Our journey so far
At every Semiofest we have tried to learn from any mistakes and to iron out glitches in order to continue making the event better every year in response to feedback from delegates. We tend to tweak the format every year after our evaluation of each event. For example, from London to Barcelona we reduced the number of speakers and increased the break time and added in a training session to kick off the event, which we have retained in every subsequent Semiofest. In Shanghai, we continued the ice breakers and re-introduced panel discussions. In Paris we started using an event theme (Love Semiotics) and took advantage of the location and local organizer links in order to set up a client Boot Camp. In Tallinn we continued the Boot Camp and made improvements to the social programme and the catering in order to ensure the best experience for our delegates. In Toronto we attempted to build in all accumulated learning from previous Semiofests and to maintain the outstanding level set in Tallinn 2016.
As we move forward, we see Semiofest as an ever-evolving prototype, never standing still, always seeking to improve the version for the next year. We are committed to improve. In order to do so, we rely on the passion and creativity of local organizing committees to create a fresh Semiofest, stamped with their own personality and suffused with the character of the location and host city!
Being the very first event and thus inherently experimental, we needed to figure out the best way to translate our vision into a real event, professionally run and managed and delivering a great conference experience for the attendees.
CONSOLIDATING A WINNING FORMULA
Gabriela and her young student team took the elements of Semiofest and added the Spanish flair and the ‘cool’ Barcelona touch to create a more artistic event. Semiofest in Barcelona was important as it showed us that the event could be replicated elsewhere.
BEYOND EUROPE, ENTERING ASIA
Vladimir Djurovic and his young team at Labbrand, China, took on the challenge of organizing a Semiofest in Shanghai. Applied Semiotics is a nascent discipline in China and we needed to create a good blend of the global and local to pull off a successful event.
BACK TO THE HEARTLAND OF EUROPEAN SEMIOTICS
4 intensive days at the Maison d’Architecture, a converted monastery in Paris, France, including 22 presentations, 3 keynotes, 3 panel discussions and a boot camp client event which involved 2 clients, Citroen and Essilor.
ACADEMIC COLLABORATION AND ORGANIZATIONAL EXCELLENCE
4 intensive days at the Kultuurcaldron, a converted power station on the site of the 1980 Olympics site and set of a Tarkovsky film, including an all-day training session, 21 presentations, 2 keynotes, 2 creative inspiration slots and a client boot camp event.
INTO NORTH AMERICA AND KEEPING TO THE NEW STANDARDS
4 intensive days at the Gladstone Hotel, a hip, boutique hotel in downtown Greater Toronto, including an all-day interactive training session, 4 Keynote speeches, 24 presentations, 2 creative inspiration slots and a client panel and full social programme.
THE BEST EVER ATTENDED SEMIOFEST & COMMERCIAL SUCCESS
4 intensive days in downtown Mumbai, spread between multiple locations, with the main event at the CSVS (Chatrapati Shivaji Vastu Sangrahalaya) – in Fort area – over 97 attendees, a record for Semiofest and an event that helped to enlighten many interested in semiotics on the Sub-Continent. 25 presentations, 2 great keynotes, a consumer safari, a panel on Fake News, a workshop on Indian condiments, cocktails. Bollywood dancing and some client immersions.
But you don’t need to be an expert in semiotics to come. We wish Semiofest to become a forum for all who are interested in learning more about semiotics as well as those who are looking to build a capability in doing semiotics effectively (rather than just talking about it). Many attendees are brand consultants, qualitative researchers or other interested professionals looking to add ‘another string to their bow’ or just those who crave stimulating content on culture and communications.
We believe fervently in the value of semiotics as an applied insight and strategy tool and there remains a substantial education job to be done here. But we can’t do it alone. So, join us! At Semiofest we seek to be the catalyst and hub for a global community centred around applied semiotics thinking. This is our vision. And our mission is to champion and to propagate the very best in applied semiotic thinking.