The Worldcom Youth Meeting brought together young communication and marketing professionals in Budapest at the end of May. After a long break caused by the pandemic, meeting face to face put a smile on every participant’s face. As Medita Communication represents Worldcom in Finland, the youngest experts from the agency got to meet their international colleagues at the event.
The meeting takes place annually in Budapest, Hungary and it gathers experts aged under thirty from Worldcom partner agencies together to network and to learn from each other. Organized by volunteers with support from Worldcom, the free of charge meeting gives participants a chance to get international experience and to create their own networks in the field. This time there were 23 participants from Italy, Germany, UK and Poland, among other countries.
The digital marketing specialist Heidi Käsmä and content creator, science reporter Aino Soutsalmi from Medita left for Budapest with anticipation. The three days in Hungary were filled with sunshine, insights and new friends and colleagues. You can read more about Heidi’s and Aino’s experiences from below.
The 11. Worldcom Youth Meeting gathered 23 young experts from 11 countries to Budapest. Video: Próbakő Kommunikáció
What did you expect?
Heidi: This was my first work-related travel experience abroad so I was very excited and a bit nervous at the same time. The material sent to us before the meeting helped to prepare for the task.
Aino: This was my first work trip abroad as well. I falsely expected a big event and huge auditoriums. The material given in advance told me that there would be around 20 participants. This was nicer actually, as the group became tighter and the meeting more relaxed.
In addition to the Youth Meeting, we had time to walk in the heat of the city.
What activities did the Youth Meeting offer?
Heidi: The meeting started with a welcome dinner. Experts in communication and marketing from different countries gathered to enjoy delicious food and to get to know each other in a relaxed setting. The happy chatter was interrupted only by the welcome speech from the organizer András R. Nagy (Próbakő Kommunikáció) and the picking up food from the buffet table.
The core of the whole meeting was the PR-contest in which the participants were divided into groups for teamwork. This year the client was Budapest Metropolitan University (METU), the largest private university in Hungary. The goal of the competition was to build a communication plan to attract international students to the university and enhance the collaboration with potential partner universities around Europe. Of course, the competition included the announcement of the winning team. This year the title went to a team whose unique idea about doing a campaign tour in Eastern European cities by bus interested the client.
Aino: In addition to the PR-competition, participants from every agency brought a case study with them. Many of the cases were related to crisis communication but brand work and projects with societal impact were also represented. We also got to know the other agencies in Worldcom and their focus areas through the presentations. In addition to the official program, there was a chance to get to know others better by going sightseeing or to a restaurant in case there was time left from the teamwork.
The youngsters weren’t the only ones giving presentations. We listened to two keynote speakers. Andras Sztaniszlav, the chairman of the Hungarian PR Association (HuPRA) told us about the status of PR agencies and the media field in Hungary. Tamás Mehlhoffer from the electronics company Tungsgram Group spoke about corporate responsibility (ESG; Environmental, Social, Governance).
Group photo of the participants. Unfortunately, we are missing from the photo since we had to hurry to catch our flight home before the meeting ended. Photo: Próbakő Kommunikáció
What was the best part of the trip?
Aino: Friendly people and new contacts. When you remember names and faces it’s easier to work together in the future. Everyone had similar interests and the audience gave good comments and questions. We got good feedback after our presentation as well.
Heidi: The best part was working together in an enthusiastic atmosphere and developing new skills. The three days were filled with new experiences and acquaintances. I learned a lot about communication as a subject and about Hungary as a country. It was also insightful to notice the different ways to advance communication as everyone brought forward their own expertise, and to see how various ways of working there can be. Thus it was definitely worth it to participate!
Participants from USA, Great Britain, France and Finland eating out in a traditional Hungarian restaurant after a tiring day.
What stayed on the top of your mind after the trip?
Aino: How creative the solutions in the PR contest were related to the amount of time we had for it. All five groups started to work out the problem with interestingly varying tools. The competition showed a concrete example of how many points of view are possible and how creative young professionals can be. Some focused on social media, some on background research and some relied on the power of a media event.
Furthermore, it was great seeing the new acquaintances again; we had an alumni meeting online after the live event.
Heidi: Especially memorable was the discussion about the media field in Hungary. In Hungary, the media is very political and largely under government control. There are things happening in the country that are difficult for a Finn to comprehend. In addition, on top of my mind are all the people we met. I hope that the networks with these young professionals will last a long time. Finally, I’d like to highlight that Budapest is an attractive city with its beautiful architecture and nature.