At the turn of this year The Glass Performance Days (GPD) announced significant changes and new initiatives for its upcoming 25th year Anniversary Conference June 28-30, 2017. Plans are at the finalizing stage but it is already clear that the venue will be new, the format upgraded and the interactive mode fitted to our times. In this way the organizers aim at honoring traditions, facilitate a generation change and make use of today´s advanced conferencing technologies. The number of confirmed speakers is around 140 and 800 attendants are expected come together at a new venue with exciting prospects.
Special attention is also devoted to attracting the interest of start-up organizations that represent entirely new ideas for a traditional business.
The set-up of the venue as seen in the conceptual image above is new to GPD, says Jorma Vitkala, Chairman of the Organizing Committee. We are moving the Conference from its previous venue Tampere Hall to a new facility, Tähtiareena. The new venue utilizes the connection to the Tampere Trade Fair Complex. This enables us to stage the Conference in one open 5,000 square meter space divided into six seminar sections with their own respective presentation and audio units and yet in visual contact for all. This makes moving between sessions and presentations easy and efficient and the same is true for participant networking. At the center of the open space we construct a special Expo Area accessible from all directions. The scheme is ambitious but the technology as such is proven i.e. at information industry assemblies. Gone is the need to navigate between floors, corridors and closed doors.
Two new Special Programs for a world-leading Conference
The Conference program includes entirely new features compared with previous Conferences. Two special conference modules are introduced: The Step Change Program and the Mentoring and Ambassador Program. Explains Event Coordinator Victor Jason:
The GPD Step Change concept aims at introducing new ideas and services from startup companies or universities that have emerging ideas but are not yet established in the market. The use of the Expo Area is free of charge for such newcomers, companies and innovators, to exhibit their products and services to glass industry professionals and investors. It is equipped with 4 sq. meter booths. The main purpose of the Step Concept is to provide investors and mentors and decision makers with focused opportunities to meet glass industry startups. Face-to-face-meetings can be arranged before or during the event through the Meeting Management Tool. A pitching contest for startups will be extended to all attendants at the GPD. This contest will showcase the startups to conference attendants, mentors, investors and the media.
The Mentoring and Ambassadorial Program focuses on linking talents within the industry. Solid connections between seasoned, perhaps retired professionals and the new generation of glass specialists are vital for the development of the industry and the building of sustainable networks. Special benefits and discounted prices are offered to experienced professional who register for the Ambassadorial Program. Investors and Mentors from the glass industry are especially welcome to sign up for new opportunities to learn about emerging technologies and potential partnering. An important goal for the GPD Mentor and Ambassadorial Program is to find, inform and finally to invite startups as well as emerging technology scouts to the GPD.