At the beginning of January a Project Team briefing was scheduled in order to plan the activities to be undertaken aimed at organising the 2017 Conference and the 2017 Summer School.
The Academic Coordinator, Prof Maria Caterina Baruffi, and Isolde focused on the organisation of the 2017 Conference. The specific activities were the following:
- contacting the speakers, academics, lawyers and experts;
- defining the programme, inaugural greetings and interventions of the speakers, whose topics cover different aspects related to the fashion industry in the digital world, with particular reference to businesses and consumers’ rights;
- submitting requests for accrediting the participation to the Conference to various academic institutions and practitioners’ associations, namely to the Didactic Boards of Law, Economics, Languages and Literatures and Communication Studies, as well as the Ph.D. School of Law and Economics of the University of Verona and the Bar Association of Verona;
Isolde jointly with Marta performed a review of the mailing lists that serve as dissemination channel. In particular, they consist of the mailing lists already used by the European Documentation Centre, updated with contacts provided by the Academic Coordinator and the EU Law Chair, including professionals association, as well as with a new list made of the 2016 Summer School participants.
Cinzia continued her work on the promotional materials, updating them with the latest details that were progressively confirmed. In particular, the Conference programme’s poster has been updated after all the key speakers confirmed their participation, as well as adding all useful hyperlinks, for instance, to Google map, facebook and twitter buttons, website name, e-mail address; pictures and templates to be uploaded on the Project website.
Having regard to the former edition of both the Conference and the Summer School, the Project Team unanimously decided not to print many copies of the poster and to carry out an online dissemination activity mainly through the project’s official website, social network accounts, such as Facebook, Twitter and private accounts on LinkedIn.
As to the official website, Isolde contacted the IT personnel of the University of Verona in order to request assistance in creating a new version of the website in accordance with the rules and regulations that the University Departments are called to observe. At the beginning of January a draft version of the new website was finally created. Cinzia and Diletta, jointly with Marta, learnt how to manage the website and upload news and media, as well as create new webpages. The specific sections of the website were maintained and adjusted in order to give more visibility to the contents and results of the project activities.
A new logo (that does not replace the former one) has been submitted by Diletta to the European Commission asking for consent as to its appropriateness, and then used on some materials uploaded on the Project website.
Moreover, social media accounts of the Project, Facebook and Twitter, were regularly updated by Cinzia; while Diletta took care of uploading results on the Erasmus portal.
With regard to the Summer School-related activities, the Module Leader, Caterina, in collaboration with the Tutor, Diletta, carried out the following tasks:
- contacting Teaching Staff members of the 2016 edition asking for their availability for the forthcoming course;
- meeting new members that contacted the Project Team in order to collaborate as teachers;
- verifying the programme and the availabilities of all the Teaching members in order to draft the Programme for the 2017 edition;
- updating the letter of admission template.
As to the stages started in September 2016 one hosting law firm noticed the Project Team that one of the two stagiaires has been offered a position within its staff. This result constitutes a success given the final objective of the project that is to offer a specialised course aimed at increasing knowledge and professional competences related to the fashion industry.
The organisation of the Conference continued with its final activities also in February, under the supervision of Prof Baruffi who contacted all the guest speakers with the aim of reminding the forthcoming event, providing organisational information and useful contacts.
The website of the Project has been finalised, with reviews and touch-ups of its graphics and visual aspects by all the team members.
Isolde contacted the communication office of the University of Verona and prepared a draft version of the article that was published on the website www.univrmagazine.it (available at http://www.univrmagazine.it/sito/vedi_articolo.php?id=4590). Moreover, she sent a draft copy of the article to Ms Patrizia Salvaterra, moderator of the forthcoming Conference and journalist and expert in communication, who managed to publish a short article on the local newspaper L’Arena.
The final versions of the contents and the promotional materials have been uploaded on the website. In particular, Cinzia took care of printing the Conference’s posters and Diletta and Caterina carried out dissemination activities by presenting the initiatives at University classes, sending e-mails and posting the promotional materials at relevant locations in order to attract potential attendees (such as Departments and Libraries of the University of Verona, practitioners’ associations offices, the Court of Verona).
Regular online dissemination has been carried out by Cinzia on social media accounts.
Moreover, Diletta prepared the Newsletter Issue No 1/2017 and published it online in the new webpage dedicated to the newsletters that is part of the scientific activities’ section. She focused on the topic of the forthcoming Conference and wrote some highlights about fashion and the digital world.
