In recent weeks several members of the FAIRTIQ team have travelled to different parts of Europe to attend a number of industry events. In the following blogpost, they discuss what it feels like to be finally out and about after many months confined to the world of virtual meetings and conferences. They also share their thoughts on the ‘new normal’, as well as their experiences of attending major in-person events again.
Bruno Rohner, Business Development & Corporate Travel Director at FAIRTIQ, attended RNTP in Toulouse from 28 to 30 September 2021.
Was everyone swapping business cards again or was digital still de rigueur?
“All attendees had to have a valid COVID Certificate and everyone wore face masks. However, these measures did not hamper our ability to talk and interact with one another. Everyone was swapping business cards and handing out their company brochures and presentation material.”
The FAIRTIQ delegation travelled to the RNTP by train. What was the journey from Bern to Toulouse like?
Gian-Mattia Schucan, FAIRTIQ CEO and founder:
“We took the TGV from Bern to Paris and then travelled to Toulouse on the overnight train. I have to admit it was not the most comfortable night train I have been on but it was still great fun to be finally on the move and I enjoyed the experience of being rocked to sleep again. Given that it had been quite some time since we last travelled to France, the journey also was an opportunity to gather valuable and informative insights first hand into the country’s public transport system.”
Maurice Rapin, Business Development Lead for Switzerland, and Gian-Mattia Schucan, FAIRTIQ CEO and founder, attended the General Assembly of the Swiss Public Transport Union on 9 September 2021.
Maurice, what was it like to attend an in-person event again in Switzerland?
"It was great for everyone to finally meet up in person again after such a long hiatus. Nothing will ever beat direct, face-to-face contact. It brings all parts of the public transport system — providers and suppliers — closer together again."
The annual general assembly of the Swiss Public Transport Union is one of the most important dates in the industry’s events calendar. Although prevention and control measures were still in place, this year’s meeting felt like things were more or less back to normal.
Markus Fedra, our Business Development Manager for Austria, recently represented FAIRTIQ at the Salzburg Public Transport Conference.
Markus, what does the new normal look like in Austria?
“At the moment, there are very few restrictions in place when it comes to physical events. Thank goodness. When you register for the conference, you have to submit a valid vaccine certificate or proof of a negative COVID test. You are then given a wristband in case you might leave the conference site at some point during the day. Once you have the wristband, you are not subject to any restrictions at all inside the conference facilities. It feels great to be able to meet and talk face to face with other people again!”
All in all, the FAIRTIQ team is delighted to be on the move and have the chance to attend in-person events again.
Although the critical phase of the pandemic may have passed, virtual meetings are set to stay. In addition to the convenience factor, online events benefit not only public health but the environment too.