From physical conferences to digital solutions – Carola Skoog changed her career
This is modern, effective and more rock’n’roll – Carola Skoog went from working at large physical fairs to digital events.
After a long career in the event industry, Carola Skoog wanted to change the business. She saw opportunities in digital platforms and today she is part of creating meetings for the future, as Head of Sales at InvitePeople. ”The market for digital and hybrid events will only continue to grow.”
When you choose to work with your passion, there are endless opportunities. It’s just a matter of being open to change. Just when Carola Skoog thought she would settle in at a dream position at a big exhibition facility, she instead began a new journey. She went from working with physical events to working on digital event platforms.
I thought I was ready to stay in one place until retirement. But then everything changed, Carola says.
Ever since Carola started her career within the hotel industry, international contacts and events have been a natural part of her everyday life. For many years she worked at a congress agency with a global team, in an international arena. Unlike today, travel was a natural part of the meeting industry.
It was fun to travel as much as I did. I learned a lot about people and events and how different cultures communicate with each other.
Then, a bit more than five years ago, Carola got a dream job at Stockholmsmässan. She worked with developing their international relations and their conferences. And this is where she thought she would feel ready to settle in. However, at the same time, she felt that something was missing.
It was so cool to work at this huge facility, the Nordic region’s largest point for trade fairs, congresses, and events. 70,000 salable sqm, but still I felt that something was missing. I needed something new, something exciting.
A new journey – toward digital platforms
Even before the pandemic, Carola had seen much-unexploited potential in digital solutions within the event industry.
There was so much unbroken land. During my career, I have met both organizers and sponsors who would like to arrange events that could continue to live a long time after the actual physical event was over. They wanted a possibility to create a community and gather all the material from their physical event onto a digital platform.
When Carola worked for Stockholmsmässan, InvitePeople was a supplier of some digital services. Back then they were offering mostly virtual solutions for registration, ticket handling, payment options, and bookings.
InvitePeople was the digital piece of the puzzle for some of our physical events. And they would soon become much more.
When the pandemic struck, InvitePeople developed its services and became the platform that Carola had seen a great need for. Today, InvitePeople is one of northern Europe’s largest virtual platforms for events, conferences, meetings, and trade fairs.
When the pandemic hit, more and more companies had to familiarize themselves with digital options. It became an eye-opener for the industry, says Carola.
So, when Mats Storckenfeldt, InvitePeople’s CEO, asked Carola if she wanted to get involved and work with their digital development, she could not say no.
I am a brave person, and this would be an exciting and challenging journey. This was what I had been waiting for; an innovative and growing company.
Profitable, flexible, and more rock’n’roll
In one year, the market for digital and hybrid events has grown, and more companies are choosing to invest digitally. InvitePeople’s virtual platform enables organizers to tailor an experience and gather all participants and services in one platform. From there, the participants can access live seminars, webinars, pre-recorded lectures, workshops, and digital showrooms. And at the same time, they can interact with each other directly on the platform, during ongoing seminars, or through break-out rooms, video calls and pre-booked meetings. When the event is over, all the material can stay on the platform and be available all year round.
Even if we don’t meet so many people in person today, digital meetings can be as important and mean a lot for our relationships, Carola says. In addition, this form of meeting is more efficient, sustainable and can be more profitable for organizers as well as sponsors, partners, and participants.
The virtual event format has not only become a great solution during the pandemic restrictions. Studies show that digital and hybrid events will be the normal meeting form of the future. This format is more flexible and can live longer than a physical event.
No one can know for sure what the events of the future will look like. I’m sure people will want to meet, but not all people need to meet at the same time in one physical place. I think it will be a mix of physical and digital events. And our platform can meet both needs.
As Head of Sales, Carola is now involved in broadening the company’s network, meeting customers, and setting up strategies.
I have worked with people and meetings for as long as I can remember, Carola says. Defining goals, purposes, and why you meet, is in my DNA. At InvitePeople I have put together all my personal building blocks. I get to use my experience of physical events while I get a lot of freedom. I give sponsors and partners a return of investment and can now show them the possibilities with hybrid and digital events.
Today, she is helping to shape the meeting form for the future, in a market that is only growing. InvitePeople has already started to expand in Germany, where they will soon have a subsidiary and the opportunities for growth in Europe are great.
This is challenging and more rock’n’roll. We have just started this journey and with the right investments and the right people, we are expanding. I am proud of us at InvitePeople, the future here is exciting.