friendly and professional formats. Ticket sales and registration are organized in one spot. In the fast-paced world of the internet, time is limited and valuable. Event management websites and apps save people time while providing easy options for creating events.

Special events spending worldwide was recently estimated at $500 billion. Globalization has played an enormous part in the success of the event planning industry, as events take place across the globe. The current pandemic might have hit this business pretty badly and slowed its growth temporarily. But events have a very long history and they are certain to remain an important part of our daily lives. Vitalis Events is a proud member of that industry, since 2003, and we would be delighted to help you build your next corporate event, in a safe way.

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The Post-Covid Era of Events

COVID-19 will have a lasting impact on the world of events, but it is still early to have real visibility. No doubt, however, that over time, we will return to physical events because nothing replaces LIVE and the quality of meetings in-person. And all that we have learned, developed and implemented in the meantime will allow us to go even further, to design and create “augmented” events by optimizing the use of digital and new technologies.

The complete stop of events created a lack. In France, a study carried out by Weezevent and Ifop among the general public in June revealed that 9 French people out of 10 normally take part in events, and 93% of them declare that they are missing these activities. 100% of them will go to such events again, and 67% say they will return even within a few weeks if allowed. These figures clearly show the French people’s appetite for events. In Switzerland, where the business community is obviously also very active, the numbers should be very close to these.

The confinement linked to COVID-19 has accelerated the digitalization of the event universe, and if certain events are easily transposable into live video (such as conferences, general meetings), digital does not apply to all events. Imagine an incentive or a corporate end-of-year party entirely online… The 100% digital has its limits: it cannot generate the emotion, the bond, the alchemy created by the physical encounter. It certainly allows to multiply the audience and reduce costs, but has neither the same impact, nor the same memorization. It is imperative to bring our creativity and event know-how to succeed in making an impression. And who wants to spend their life on Zoom for aperitifs and festivals alone on their sofa?

Even if digitalization does not offer the possibility of acting emotionally as strongly as in a live situation, it does on the other hand offer new possibilities (wider audience, easier interactions, availability in multiple rooms, e-commerce connection, etc) reducing costs, distances and uptime for participants. These arguments are particularly valid in times of recovery, economic tension and busy agendas.

Companies have a real need to communicate with their audiences, reconnect with their customers, and restore meaning, even if it must still remain in whole or in part virtual. The COVID crisis has highlighted the need for responsibility and solidarity. 90% of French people expect brands to get involved. With this in mind, agencies like ourselves have designed ideas for experiences that are always positive but also more responsible. Events that consume few environmental resources, by mixing face-to-face and digital, and which also integrate sanitary measures.

Vitalis Events is ready to take briefs of high-quality digital events. Together with our trusted service providers, we are developing new functionalities to meet the expectations of customers in terms of great e-Experiences. Last month, we carefully orchestrated the inauguration of major headquarters in Morges, Switzerland, for a large biotech company specializing in oncology. This hybrid live and digital event was a success, and was very encouraging in terms of our ability to cater effectively to this new service, that is very much in demand.

For companies there is still some ambivalence, between a real need for customers to reconnect with event communication but also a real difficulty for them to project themselves in the near future due to the economic and social impact of the crisis and the vagueness regarding the possibility of bringing together their public.

We are integrating more and more digital today. We will see increasingly hybrid events mixing face-to-face and digital or multi-site. Digital events will have to be amazing, ultra-scripted and participative (otherwise it will be boring). However, the recovery will be made by the return of live events to recreate social ties and giving life to the economy. Putting people back in the center will drive the recovery.

The key to success remains creativity. A strong idea, a “never seen before” concept, a desirable story, a relevant choice of speakers and performers, are the keys, whether live or digital, to speak to a target audience.

We are made to live in a group, the event is a must in our social life, and will be all the more so with the need for meaning that this crisis has amplified. Great events will mix exceptional live content as the main feature, with digital and social content. This is the future of event management.

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A successful digital opening ceremony

A few days ago, Vitalis Events coordinated the official opening ceremony of new company headquarters, in Canton de Vaud, Switzerland. Needless to say, this opening ceremony had to be quite different, due to constraints imposed by the COVID-19 situation. Together with our technical partners, we organized a live webcast so that all the employees and company stakeholders could take part in the event.

The company is a successful biopharmaceutical company specializing in drug discovery and development in several fields.

Digital events, such as webcasts, are fast becoming the norm, as companies need to follow strict rules during the pandemic. As a medical and pharmaceutical research company, this was all the more obvious for them. On the plus side, the digitalization of the event meant less travel and use of environmental resources by employees, and more people were able to virtually “attend” the event and share it with others.

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For the live event, all sanitary measures were put in place of course, with hydro alcoholic gel and social distancing guidelines. There was sufficient space between seats, and speakers’ desks. We made sure that every speaker had their own disinfected microphone, whereas usually these would be passed between them. But not during these times. The devil is in the details.

