VDAV Congress 2008
EADP's German member federation VDAV held its annual congress from June 18 to 20 in the northern German city of Bremen. VDAV's congresses are structured differently to EADP's congresses, with few sessions for all participants and many break-out seminars and workshops. A total of 39 different presentations were given in areas such as Trends and Developments, PR, Marketing and Advertising, Business Management, Internet, Search Engines and Portals, Distribution, Telecommunication and Mobile as well as suppliers'presentations. To stress the European dimension of the event, the keynote address was given by German liberal member of the European Parliament (MEP) Dr. Silvana Koch-Mehrin.
Most European countries are faced with age pyramids, which are becoming top heavy, and those over 50 years old will make up an increasingly large part of the population. The media habits of the older generation are therefore of great importance to directory publishers.
Dr. Sybil Apple, a communication researcher at IFAK Institute in Germany, presented some very interesting statistics of media use by people over 50, which revealed that the use of electronic media is by no means the prerogative of the young, but that there are some quite distinctive difference in media use in the different segments of the "older generation".
The well-known industry consultants Peter Buxton and Jesper Simonsen gave their take on the developmen of the use of classified directories and advertising budgets over the next five years, followed by talks on location based services, Wikipedia and socialnetworking with the social site XING, to name but a few of the many different and well-researched presentations.
The second evening of the VDAV Congress, normally the social highlight with a Gala evening and the presentation of the annual awards for directory media, coincided with an important game in the Europa Cup football tournament, a match between Germany and Portugal.
It was clear that not even a gala evening could get in the way of such an important event and the gala evening was promptly moved to the first evening. Instead, at the party that started in the Exhibition area on day two, the dress code was the football shirt of the German team, complete with face paint in the German colours. Fortunately, the German team won, a contribution to the overall success of the congress that was almost as great as the excellence of the speakers.