"Unplugged": New podcast for the Swiss LiveCom industry

On March 16, 2020, the plug was pulled on the event industry. How are event organisers doing after a year of crisis management? Is there any perspective at all? The new podcast "Unplugged" deals with these topics. Guests in the first episode: Daniel Koch and Darko Soolfrank.

The initiators of "Unplugged": Nicolai Squarra, Christoph Kamber, Ferris Bühler and Fabian Villiger (from left to right).

Finally, live events should be possible again. The pressure from the population, business and politics is palpable. But there is still a lack of realistic framework conditions for events. Too many questions remain unanswered - too little is said about the concerns and wishes of event organisers. This should now come to an end.

With "Unplugged" the two agencies RedSpark, Ferris Bühler Communications and the new event location Jed Events initiate a podcast for the Swiss LiveCom industry. The podcast wants to ensure that the plug is not pulled forever, as well as to take the pulse of a wide variety of players in the industry.

What lessons have been learned since the beginning of the pandemic, and how are they being dealt with in the meantime? In the first episode of the new audio format, Christoph Kamber, President of Expo Event Swiss LiveCom Association and co-owner of RedSpark, hosts two heavyweights in their field: Daniel Koch, former head of the FOPH's Communicable Diseases Department, and Darko Soolfrank, a veteran of the Swiss culture industry.

"Theater magic doesn't happen with an audience of 50"

The marathon of crisis can be heard in his voice: "Of course it was a shock to us. How do we pay wages and rents? Are deficiency payments coming or not? We had to really worry about survival. And suddenly you were locked in a prison and had to accept that," Darko Soolfrank describes in the podcast his emotional state at the beginning of the pandemic. In the meantime, he no longer dares to have expectations, but is more optimistic now that events are to take place again. Nevertheless, many questions remain unanswered for him as well: "With 50 spectators in a theatre with 1,000 seats, no atmosphere can develop. The magic of the theatre doesn't happen like that - it's more like a dead atmosphere".

Daniel Koch's plans as a festival organizer

Daniel Koch also calls for more optimism and planning certainty in the first episode of "Unplugged". He calls for thinking not in worst-case scenarios, but in realistic planning scenarios. When asked how Daniel Koch would proceed as a festival organizer today, he answers, "Plan for August, but expect risk." Not only would the pandemic have an impact, but so would politics. As people's fear of event attendance would depend on it. First of all, he would like to visit the Circus Knie again and strongly hopes that this will be possible again in the summer with 1,000 visitors.

"Current circumstances and the lack of communication outlets have led us to look for new ways to address the hot topics in our industry, within the current possibilities that exist," says Nicolai Squarra, partner at JED Events and co-founder of the project. The podcast is aimed at "professionals" in the LiveCom industry - event organizers, event professionals, marketing strategists, non-profit organizers and everyone in between. But also to everyone who has an open ear for culture and wants to attend events again soon.

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