European projects involve quite some travelling to different meetings and events and there is of course always the question if it is really worth to spend all these resources, both from an economic and environmental point of view to move so many people. Are these meetings useful?
Personally, I believe that online conferences can complement physicals meetings and be of great help for implementation of activities but there is really something special with face-to-face meetings that online interactions never can replace. Especially kick off meetings are important and exciting for many reasons:
- It is often the first meeting for most of the members of a consortium who has been working electronically together for months to develop and finalize the project. Names, titles and email addresses get a face and personality.
- It is also the occasion to make sure that all people involved have the same understanding of the aims and activities. What was logical at the time of writing (many times in a hurry), might get into another light in a room with experts from various fields and countries are discussing the issues together. So the kick off meeting is the perfect time to fine-tune the work plan.
- It is also the start of something new, and for me there is no better time to start something new than the beginning of the autumn. I guess this feeling remains from starting school as a kid, still fresh after summer holidays but with the cooling down of temperatures and the change of the colours of the leafs, we get again more creative and enthusiastic, don’t you think?
These thoughts were provoked as I recently participated in a kick off meeting, and I must say it was a very efficient meeting - much thanks to the professional coordination by Inno and the warm welcoming and great organisation by SKEMA but of course also the active, professional and nice partner and the valuable contribution of our Project Officer. The ultimate aim of such meeting is to get home full of inspiration to get started with the work, and this time it turned out like that, so our newest project Health2Market is starting off very well!