In February Ms Maddalena Vanzo, law student at the University of Verona, has been appointed as stagiaire within the Project Univr Fashion Week for a period of 150 hours to be carried out at the European Documentation Centre. She will collaborate with the Project Team members in the organisation of the activities and perform all related tasks, under the supervision of Prof Baruffi and Isolde.
Marta, with the collaboration of Maddalena, started a new activity: the collection of bibliographic references on the issue of the fashion industry in the European Union and in general on fashion law. To this end, Marta created a new web page and updated it with the final contents that are divided into specific sections, which cover general aspects, management issues, corporate social responsibility matters, as well as intellectual property rights protection. Amongst the references, the articles published on the online journal Papers di diritto europeo are included. Maddalena kept on searching useful references and websites to be added on the specific section.
March 2017 (before the Conference)
The dissemination activities continued to be performed during the first days of the month in order to promote the Conference taking place on Friday, 10 March.
Prof Baruffi organised an interview with the communication office to be held just before the Conference starting.
Cinzia and Diletta regularly updated the social media accounts of the project, posting useful information and links to the websites that published news on the Conference and interviews of the Project Team. A specific section with information about the guest speakers has been created after having collected their consent.
Isolde, together with the IT Offices of the University, updated the homepage of the website in order to enable the live streaming of the Conference. A specific banner was created on the homepage and some technical tests took place before the event to ensure its functionality.
Caterina with the assistance of Marta and Maddalena prepared the materials for the Conference: folders for the speakers and the participants, lists of participants to be signed before and after the event, posters and evaluation surveys to be distributed to the participants during the event.
10 March 2017: Conference “Fashion in the digital world: businesses and consumers’ rights”
The event has been successful as to the number of attendees and the overall positive feedback it received (for a detailed review, see the analysis of the evaluation surveys in Annex 1).
The registered participants were 250 in total, consisting mainly of three categories: lawyers and legal practitioners (51), University students (190) and doctoral candidates (9). At the end of the event 202 surveys were collected (173 filled in by students and 29 by legal practitioners).
The Conference was conducted according to the agenda, starting at 14:00 and ending on time around 18:30. During the two sessions each speech lasted 20/25 minutes. The moderator Ms Patrizia Salvaterra introduced each speaker and the topic of their intervention, and managed the time schedule of the event. Unfortunately, Mr Roberto Santaniello early in the morning informed his impossibility to come in Verona and take part on the Conference.
After the inaugural greetings of Prof Maria Caterina Baruffi (Academic Coordinator and project manager), Prof Matteo Ortino (Director of the Graduate School in Law and Economic Sciences) and Mr Alessandro Rigoli (President of the Bar Association of Verona), professors (Prof Claudio Baccarani, Prof Federico Perali), lawyers (Mr Gianluigi Marino, Mr Giovanni Casucci) and experts (Ms Anna Caprara, Mr Andrea Albanese) focused on legal and economic aspects, related to marketing strategies, digital transformation of the phenomenon, defence of intangible values of the fashion business, consumer protection in e-commerce, as well as the role of communication through social media. The event ended with a special guest, Ms Barbara Caracciolo, who shown one dress created by herself linked to a specific historical era. The aim was to focus the attention on traditional value and historical background even if our world is becoming even more digital.
The coffee break was scheduled at around 16:15 and was offered to all attendees. It provided a useful opportunity for networking among the members of the Project Team, the speakers and the participants, as well as a further occasion to disseminate the Project’s activities, in particular the upcoming Summer School.
The 2017 Conference itself offered the possibility to start new collaborations with the guest speakers, namely lawyers and other legal practitioners, that are also involved in the forthcoming edition of the Summer School. The Project Team noticed also the participation of young lawyers who attended the 2016 course and scheduled a meeting within the next month in order to plan joint activities and share new ideas.
March 2017 (after the Conference)
Following the Conference, a Project Team briefing took place on 13 March. The planned activities focused, on the one hand, on the analysis of the evaluation surveys filled out by the participants and the overall review of the event, and on the other, on the organisational tasks required to prepare the Summer School course.
Prof. Baruffi e-mailed the guest speakers at the Conference to thank them for their contribution in the successful event and to ask them whether they could prepare a brief paper or a power point presentation on the topics of their speeches that will be published on the project’s website.
Isolde collected all press releases published on the Conference that will be uploaded on the website and disseminated through social media accounts.
Marta finalised the web page on bibliographic references and finally published it online. This specific section will be regularly updated with new references, also thanks to the collaboration of the stagiaire Maddalena.
