Life imitates art?
If you search a definition of the word “exhibition”, the first result suggested by search engine is: “a public display of works of art or items of interest, held in an art gallery or museum or at a trade fair” (Dictionary, 2019).The second definition reveals that “exhibition” also may signify “a display or demonstration of a skill”. Historically, the initial meaning of the word is related to the world of art. In virtue of EAIE participation, it got me thinking that in a way, even a commercial event may portray art. Poetically, every product and company are unique in their core and background, have their own history, ideas and creators behind.
Back in 2017, it felt more than inspiring to be a part of such an event for the first time, which turned us towards becoming a regular participant. Since then, we have recognized a need for the high-grade management tools among higher education institutions. And an ample opportunity to fulfill their demands by offering our services.
Exhibition’s ABCs: always be closing?
“Exhibitions are all about sales”. FALSE! Or true for some, but leastways boring.
Indeed, many companies exhibit with a single purpose to generate leads, create brand awareness, *insert more merchant terms here*. However, it is blatantly dull to waste time at the booth to wait until that right, perfect customer finally shows up. Here we see a bigger picture: being a participant is all about networking and development. Hundreds of organizations from around the world come together once a year, so go catch them all!
While visiting an exhibition, in several days (or maybe even hours) you may face plenty of chances beneficial for the company and product development. Even though exhibition participation is not all roses (it requires quite a lot of work, as discovered), it does not mean that it must be draining or boring. Building connections leading to future opportunities, learning more about the field from experts, a chance to hear a real-time feedback about own product – just a few possibilities named, they cannot be ignored when combined in one place.
So wait, how comes that we fit into “international higher education” sphere? Solenovo provides software services for educational institutions locally and abroad. Our student and personnel mobility system– SoleMove– allows International Relations Offices of higher education institutions to digitalize processes of their international mobility management, by comprising the whole mobility processin one system. No wonder the event became one of our favorite occasions to attend yearly.
EAIE conference has been determined with a set of values, validated by our compatriot – Markus Laitinen – who has been present in the role of President of EAIE for the past several years. The EAIE values were announced to be “Collaborative, Inspiring, Inclusive and Excellence”. As both company and individuals, we share them inasmuch; those are extremely close to our operation values. Likewise, we are working on making impact by shaping and supporting responsible European international higher education. As an intriguing congruence, “Excellence”is especially meaningful to us, because Solenovo’s motto is “For the Excellence Seekers”(since we do not consent for providing less than truly excellent experiences for our customers). Coincidence? I don’t think so.
Why we exhibit?
Here at Solenovo we believe that professionals deserve the best solutions. We exhibit because our main goal is to enhance the international development of higher education institutions all around the world. Primarily, we wish to support the work of International Relations Offices in the times of drastic changes in international mobility field.
We believe in our product and strive demonstrating our customers which added value universities can obtain by using modern, comprehensive mobility management software. It is well-known that office job can be draining both physically and mentally, we are no exception. Hence, we aim on reducing the tiring labor by optimizing and digitalizing tedious paperwork.
When at EAIE we meet universities’ representatives, we foremost anticipate discussing their workflow, and whether there is something in their current process of mobility management ought to be fixed. Even though it might not seem so, the importance of smooth mobility management methods goes long beyond International Office; it is crucial to remember that initially it is all about students. We bear in mind that an exchange semester is more than just an experience: it allows deep learning and makes us, as cultures, united. In the wider picture, it gives a larger perspective of cultural and professional environment and, ultimately, allows to reach a multicultural bona fide* mentality. We aspire to be a part of this picture by supporting international growth and development, as those are our principal objectives, too.
Not to forget, an exhibition is a great chance to meet your existing customers and catch up in informal, non-corporate atmosphere. A tip: during the event, customers might appear to be the greatest source of firsthand information for both the company and interested parties. Speaking of which, we cannot wait to see you all at booth E45!
bona fide* - good faith, in human interactions, is a sincere intention to be fair, open, and honest, regardless of the outcome of the interaction.
“Encompassing all voices”
This year EAIE conference’s topic is “encompassing all voices”. The topic revolves around the inclusion and what it means to each of us.
For us, inclusion is connected with development and innovation: the world of internationalized education currently encounters a need to advance its methods in order to adapt to constantly changing environment. Our descendants will know progressive and inclusive higher education, which we now endeavor to build. In the framework of EAIE community, together we intend on bringing innovation to the field, aiming on refining the supporting tools and, thereby, the work quality of universities’ employees. As stated by B. Leask (“Internationalisation of the Curriculum”, 2012), “we simply cannot continue doing the same things we have been doing for decades”. The future of international education calls for more.