Destination AARhus’ 2020 reflections

Looking back over the year 2020, we see a year that was unlike any other. When Covid-19 spread and nations shut down, a lot had to change overnight. We adapted to working from home, having online meetings and webinars, changing plans with days’ notice, canceling, re-announcing, and then canceling events again, to name a few. Here are Destination AARhus’ reflections on what we learned over this past unrelenting, breakneck year.

 

Events – a record-breaking year

We started the year with smashing success, Sam Newman held a workshop and meetup covering Microservices. 70+ were on a waiting list for the workshop after it was fully booked within just 6 minutes. The interest in Sam Newman and the topic broke Destination AARhus records.

 

Topping that event was a challenge, not the least because a few months after, Covid-19 closed all larger events for the remainder of the year. We pulled up our sleeves, and researched, tested, and improved our webinar-skills. Soon after, we discovered, that our webinars were just as popular as our physical events used to be – if not more. Another record was broken when 339 IT-specialists signed up for our webinar with TestHuset in September.

 

Looking into the future, webinars will become a returning part of the Destination AARhus event portfolio. While the webinars lack the networking, physical events can provide, they make up for it in availability. Our online events reach more of our member companies’ employees both nationally and globally. Our physical events foster networking and knowledge sharing. Therefore, 2020 was the year, where we learned, that a cocktail of the two, might be the secret recipe for optimal value creation.

 

Member Companies – networking in a Covid-19 time

In 2020, we welcomed two new member companies: Trifork and Delegate. Thus, the Destination AARhus network represents 12 leading companies from the Greater Aarhus area:

 

While Covid-19 put a hold on physical networking events, the Destination AARhus provided online events were all the more important. Both our Executive network, HR network, and TechTeam managed to meet online several times throughout the year – often discussing and brainstorming on the current difficulties that everyone faced to find new solutions.

 

“Providing a world-class environment for local IT professionals and attracting more is a team effort. In the Destination AARhus networks we knowledge share and help each other improve and adapt – which was proven further useful during an interchanging and overall challenging year for all of us” – Maria Thing Nielsen, Head of Secretariat at Destination AARhus.

 

New projects

One of our primary ambitions is to test new projects for our member companies. In the year 2020, two projects stood out. Firstly, we joined the TalenTDK project – a national effort to attract sought-after employees. Secondly, we started our tech blog. Published on the well-known Medium platform, IT professionals from our member companies got the chance to share their knowledge with peers from the entire world. Counting upwards of 15.000 views, the Destination AARhus Techblog has been a success so far. We will continue to share new, thought-provoking, educating, and inspiring tech posts in 2021.

 

Overall, 2020 was a breakneck, however successful year, where we learned a lot! We’re looking forward to 2021 where it will be more up to us whether to plan after the Covid-19 forced “new normal” or the good old ways. What has been your most valuable learnings in 2020? And will you bring them into 2021?