After organising Intergraf Currency+Identity for 45 years, albeit under several different names, Intergraf did not expect to have to try something entirely new: a version of its successful conference for the security printing industry worldwide held entirely online.
But the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the whole word to change suddenly. Organisers of business conferences, the ‘raison d’être’ of which is to enable personal and business contacts between people face-to-face, also had to adapt to the fact that their business model had changed.
If I were to summarise my experience as a speaker, I would say that the success of the event was a reflection of the time and care Intergraf took in ensuring that each presenter was comfortable and aware of what was required at each step of the pre-conference planning process. Overall, time was effectively managed, and this allowed attendees to hear from, and interact with, a wide number of persons from diverse environments. The chat room type meetings among participants and exhibitors were also a huge plus for an event of this sort. Sharon Villafana Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago
So, just like everybody else, Intergraf had to evolve, and it did.
And, just as always, Intergraf Currency+Identity Online again brought together ‘issuing authorities and solution providers’ from the two branches of the industry.
On the one hand, the people that need to consider and decide on new banknote or passport and ID card series.
And, on the other, those that develop new and improved ways to make these products more secure, more convenient to administer and use, and longer lasting and more sustainable.
The online format may have been new, but Intergraf Currency+Identity Online followed a well-received precedent set in Copenhagen in 2019 by opening the conference with a look at the future.
This time, it was Daniel Hulme who gave the keynote address, on ‘Artificial Intelligence and its impact on society’. Although the conference’s far-flung viewers most likely wanted to get back to things as they were, Daniel did not spare the audience, with the promise that AI would over the coming few decades initiate massive changes in the way we interact with our environment and each other.
Intergraf Online was super well organised. The team were very friendly and efficient, quickly responding to any issues to ensure that the set up was as smooth as possible. The online platform was easy to use and worked really well for us. We made some interesting contacts during the event and are now busy following these up. We hope to see you in person next year! Sharon D’Cruz Inspectron
The keynote, as well as the opening welcome, had to be delivered two times as participants in the western hemisphere joined in with a 6-hour delay on the account of the time-zone difference. Participants in Asia, the Far East, and Australia and New Zealand also had to stay up late to participate.
In such unusual times, I was grateful for the opportunity to see, hear and chat with familiar faces. It was also uplifting to discover new topics and meet with new colleagues. I thoroughly appreciated the experience… But I am still very much looking forward to the next physical event! Fabrice Capiez Banque de France
The 3-day conference was especially informative on new banknote issues, the potential for Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), as well as digitalisation of travel documents and border issues using automation, among others.
The environment, from talks on the sustainability of euro banknotes to how central banks can act against climate change, also received much attention.
It was not only the official speakers delivering their presentations that provided the professional input. The exhibitors as well offered a wealth of information in their Exhibitor Innovation Tracks and Roundtables.
They could speak directly to their existing or future costumers and explain their products in great detail. And 1:1 meetings, although at a distance, were also well used in various chat rooms.
Comments from participants, speakers and exhibitors illustrate well how Intergraf’s first online conference was received. Intergraf agrees very much with Fabrice Capiez, quoted here, and is working already on the next conference, to take place on 6-8 April 2022 in Lyon, France.