On the technical side of things, we had three autonomous cameras, which could be entirely controlled by the technical management during the whole webcast. Large flat screens were installed around the main stage area, so that videos could be played during the ceremony. These videos included a detailed virtual visit of the new headquarters for everyone to see remotely. Interestingly, it also included an uplifting interview of a patient who had actually received treatments developed by the company, explaining his story, up to his full recovery and love of cycling and other sports. This video was then followed by a live talk between the CEO of the company and the doctor who treated this patient during several years in a local hospital.

Several executive vice presidents were also present at the inauguration site, and they took care of the ribbon-cutting ceremony. To provide the official touch to the event, the local syndic (mayor) and the Head of the Economic, Innovation and Sport Department of the Canton de Vaud both delivered very positive speeches. Indeed, the new headquarters will have a positive impact in terms of jobs and prospects of improved health for the entire community.

We are extremely pleased that this event went so smoothly, both technically and in terms of planning and logistics. Our client was delighted with the result, and we look forward to a continuing business relationship with them. It demonstrates that Vitalis Events continues to deliver great events, including state-of-the-art webcasts and digital events that are very much in demand right now, with distinguished guests and speakers. As in this example, such events can convey a lot of information and emotions, they can be entertaining as well, and provide fantastic opportunities for communication.

Please let us know what your needs are, what your ideal mix of live and digital event might be, and we will plan it and implement it carefully with you!

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The Night of Light

The “Night of Light” took place on Monday 22nd June. In an exceptional campaign both in Switzerland and abroad, locations, organizers, event agencies, trade fair companies, stand builders, caterers, technical service providers, decoration companies, culture professionals, and production companies were involved in a unique solidarity action.

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In Switzerland alone, 1100 objects were illuminated in red. Among them was the Jet d’Eau in Geneva, many objects in Lausanne, the Château de Chillon, the Bundesplatz and the Wankdorf stadium in Bern, the KKL Luzern, the Messe Basel, the Zurich Opera House, and the Hallenstadion Zurich. It was a silent but emotional cry for help from thousands of people in the event business, who are still not sufficiently heard by politicians.

The “Night of Light” is an international campaign that has generated massive public interest, and increased awareness about the issues the event industry is facing.

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Plan your meeting in the “city of the future”

Two days ago, we were able to perform our first post-confinement site inspection, in Lyon. It was for one of our key accounts, to prepare an event that was “frozen” for over 3 months due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

We were able to discover new super trendy places in the Confluence district of Lyon. As the city’s former industrial area, the Confluence district once housed the city’s wholesale market, factories, prisons and the Port Rambaud, which supplied the city with goods arriving here via the river. Following the progressive closure of its factories in the late 20th century, the Confluence’s urbanization project has brought a new breath of life to the district, and helped to extend the city.

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Leading names from the international architecture scene, such as Christian de Portzamparc, Kengo Kuma and Massimiliano Fuksas, have added their own personal touches to the area’s extraordinary architecture. As an area on the cutting edge of ecology and devoted to experimentation, this eco-district combines architectural avant-garde and sustainable development.

From the banks of the Saône all the way along the Cours Charlemagne, shops, homes, offices, bistrots, and parks cohabit with construction sites and renovations breathing new life into the former port buildings. The futuristic “Musée des Confluences” exhibits everything from dinosaur skeletons to contemporary art, and La Sucrière, a former sugar warehouse, displays fantastic art collections.

Lyon is the second city in France in terms of culture, just after Paris. It has lots of museums, where you can immerse yourself in its history and heritage, including its world-famous gastronomy and “bouchons”. And there are 21’000 events all year long: fairs, congresses, concerts, plays, festivals, biennials, etc.

Our customer was amazed by the spaces and accommodation on offer in the Confluence district. For their upcoming medical conference, he quickly selected a 900 square-meter historic building that was used to repair houseboats and barges. Now it houses many professional events in the heart of Lyon. This beautiful modular space can be entirely privatized.

Discover the new and forward-looking face of Lyon! Vitalis Events can help you plan a fabulous event in this exciting city…

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Your Corporate Retreat

In these challenging times, Vitalis Events has some fabulous suggestions for your next meeting. Whether you’re looking for a confined corporate retreat to get your team motivated and up to speed again, or a formal business meeting, we can provide great amenities in secluded places.

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In one secret mountain spot, you get 24-hour service and a business-ready environment with HD screen, Apple TV, laptop, printer, blackboard, etc. Coffee breaks with home-made pastries, a quick business lunch, and a scenic relaxation area are also included. You stay overnight in high-tech huts surrounded by nature. In another spot, we can privatize a gorgeous little hamlet with lovely old chalets and great meeting facilities! You enjoy full privacy. We make sure social distancing measures are followed.

Let us take care of your first post-Covid19 corporate meeting!