They also carried out the analysis of the evaluation surveys, filled the excel file and discussed the results with the whole Team before drafting the report on the collected data (see Annex 1), then prepared by Cinzia.
Caterina and Diletta were involved in the Summer School-related activities. Teaching Staff Members were contacted in order to gather all necessary documents to fill the requested information about their lectures and their curriculum vitae. Indeed, new members joined the Teaching Staff and, unfortunately, others expressed their impossibility to take part in the 2017 edition. Moreover, the contents of the lectures have been programmed taking into consideration all suggestions and critical points raised by attendees of the 2016 edition. Therefore, new topics will be addressed in the forthcoming Summer School, whose programme will be published soon.
Verona, March 2017
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Report on the 2017 Conference evaluation surveys
The surveys filled out by the Conference attendees that were collected after the event amount to 202. This number represents two thirds of total number of participants and can therefore give a quite reliable feedback.
The target groups consist of people coming from various backgrounds: lawyers and legal practitioners, students and doctoral candidates, academics, other practitioners and stakeholders from the fashion industry, as well as general public. Their answers thus reflect also the different areas of expertise and levels of career development.
From a general overview of the collected surveys, an extremely positive feedback on the whole event can be inferred, given the majority of positive answers (good/very good – useful – well/very well) in each submitted question.
The specific results of the questionnaires are as follows.
Objectives and contents
As to the objectives and contents of the Conference agenda, the positive answers represented 57,43 % (good) and 32,67 % (very good) of the target; while 9,9 % considered the relevance of the topics as fair. 4,98 % expressed the topics have not been sufficiently dealt with, while 95,02 % deemed they have. Only 0,5 % did not give any opinion. When answering the free question on this aspect, some of the participants offered valuable suggestions on further topics that could be implemented in the agenda of the upcoming Conferences and project’s events. These proposals were: practical examples of fashion industries, creative and cultural heritage, web marketing, employment relationships in the fashion industry.
With regard to the question on the usefulness in terms of professional qualification of the attendance of an intensive course on the legal and economic aspects of the fashion industry, 51,24 % answered moderately useful, 27,86 % useful, only 15,92 % scarcely useful and 4,98 % answered “I do not know” and 0,5 % did not express any opinion. This result gives a positive feedback on the following Summer School, but also needs to be taken into account according to the different professional backgrounds of the participants, being the course more appealing to young practitioners and students in order to build their future careers.
As far as the questions about the competence and communication skills of the speakers are concerned, positive answers came from 49,25 % (good) and 44,28 % (very good) of the target. 0,5 % did not answer and 6,47 % deemed them fair. The quality and effectiveness of the didactic materials used by the speakers (mainly power-point presentations) were reviewed “fairly” by 19,80 % of the target, while 55, 94 % expressed they were good and 23,27 % very good. Only 0,99 % deemed them poor. It follows that the audience appreciated the use of presentations.
Organisation and delivery
As to the dissemination of the Conference through promotional materials, 7,61 % considered they were poor, 25,89 % fair, 44,16 % good and 22,34 % very good. Only 2,54 % did not answer. Organisational aspects were evaluated poor by 5,08 %, fair by 15,23 %, good by 53,81 %, very good by 25,89 % and only 2,54 % did not answer. It stems from these opinions that overall the organisation and delivery of the Conference was successful.
The question on the overall satisfaction was positively answered by 59,30 % (good) and 29,15 % (very good) of the target; while 11,06 % deemed it fair, 0,5 % poor and 1,51 % did not answer. In relation to the question concerning whether the expectations on the Conference were met 1,50 % answered poor, 17 % fair, 58, % good, 23,5 % very good and only 1 % did not answer. It follows that even if a high percentage expressed a positive opinion, adjustments and improvements need to be implemented in order to achieve a better result.
The last question of the survey gave the opportunity to the attendees to offer free suggestions, criticism and advice on the Conference. As to organisational aspects, some critics regarded the need of a bigger room, or another room where to watch the Conference in web streaming, the organisation of two sessions with the aim of deepen the topics planned in the agenda, developing the dissemination activity. As to the topics, they should have been dealt with in a more consistent way in order to avoid repetitions and favour a legal perspective, instead of a multidisciplinary approach, the interventions should last less and the issues should be deepened and updated. Speeches related to the real experiences of fashion industries and the participation of famous guests were also suggested.
In conclusion, the 2017 Conference gathered an extremely positive result in relation to the overall organisation, the guest speakers and the topics addressed by them. Nevertheless, some aspects may be improved and adjusted for the next year’s Conference, as well as for the upcoming edition of the Summer School.