The EMEA Regional Finalists in this year's IET Present Around the World competition.
IET volunteers gather in France for second event in CVC series.
Following on from the South Asia Community Volunteer Conference (CVC) in early August, the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) event was held on 25 and 26 August in Roissy, France. A total of 29 delegates from 17 countries attended on both days, including volunteers and staff. A highlight of the second day was the EMEA Present Around the World Regional Final.
The objectives of the EMEA CVC were similar to those of last year’s Volunteer Conference Weekend in London, but on a regional level:
1. To inspire: provide an interactive platform for members to become more engaged with the IET
2. To inform: educate on new tools, best practice, latest developments and successes
3. To interact: provide a two-way forum for sharing ideas
A ‘community lounge’ was set up to increase awareness and familiarity of various IET online tools, including MyCommunity, the Marketing Toolkit, and the Plus! For Events online registration management system.
A directory of IET Local Networks within the EMEA region was also published, with an introduction on each network, details of committee members and highlights of their best events. Attendees were encouraged to look at what events and other activities they could replicate within their own communities.
The CVC was very much focused on interactions and discussions, with a significant proportion of the programme devoted to group activities to encourage networking between delegates.
Iain Murdoch, the Chair of the EMEA Communities Committee, gave presentations on the objectives of the committee, the new IET 10 year strategy and the aims of the conference. This was followed by a short video of IET key messages from Chief Executive Nigel Fine and incoming President Professor Andy Hopper.
There were a couple of presentations from IET staff to talk about recent changes within staff teams, as well as the IET brand and new ‘IET Advantage’ offering, which aims to retain student members by showing a clear route from student membership to MIET and then onto professional registration.
The delegate from Bahrain presented on the Bahrain Local Network, highlighting both successes and challenges. There was particular focus on the recent loss of members due to unrest in the country.
There were also three breakout sessions:
1. The Delegate Challenge
The delegates were asked to talk about the issues they encounter in their regions when planning Present Around The World, seminar, professional registration and recruitment events. Each group was given a different type of event to consider, discussing how to create inspiring, relevant offerings.
2. Business Planning and Finance - Roman Empire
The aim of this exercise was to increase understanding of that fact that the EMEA Communities Committee needs metrics and audited accounts to assess the performance of Local Networks when allocating budgets. Delegates were put in the role of the Finance Minister of the Roman Empire, and were asked to allocate funds to Roman governors based on their requests plus information (or lack of information in some cases) on past performance.
3. Meet CC Member / CRM Staff
This was a very informal session where Communities Committee members and staff talked to the delegates about issues that were mentioned in the pre-CVC feedback. In addition, opportunities and challenges relevant and/or specific to the EMEA region were discussed in detail. One of the key benefits of the CVC was the ability for the attendees and staff to find solutions to challenges and ensure the IET remains relevant at a regional level.
The day ended with a drinks reception and dinner, which Present Around the World participants also joined.
On day two, the EMEA Present Around the World final saw presentations from eight countries, all of which were of a very high quality. It was a difficult decision for the judging panel, which consisted of Robert McCann from France, Mahmoud Chawki from Egypt, and Imran Ansari from Saudi Arabia.
The winner was Amr Ahmed Saleh from Egypt, with a presentation on a ‘Smart Breadboard’. The runner-up was Dominik Bucher from Switzerland, whose presentation was entitled ‘Local Browsing – The Search Engine for Mobile Devices’.
In addition to Present Around the World, day two also included updates on Young Professional (YP) activities and the various awards and prizes that the IET offers.