Between January and April, we collaborated with the Digital Agri Hub to support three regional launch events – in Spanish for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), in French for the Africa Francophone regions, and in English for Asia. In total, over 1630 participants registered for these events and 712 joined online.
These events shared two objectives:
- Investigate and discuss the state, potential, and challenges of digitalisation for agriculture (D4AG) in the regions; and
- Introduce the work of the Digital Agri Hub in collecting, curating, visualising, and disseminating information on digital solution providers in the three regions.
The first two events – for LAC and the Francophone regions – were designed in the form of a virtual trade show: in each event, 12 solution providers pitched their solutions, and participants were invited to discover more in breakout rooms.
Both sessions also had either opening, scene-setting presentations or a closing, interactive chat show with invited guests.
Participants in both events appreciated the level of the speakers, the relevance of the solutions provided, the networking and information exchange, as well as the design and facilitation of the event. Possible improvements for future, similar sessions include having fewer solution providers presenting, and/or a slightly longer meeting time.
The Asia launch event was designed as a Policy Dialogue on Regional and Country Policies and Pathways. It focused on D4Ag policy and regulatory frameworks; technical and human capital; and the infrastructure and business environment for digital agriculture transformation.
Because of the format of a policy dialogue requiring a more ‘formal’ and ‘managed’ setting, we opted to host this event as a Zoom webinar, designed around two facilitated panels with guest speakers. Audience interaction was achieved through the public webinar chat; the Q&A module; and Menti.
One advantage of the webinar mode over meetings (besides the more detailed meeting reports generated by Zoom) is the Q&A module. If well managed and used in a coordinated manner between meeting facilitators, session moderators, and speakers, it can help harvest, answer, archive, or bring offline a large number of questions.
We supported these events with:
- Overall session planning and design;
- Facilitation – in Spanish for the LAC event, with Rocio Sanz as the lead facilitator; French for the Francophone event, with Ewen Le Borgne as the lead facilitator; and English for the Asia event, facilitated by Jessica Ball;
- Sourcing and coordination with session interpreters – with Agostina Sueldo coordinating live interpretation Spanish/English and and Serge Dalli coordinating live interpretation French/English;
- Liaising with speakers and participants – for guidance on platform and process;
- Technical hosting – on Zoom;
- Post production – follow up messages to participants; Zoom reports; session recordings, materials etc.