Meet us at the selfie point

t was one of these working days with a late business appointment, and I actually had to make an effort to visit the Pop-Kultur Festival in Berlin on the premises of the historic Kulturbrauerei culture center. Pictures of kittens were hanging everywhere – cute selfie points. Like most of the participants here I first took a snapshot of myself. That put me in contact with others. What are you doing here? What do you do in life? No obligations, all options open. We are all required to find new ideas and partners for doing business, but how do we go about it and who are we looking for? For the sociologist Niklas Luhmann, confidence is a mechanism for the reduction of social complexity, but confidence needs openness, and openness is what events are all about. That's something I pondered on sitting on beer benches and reading in the program flyer about what I was just experiencing: Pop Kultur festival assembles protagonists in the music and creative industries in a casual setting and starts them talking with each other. More than 70 concerts, DJ-sets, exhibitions, installations, talks and films are incentives to interdisciplinary interaction and exchange.

And that absolutely drives networking, says Iris Lanz. The Deputy Director Conventions of the Berlin Convention Office is aware of her city's multifaceted culture as signature feature. It is an important reason for congress planner to decide for Berlin. Lanz: "If it matches the event theme, festival atmosphere can significantly promote interaction between participants, this contributing considerably to an event's success story." A perfect example here is the re:publica: at this festival of the digital community, the automaker Daimler is reinventing itself as mobility provider. And that's not the end of it:

At this year's International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt, Mercedes-Benz will launch the "me Convention". What comes as a surprise is their partner: the Texan Festival South by Southwest (SXSW). Their joint conference is aimed at giving new impetus to the public discourse on future-related issues. "What makes SXSW so exciting is their approach to showing future content in form of a festival", explains Prof. Dr. Marcus S. Kleiner, Course Director Experiential Communication at the SRH hdpk university for the creative industries in Berlin. The SXSW Conference & Festivals celebrate the convergence of the interactive, film, and music industries during 10 days of sessions, showcases, exhibitions, parties, art installations, and networking. In 2017 with 421,900 participants: 70,696 at the conference, 74,519 at the trade show, and 167,800 at the SXSW Official Music Showcase. 1,084 (!) parties and events make it a memorable event. Will the Mercedes star rise at the party sky of Messe Frankfurt? Watch out for our editor Christian Funk. Give him your feedback on all this. And send us your selfie ...
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