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Next Generation Events

At Solarplaza, we have always been championing the importance of targeted networking and relevant knowledge sharing. We've always preferred the intimate setting of a focused gathering over the massive scale of a trade show. At the core of this approach, is bringing together high-level individuals who are focussing on the same set of challenges and provide immediate business opportunities to one another. In the light of recent events, this has become more important than ever before. 

COVID-19 has had an accelerating effect on our innovative process. To continue playing our role as industry facilitators, we are upgrading our event offering to include updated 'Next Generation' event formats, which will empower us to fully execute our entire event agenda for the remainder of 2020 under the current dynamic circumstances.

The new event formats will include updated programs, carefully deducted safety protocols, interactive virtual layers, practical fall-backs and added value elements beyond events. With this toolbox at our disposal, we will be able to assure the high level of services that you've come to know us for. We will actively reach out to you to keep you updated on what's happening and what this might mean for your involvement.

Next Generation Toolbox

  • Our virtual event platform (suitable as a complimentary layer to physical events and as a full stand-alone virtual event space)
  • Our health and safety protocol - co-developed with our international (venue/hotel) partners and with experience across our 25+ events this year
  • New networking: targeted mixing of physical and virtual participants
  • Revised and tailored programs that allow for more focus, increased interactivity and virtual implementation

Curious to get a sneak peak of our virtual innovations? In the past months, we have started pioneering in the virtual event space by already offering a first virtual event version of our Solar Asset Management North America event. Since then, we've also executed two other full virtual events, Solar Pulse Europe (June 24-25) and the Green Hydrogen Future (July 16). 

Key tools

The Event App

For the attendance of a physical event, the event app is more important than ever. It will allow you to adequately prepare for the event, already make connections, pre-schedule meetings and build your personalized program prior to the event. Proper adoption of the application and customization of your profile will significantly enhance your event experience and the possibility to network and make valuable connections. In case of a hybrid event, the app will be the primary tool for physical attendees, whereas the remote virtual participants will join in through the virtual event platform. If desired, however, this platform can also be accessed by the physical participants of a hybrid event. 

The Virtual Event Platform

Our virtual event platform, which shares a back-end with the event app is of vital importance to both a hybrid and fully-virtual execution of an event. Similar to the above-mentioned application, making use of the early access to the platform will seriously upgrade the value you will be able to get out of the event. Completing your profile, setting up your first connections, signing up for sessions and pre-scheduling your first meetings with fellow attendees (both virtual and physical ones) are the golden keys to an optimal event experience. The platform has been optimized for both hybrid event execution and full-virtual event execution. In the case of a hybrid event, the platform’s features allow for optimal interaction between physical and virtual attendees, including connection, chat, video-call and meeting scheduling, as well as content-related interaction during the program sessions. Recordings of all sessions will be available on the platform and the platform will remain open after the event to allow for post-event networking and playback of video recordings. 

Full-sized version:

cms_page_media/100/NextGen Events Infographic 1.0 (1).pdf

Event stages

In the run-up

Us, as the organizer:

  • Eight weeks before the scheduled event date - at the latest - we will make a final decision on the most suitable format for our event. This will depend on a multitude of factors, including (but not limited to) national measures, venue capabilities, transportation options and our assessment of the sentiment and willingness towards traveling and physical event participation of participants, partners and sponsors. 
  • Once this decision has been made, all internal procedures to make the final preparations or possible switching mechanisms will be put into motion. This will result in a detailed plan of approach that can be shared externally at least six weeks prior to the scheduled event date
  • Between four and two weeks before the event, we will launch and open up the event’s networking app and/or virtual event platform, to allow for proper preparation and pre-event value. 
  • Prior to the event, we will share more detailed information about possible additional or alternative measures and facilities at the event venue and will also provide general advice and information regarding national policy and transportation options. 

You, as an attendee:

  • In the case of a hybrid event, physical and virtual participation are interchangeable. Depending on crucial factors such as your country’s travel policy, transportation options and - most importantly - personal health, you determine if event participation is feasible at all and which format would be most suitable for your situation. We ask you to indicate your intention two weeks in advance, but switches later on - that relate to changing personal circumstances - can be discussed with our team. 
  • Once the app and/or platform have been opened up, make sure you review and update your profile and start exploring the space, build your personal program by signing up for sessions, browse the attendee list, make your first connections and start planning meetings in time. Together, those actions will optimize your event participation
  • If you’re planning to attend the event physically, make a timely plan on how to reach the event venue and which modes of transportation you’ll be able to use to do so. On the dedicated event websites, we’ll supply additional information on transportation. 
  • Before setting off, once again ask yourself the important health questions. If you can’t answer them all with a definitive no, please reconsider your (mode of) participation. 
    • Did you, in the last 24 hours, experience any of the following symptoms (coughing, sneezing, fever >38 degrees, shortness of breath)?
    • Does someone in your household have a fever or shortness of breath?
    • Did you contract coronavirus and has that been concluded in the past 7 days (in a lab)?
    • Did someone in your household contract the coronavirus and have you been in contact with them in the past 14 days, while they might still have had symptoms?
    • Should you be in home-isolation due to contact with a person that has contracted the coronavirus?
  • What to bring? Make sure to bring your smartphone and consider bringing a charger and power bank (we won’t be able to provide charging services). Remember to bring a face mask. If you happen to forget, we will also have a supply available at the registration desk. We advise the use of face masks at all of our events. In countries where they have not been declared mandatory, we will still promote and support their use, but will not require their use. In countries where there is a national policy on this, we will fully comply and follow the guidelines.  
  • What not to bring? Leave your stack of business cards at home. We strongly discourage exchanging those and instead encourage the exchange of contact info through the application, made even easier by use of QR codes etc. 

Registration process

Us, as the organizer:
We will set up a revised registration process on-site. This will include:

  • A health check with temperature measuring and security questions. 
  • Clearly-indicated distancing marks and walking routes, as well as a one-directional flow. 
  • Our staff will be wearing gloves and will frequently apply sanitizing products.
  • Our staff will only handle badges, to limit touchpoints and time. The lanyards and booklets are available for individual pickup on a separate table or section of the registration area. 

You, as an attendee

  • Make sure you dedicate enough time in your planning for the registration process, which might take longer than you’ve come to expect.
  • Follow the walking routes, which will be indicated from the entrance of the venue. 
  • Cooperate with the checks. Failure to cooperate or alarming results from them will, unfortunately, mean you won’t be able to access the venue and physically attend the event.  
  • Respect the measures and instructions.

Exhibition and networking

Us, as the organizer:
To guarantee your safety and wellbeing at all times, we put the following measures in place:

  • We guarantee a spacious set-up of the main networking area, ensuring the possibility to maintain 1.5 meters of distance between attendees at all times. In cooperation with the venue, we calculate suitable visitor capacity based on the available venue space.
  • This also translates to the set-up of the exhibition area, with spacious layouts of booths and the distance between them. 1.5 meter indications will be taped off around the booths. Hand sanitizer will be provided for every booth. In consultation with the exhibitors, we will determine the most responsible approach to supplying hand-outs. 
  • Throughout the venue, there will be ample hand sanitizer stations available, and an increased focus on and frequency of cleaning sweeps by the venue staff.
  • One-directional walking routes will be indicated throughout the networking and exhibition area.
  • There will be catering, but everything will be operated on a one-touch principle. That means both beverages and food items will securely be provided by staff members or will be individually packaged for collection. 
  • Private meeting spaces will be set up according to social distancing. Numbered meeting tables will be available for the meetings scheduled through the app or platform, with indicators (stickering/tape) to ensure proper distancing. With an increased emphasis on scheduled meetings as opposed to chance encounters, the amount of these networking tables will be higher than usual. 
  • Personal matchmaking will be provided both for online and physical participants and will be facilitated and supported by the Solarplaza team.
  • To ensure the right people are in the (virtual) audience, we’ve conducted specific local addressable market studies in the various countries and regions we operate in and have personally invited and approached people.

You, as an attendee:

  • While we provide the space required, we count on everyone’s cooperation in taking the responsibility to safely maintain proper social distancing. The Solarplaza team and venue staff will monitor and, if necessary, gently remind participants to respect the social distancing measures. Failure to comply may result in exclusion from the event.
  • Follow the indicated walking routes and respect the indicated place markers in relation to queues, networking tables, exhibition booths, etc.
  • Frequently wash your hands and use the hand sanitizer stations spread out over the area. 
  • Anyone may find themselves letting go of the occasional cough or sneeze. Please cough and sneeze in your elbow and use paper tissues that you dispose of immediately. Should the frequency of these be unusually noticeable, please take responsible action.
  • Handshakes and physical touch are not allowed. 
  • Exchanging business cards - or any items for that matter - is not allowed.

Sessions and rooms

Us, as the organizer:

  • The rooms in which we host our sessions will be set up according to 1.5-meter distancing (unless specific national policy dictates larger spacing) between seats and ample aisles and one-directional walking routes.
  • On stage, we will ensure proper distance between panel seats and will have microphones and slide advancers cleaned between presentations. 
  • In some cases, this also means that a plenary session, or even a parallel session, will have to be broken up over multiple rooms. In such cases, we will broadcast a video feed from the “main” room to the secondary room(s). In the case of a hybrid event set-up, these video streams will also be broadcasted on the virtual event platform.
  • Due to the more careful procedures and flow with regards to filling up the rooms and departing them, more time will be allocated in the program for room switches and movement. 

You, as a participant:

  • The maximum capacity per room can not be exceeded, so we will not allow for an overflow of people standing in the back of the room, etc. Allow for enough time to find the room of your choice and follow the walking routes to find a seat.
  • If you wish to witness the presentation live and with full focus, opt for the primary (live) room, but if you’d like to continue interacting with your neighbors at a suitable volume or need to get something done on your phone or laptop, consider going for the secondary room. We’ll cater to the different dynamics in these settings. 
  • Make use of the Q&A and polling tools, from any room, to interact with the sessions and speakers on stage.